Thursday, November 19, 2009

Out of my girls' mouthes

Today, out of nowhere, Eloise looked at me and said "mama why do you still have boobies?" so I said "why?" and she said "you don't have any more babies!". I then asked "should I cut them off?" and she said "no! that would hurt!"

Tonight the girls were looking through my make-up bag, which Iris asked to do. When she then asked, repeatedly, if she could put some on, I said no. Then Eloise said "mama, look!" and I turn around to see her (surprise surprise!) with a face full of blush. I was very annoyed and, more loudly than I should have, said "Eloise! I said we weren't going to put make-up on!" and then a little bit later Iris says to Eloise "but that was a really good job telling mommy!"

Also, they have been talking quite a bit, for a while now, about going to the mall and being fashionable and stylish. It is so random to me, because we very rarely go to the mall, and if we do, we don't buy clothes there (the blessing/curse of being too tall to fit in to 99% of the clothes the stores sell!). I never use the words fashionable or stylish-- likely because I'm pretty far from either of those things. For heaven's sake, I was the only mom at the play gym this morning in sweats and/or rain boots!

Clearly they learn these words somewhere, and it really isn't that big of a deal to me, but it's amazing how children can grasp on to these things, even if it isn't our intention to expose them to the ideas.

I had a parent-teacher conference with Iris's teacher this past week. The main thing we ended up chatting about was how Iris is using her time at school to work out where she fits within the group, how to make friends, how to find her own voice and express her individuality. It seems that she is relying heavily on other girls at school to be comfortable or to know how to act or what to do in certain situations. It is sad to me, in the way that I can fast forward 8-10 years and see her doing this on a bigger level, with much more serious consequences. Wanting to fit in at any cost, potentially. Not doing what is right, or what she wants to do, simply because no one else is. She worries about people laughing at her. Even today she told me she didn't wear her hat on the walk in the rain because she didn't want anyone to laugh at her.

She's so scared, so nervous, so shy that I worry for her. That she will be so paralyzed by fear that she won't do the things she might want to do-- or worse yet, not even know what she wants to do because she spends too much time worrying about what other people think of her.

And what's funny, she's in freaking kindergarten. You KNOW those other kids couldn't care any less whether or not she wears a hat! These kids are a very loose, wonderful, laid-back group. Iris could come to school in a peacock costume and they'd all be like "hey, groovy!".

So I'm paying more attention. Trying to seize opportunities for her to open up a bit. Push her limits a bit and be there to support her in doing so.

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