Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Too much of "too".

(Afterthought that needed to be at the top: This post doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's just something I had to say and well... it's my blog, so I decided to say it.)

Look at them.... They look so little, so young. I want to freeze time right now and just keep them that way. Especially Elizabeth.

This morning, we were given a preview of her teenage years. You know the ones... where they're too old to let you do the shopping for their clothes, too old to accept your ideas over what would look good on them, what's appropriate for school, what can be worn another time... and what should be incinerated. Too old to not voice their opinion over what they think of your rules regarding clothes. This morning... it was one of those days that she decided we were too old.

I didn't realize it would start this young. I honestly can't remember worrying over what I looked like at school when I was ten, other than making sure my shorts weren't too short. I was too worried over who I would play with at school, how many friends I would make, that sort of thing. (We moved to Germany when I was ten.... Matter of fact it was 22 years ago this week. We stayed in a hotel for almost 3 weeks looking for housing, and after the 1st week, Amber and I got too bored and begged to start school.) I think it was a year or two later that the worrying started, but then I never was one to care much about what I wore. 

OK, so that's not entirely true. I knew what I wanted to wear. But what I wanted, and what Daddy agreed to provide for my closet... well, our ideas were on total opposite sides of the fashion spectrum. As a result, I didn't bother to worry about learning how to match styles so that I would look like I cared. I just didn't, and by the time I did... the damage was done and it was too late. I didn't know how to match styles, could barely match colors, didn't know how to do my own hair, and forget make-up. I still think make-up is a tool of evil.

Now, I can dress my daughter. Well... usually. The 80's are back, and they way my daughter likes to dress is a lot like how I wanted to dress all those years ago. We made a deal, gave her some basic, simple rules, and give her pretty much wardrobe flexibility. Today, nothing would do. And the melt down ensued, the tears fell, and I feel horrible. But what are you supposed to do? I couldn't let my child go to school with her bra showing. Doesn't matter that it looked like a tank top or a t-shirt underneath. It just isn't done. No undergarments showing. That's one of the rules...

Don't ask for articles of clothing that cost more than $20. You grow to fast, so why spend more than $20 for a t-shirt? Wal-mart, K-Mart, and Target have great selections to fit your budget.

Don't tell us your clothes are just too boring to wear. Especially since YOU picked them out!

No undergarments showing. No bra or undies. If we can see it, you have to change. End of story. If you have to bend over at the knees instead of the waist so your undies don't show, your skirt is too short. (Having to and wanting to are two different things. It's more lady like to bend at the waist. But you shouldn't have to.) Again... End of Story!

Mommy and Daddy have ultimate veto ability. If we feel it is inappropriate we will ask you to adjust it. If it can't be adjusted, change it.

No arguing over our veto decisions, or you will wear the most boring outfit we can think of. And believe me.. I KNOW boring. Me and boring outfits are on intimate terms. Plain white t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. BORING!!! (But so me!)

I want her to always know how beautiful she is, and to have confidence in herself. We set those rules because we felt they taught her not only respect for herself and for us, but respect for money. Making the decision of what to buy makes her responsible, ya know? And not showing undergarments, that's where the respect for herself comes in. Following the first three rules without us having to impose the last two shows all of us respect. Not arguing over the outfit veto decision shows us she respects that as her parents, we are willing to compromise on some things, but that ultimately, we are the law in this house. 

I don't know why I'm writing all this, and I honestly don't know if it makes sense. All I know is that this morning, my daughter and I had a huge fight, and it was all over a shirt. And now, it's got me thinking about all the things that we as parents, and not just me, expect from our kids that we didn't have to deal with as kids until we were a little older. I think that maybe I'll be working on remembering that this week. Remembering that she's only ten, but she has a lot on her plate. All because she isn't the only one out there dealing with a parent who sometimes forgets that she's only ten.

But she still can't wear that shirt to school. It's just not right.


Anonymous said...

Ok Elizabeth. This is for you to listen to. Your Mother and Father are totally correct with this one, Sweetie! I know that it may not seem fair at times but remember that your Parents (and Grandparents) have lived a lot longer then you have. We've gone through some of the things you are just learning about. I think your Mom has a wonderful sense of right and wrong and you need to listen to her. Sometime life isn't fair but "that's life". They love you so much (and so do I) and only want what is the very best for you so that you can grow up to have values and morals that you can pass on to your kids one day. You are very much like I was at 10 years old. I was just beginning to look at what other girls were wearing and what I had to wear. My mother made most of my school clothes and believe me, when I got a store bought outfit, well, I was extatic!! I hated those home made clothes (especially since my sister had the same outfits except in a different color!) but I was very proud that at least my mom could sew and I did have many outfits to choose from. Some of my friends only had 4 or 5 items to choose from.... You will get through this and you will be fashionable! Just be creative! Ask your mom if you can watch the movie "16 Candles". I'm not sure if it's age appropriate but she might let you watch the part where the main character makes her own prom dress! You have a fun week and don't try so much to be beautiful on the outside. Beauty comes from within!!! I love you so much.......Grandma Connie

Hilary said...

Oh, Charity! You make total sense, and I think you & Matt are very, very wise. And Elizabeth will be thankful for your guidelines one day... and eventually she'll be the parent and will have to do the same things with her little ones :) Good for you for being strong & firm & understanding & patient all at once!

Hugs to you guys!