Suspended disbelief and prolonged innocence.
Those are the two things I’m working hard to provide for my daughter. She knows what she needs to know, I mean the stuff that an eight year old who is on the immature side should know. Safety, blah, strangers, good and bad touch, don’t play with matches or take Mommy’s happy pills. A few people have tried to blow the Santa secret for her, on purpose and by accident. I can tell you that IF looks could kill, I’d be in jail. Some people just need to zip it around the little ones and let them feel the magic!
Her older brother is a good protector of this innocence, and I tell him all the time how much I appreciate him keeping the Santa stuff alive, reminding me to be the Tooth Fairy, being quick to turn off television stuff that isn’t appropriate for her when she walks in the room unexpectedly and keeping his conversations with her appropriate. But it’s impossible to keep her completely in the dark. She goes to school, plays with friends, watches television and she LOVES music.
I try hard not to play too much death metal or gangster rap when she’s around, but we do crank the pop sugar tunes on the regular. This is especially true when we are riding in the car. And that is why she sings and dances like a lunatic when she hears, “I’m sexy and I know it,” by LMFAO.
Sexy. Passion in pants. Wiggle. Working out.
So recently, she visited her Aunt and Uncle for an entire WEEK in a different state. During this time, she did not brush her hair. This resulted in a snarly, knotted clump of dreadlock at the base of her neck that really pissed her off.
“Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” she whined in despair! She was terrified that I would have to cut it out, and honestly so was I. It was HUGE!
I got to work and did some serious hair surgery, managed to untangle the bird’s nest and I gave her a little talking to about hygiene for the 958th time. We bought new hair brushes, hair clips, a new toothbrush and some good smelling hair stuff. I threw in some of the play make up she begged for as well. What the hell? I figured maybe the 958th time would be a charm. And all the new stuff wouldn't hurt either. She had her own little beauty kit! I hoped it would motivate her.
It did. She is now obsessed. As a matter of fact, she’s all about the groom now.
She’s grooming from sun up to sundown. Okay then. Today she was admiring herself in the mirror while I was giving myself a pedicure in the bathroom. Not only was she well groomed and clean, but she had heavy handedly applied her glitter Barbie make up and some VERY dark pink lipstick.
She’s groomed and primped and glittered and glazed. Drag queens are more subtle.
Personally, I prefer the slightly dirty, knotted hair and fresh faced look, but I wasn't going to complain. Remember, I've had to talk to her about it 958 times already. I figured it was a matter of time before she tired of the glitz and glam. Hopefully the clean would stick.
“I’m sexay and I KNOW it!” she sang today, mugging for the mirror, looking clownish and almost unrecognizable. It was like an episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras" in MY bathroom, only I wasn't encouraging my daughter to wax her eyebrows or throw out the "Blue Steel," look like Derek Zoolander.
She would have had to call it "Rainbow Steel." Did she use ALL the make-up at once?
“No, you aren’t sexy. You are cute; Adorable even, but not ‘sexay.’ You are a very pretty little girl though and someday I think you will be sexy, but just not now. OK?” I figured since she brought it up, I’d set her straight.
I don’t want my daughter sexualized too early and I certainly don’t want her to focus on her looks this early in life. I mean she still truly believes in Santa, The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and needs help wiping her butt, buttoning her clothes, tying her shoes….you get what I’m saying, right? Ok then.
I pulled her into my lap and we talked briefly, AGAIN, about body parts, sexuality, good and bad touch, puberty, safety and above all the importance of being beautiful on the inside. She nodded as I reviewed the important stuff, but mostly she squirmed around, trying to ignore me.
I shut up. Clearly it wasn’t the best time for lesson learning or deep conversation. I lost her at the first squirm. She popped up off my lap and danced in front of the mirror again.
“But LOOK at MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I mean, LOOK, Mom! My face is like, sexay! Are you looking? I have a loose tooth too! LOOK!” she giggled, wiggling her tooth and her body at the same time.
“I am looking. And I think you are absolutely beautiful. And smart. And funny. And kind. And you are a great singer and such a great reader! Oh and you sing and draw so well. You have perfect pitch!” I told her.
“But that’s not what I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant! I want to be sexy!” she whined. “Look at me!”
“It’s impossible not to look at you, especially since you are dancing in circles around me, climbing on and off my lap, and sticking your mouth in my face so I can see your tooth while I’m trying to fix my tootsies here. But I still have to insist that since you are only eight years old and not yet a woman capable of having sex, that you are not sexy. The Tooth Fairy doesn’t give sexy people money. You can’t be sexy until you have all your grown -up teeth. Okay? We’ve talked about this and I’d really like you to understand it and stop with the sexy stuff. Enjoy being a little girl for a while longer, okay? ”
She wiggled over to me getting ready to launch herself into me for the hundredth time and really she was f*&king KILLING me with each flying leap, so I said, “I’d also like you to quit throwing your smart, funny, kind and adorable self at me and dancing all over my lap please.”
“But I love throwing myself at people and I LOOOOOOVE lap dancing!” She said, plopping herself in my lap, giving me a big fat lipstick kiss on the cheek. “So when will I be sexy instead of little girly?” she asked with a dead serious, looking me in the eyes (which just isn’t usually her thing at all).
I couldn’t stop laughing. She loves lap dancing. And throwing herself at people. Maybe she's not sexualized, but I'm a full fledged pervert and my mind went straight to imagining Tony Soprano and his gangster pals stuffing bills in G-strings at "Bada Bing!"
GOOD GOD! Why can’t there be people around when this stuff happens? It’s never as funny after the fact.
“What’s so funny?” she asked, “Why are you laughing?” And I was laughing so hard, tears started streaming down my face. Those tears were a mix of joy and pain. UGH! Someday I’ll tell her this story and she’ll understand.
She might even laugh. But of course she didn't have a clue as to why I was trembling with giggles.
So I quick changed the subject and said that all the talk about the Tooth Fairy mad me think about Santa Claus, so I asked her if she had thought about what she was going to ask for this Christmas. “It’ll be her before you know it,” I told her as I hugged her tight. She shot up off my lap and ran to get a paper and marker! “I’ll be right back,” she squealed, “I already know like, TEN things I want!”
I hated ending that hug.
And Christmas will be her before we know it. Just like how she’ll be sexy before I know it. I just don’t see the need to rush it.
And I haven’t even STARTED saving money for Christmas yet. SHIT.