Too Much Growing Up Going On

We all know kids grow up fast, yada yada yada. Of course there are the physical signs of pants getting shorter, shirts getting tighter and feet getting squished into sneakers like sausages, but it’s the other ones that really get you. I’m talking about signs of maturity that signal your babies are not babies anymore. The ones that maybe, just maybe, start to indicate they don’t need you as much as they once did. These are the ones that get a momma right in the gut.

My almost five-year-old daughter decided it would be cool to lay three of these little signals on me all in one day. Last week when it was time for her and her sister’s bath, you know, they one we’ve been taking religiously since she was born. The bath where they play with little rubber duckies and splash each other until there’s more water on the floor than in the tub. Yeah, that one. Well, out of the blue, my daughter asks me if she can take a shower instead. What? A shower? Grown-ups take showers, not my little babies! I just looked at her and asked why she wanted to do that. “Because I do.” That’s always a great answer. Before I could respond, little sister chimes in with a “me too”. Oh no, I’m out numbered, yet again. I stop and stare at them and ask why again. The litany of “please moms” start. Ahh!

I know, you’re probably asking what’s so wrong about letting them take a shower? Nothing at face value. But to me, it’s just shows they are growing up. They don’t need mom to scrub them down. It’s one more thing they can do on their one. It’s one more apron string that needs to be cut. Yeah for independence. So, I let them take their little shower, with some supervising to make sure they were actually getting clean. Of course they loved it. Afterwards, my daughter declares, “I’m not taking a bath anymore. I take showers now.” I know little sister is going along for the ride too. Ugh. I think a piece of my heart broke a little.

If that whole scenario wasn’t bad enough, later that night my daughter tells me she wants to sleepover her grandmother’s house. What? This coming from a child who hates sleepovers? Are you feeling alright? Stop growing already, will ya? The whole idea was born when I told her grandma was coming over to watch her and her sister the following night, the night after the first shower that was oh so wonderful. My daughter went on to tell me grandma would not be coming over; she and her sister were going to sleep over there instead. Of course I get a little “me too” in the background. I swear they’re like Thelma & Louise. Anyway, she told me to call daddy and grandma to check. With the joint “yes”, another little piece of my heart fell. What the heck is going on here? Where have my babies gone?

After declaring showers and sleepovers for all, my daughter also did something else that hasn’t been seen in my house for a very, very, very long time. She decided that would be a good night to sleep in her bed all night. When I woke up at 5:30 to go to the gym and released there was no wall between me and my husband, I panicked for a minute. Where was she? I got up and tiptoed down the hallway, took a peak in her room and saw her sound asleep. I hung around the doorway until I saw her back moving. Just needed to make sure, you know what I mean? Once I saw she was fine, I tiptoed back in disbelief.  Not too much love loss here on the growing up scale, but still it was the third blow to my momminess in less than 24 hours. This girl is relentless.

So, it’s been a week. We’ve successfully slept over grandma’s house, taken only showers, and slept in our own bed for a few nights (I still got her on this one!). I know these are only footprints on the path to growing up, but they don’t hurt any less. It’s great to see them grow, but sad at the same time. I’d like to keep my girls babies forever, minus the diapers and midnight feedings of course! Sigh.


Should Little Girls Wear Make-Up?

Before you read this post, I should warn you…I have a real thing about kids growing up too fast. I hate it. I don’t like the fact that so many kids seem to have better phones than I do. I don’t like the fact that many have girlfriends and boyfriends before puberty. As the mother of two little girls, ages two and four, I especially despise the fact that a lot of little girls wear make-up.

I know a lot of people out there think it’s really cute to put some eyes shadow and lip gloss on their little ones. Can I ask why? Aren’t they cute enough without it?

I’ll admit, as an adult I wear make-up. But, anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact that I’m not big on it. I really don’t know why I wear it. I guess because I want to? Truth be told, many days I don’t wear any at all. But still, I’ve had my girls come over and reach for a make-up brush out of my bag because they want to be like mommy. I grab it right out of their hands.

“But Mommy, I want to be beautiful,” whines my four-year-old.

“You already are. You don’t need it, ” I reply.

It’s sad that a girl that young thinks she needs make-up to be beautiful. Sometimes I blame myself. Should I not wear make-up? Should I just let her try some anyway? What’s a mom to do?

My daughter takes dance lessons and recently saw a lot of girls in her school all made up for their pictures. This was my first experience with the whole dance thing. I was never a dancer as a I child. Shocker, I know. I’m not a “dance mom” in the stereotypical sense and neither are a lot of the other women there. But, I guess in the “dance culture” this is what happens. Eye shadow, mascara, glitter, fake eyelashes, and lip stick are more the norm than the exception. Hmmm. My daughter did notice all the glitz and glamour, but did not once ask me if she could have some or why she didn’t in the first place. Score one for me, I guess. I suppose there’s no harm in getting all “made up” for these special occasions, but I’m still not 100% convinced. I just don’t see who benefits from it all.

Maybe I’m just a Debbie Gibson living in a Lady Gaga world hoping they still made “Electric Youth” perfume. I don’t know. I do know that I’m definitely starting to believe that raising girls is harder than raising boys! I also know that we need to start teaching little girls that make-up doesn’t make you beautiful. Having a good heart and being a good person is where true beauty lies. So, how do I convince everyone else? I guess I’ll have to take it one Cover Girl at a time.




I Just Wanna Be a Grown Up

Child: “Mom, I just wanna be a grown up.”

Me: “No, you don’t. You really don’t.”

So, that was the beginning of a conversation I recently had with my four year-old daughter. Why is it that kids always want to grow up so fast? I can remember wanting to be “big” when I was little too. It must just be one of those things. After my daughter proclaimed her desire for wanting to be an adult, she quickly changed her mind…thanks to me.

It’s probably because I scared the Elmo out of her when I went on to ask her if she wanted to make her own food, clean her own clothes, clean the house, etc. She looked at me as if I were I visitor from the planet “crazy”. She quickly said no and then told me she didn’t want to be a grown up anymore. I told her that was a good idea and to stay a kid as long as she could. That statement is going to come back and bite me when she’s 27 and still living at home.

Anyway, I think she got my point. There are days when I wish I wasn’t a grown up. I wish my most important decision of the day was to either play with blocks or Barbies or whether to have chicken nuggets or grilled cheese for lunch. I wish people would still fix my food and provide for my every need without asking because it was their job.

Looking back now, I wish I could go back to the days when I didn’t know the meaning of the words mortgage, co-pays, deductibles or escrow. I wish I could still be as innocent as to think ALF could actually crash into my house and live with me because that be super cool. But instead, I’m an adult who worries about everything under the sun (bad genetic trait!) and sometimes wishes I could still be that kid with Punky Brewster sneakers.

So, I will continue to tell my kids to just be kids and enjoy their little pint sized lives where finger paints are a reward for good behavior.

I will continue to try to keep them as innocent as possible for as long as possible because as I get older I am truly realizing time does fly. I know its cliché, but we all know it’s true and it’s okay to admit it.

I will continue to tell them “I love you to the moon and back” and to give me my morning hugs. I gave them life. The least they can do is repay me in hugs.

And when they continue to tell me they just wanna be a grown up, I will continue to tell them they really don’t. Why? Because I’m the grown up and that’s my job.