Friday, April 30, 2010

I enjoy being a girl

This evening, G showed me the pamphlet she got at the Growth and Development (a.k.a. "Fun With Puberty") presentation at school.

It said that while 80 percent of mothers think they've prepared their daughters for the emotional effects of having their period, only 10 percent of girls report knowing exactly what to expect.

So I said to G, "Okay, here's the truth. Having your period makes you grumpy."

And she looked me up and down and said dryly, "I know."

Erm. I guess I don't hide those crazy hormonal mood swings as well as I think I do.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Faire thee well

Today we went to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. We've been several times before, but our last visit was at least five years ago, and I was ready for another trip. G was all over the idea when I proposed it last night, but when it was actually time to get ready and leave this morning, she said she had changed her mind and wanted to stay home and play video games all day. "Some people just want to be lazy," she opined, to which I said unfeelingly, "Yes, well, your desire to be lazy is interfering with my desire to have fun, so get dressed and let's go."

This is not us, but if we had gone in costume, I like to think we would have looked that good.

A troop of combatants marching away after a staged battle.

Horses! We both spent a long time patting them and scratching their necks. They seemed to enjoy it, or at least not to mind.

Let's all take a moment here to be grateful for our automatic washing machines.

I'm not sure what this pile of brush and sticks and random objects was supposed to be. Maybe they were planning to burn someone as a witch later on.

I wish I could tell you that G was completely into the Faire once we arrived, but of the three hours we spent there, at least two of them were set to a constant refrain of "It's so hot! My feet hurt! There's too much dust! It's so hot! I can't do this anymore!" However, she did enjoy some of it, especially the horses and the booth where she got to shoot bolts from a crossbow. As for me, I would have enjoyed myself more if there had been more enthusiasm and less complaining, but it was good to make the point that sometimes you have to suck it up and do what someone else wants to do, rather than what you want to do. Only children don't get much practice at that, since they never have to sit through their older sister's dance class or their little brother's Barney video, but it's a lesson everyone needs to learn before they're grown up.

The real highlight of the day came on our way home, when we stopped at a KFC to pee (both of us would rather have exploded than use the port-a-potties at the Faire) and get something to drink. As we pushed open the front door, we nearly collided with a guy dressed up like Colonel Sanders, white goatee, pale-pink suit, string tie and all. He was doing some sort of promotional appearance and there was a professional photographer who would take your photo with him, so of course I could not resist saying to G, "Now's your chance to get a picture with The Colonel!" The look of absolute horror on her face was a wonder to behold. I managed to play it off for about five seconds before I broke down, laughed, and told her I was only joking. It was a surreal moment, though. You don't expect to walk into KFC and see The Colonel any more than you expect to walk into McDonald's and see a man in a clown suit.

Where I've been

visited 18 states (36%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

This is the best I can remember - I'd have to ask my dad if there are any I missed or added by mistake. Of those 18 states, I've lived in six: Florida, California (twice), Georgia, New Jersey, Louisiana and Texas. Also, while I've flown across the country and back a few times, I've traveled that entire route down the East Coast and across the South and Southwest by car, too, some of it more than once, and all of it before I was 10 years old.

Of the states I've missed, the two I'd really like to visit are Washington and Oregon. I'm more focused on finding a way to travel outside the U.S. right now, so we'll see if I get to them anytime soon. I do want to show G more of the country eventually, though - she's only been to California, Arizona, New Mexico and New York so far.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Putting her face on

G had a field trip to see a concert at the local performing arts center today. Apparently she was excited about it, because she not only got up when the alarm went off and started getting dressed without being told, she also brushed her teeth and hair (!), and accessorized her outfit of cream sweater, black skirt and leggings with a bracelet and a sparkly headband.

It wasn't until we were in the car and nearly at school that I realized she also had accessorized her face with lip gloss (okay) and blue eyeshadow (forbidden at school). I said, "Are you wearing eyeshadow?" and she said "Yes," with such a guilty expression that you would have sworn she thought I was going to smite her on the spot. I was about to turn into the parking lot at that point, so I just told her to use her fingertip and blend it a little more - she'd applied it pretty subtly anyway, which is why I hadn't noticed until I saw her in full daylight - and not to be surprised if her teacher caught her and made her wash it off.

I suppose I ought to have scolded her about it, but in fact I found it kind of funny, because she had such a Busted! expression, and it's such typical behavior for her age. Most 11- and 12-year-old girls (me included) try to sneak off to school with makeup on at some point, or else hide it in their backpacks and put it on when they get there. I did remind her that she's not allowed to wear makeup to school until seventh grade, though, as she knows full well. Clear or sparkly lip gloss is fine, nail polish is fine, those strawberry- and bubblegum-scented teenybopper perfumes are fine, but not the heavy stuff.

Even when she does expand her cosmetic horizons, I'm sure I'll be checking every morning to make sure she hasn't caked it on - a bit hypocritical of me, given the amount of black eyeliner I wore in high school, but yesterday's moody Goth teen is today's fussy mother. Although come to think of it, I do still use a lot of black eyeliner. Hmm.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I can't believe it either

While shopping at a craft store today, I saw a book called I Can't Believe I'm Knitting Socks. I giggled over it because it sounded so startled, as if the author had never knitted in her life, then looked down one night while watching television and discovered that she was holding a pair of needles with a half-finished sock dangling from them. I don't think sock-knitting usually takes people by surprise like that, but what do I know? I buy all our socks at Target.

G is at a campout with her Girl Scout troop this weekend, which is why I have time to roam around shops and muse about socks. She goes to this particular event every spring, and I've found it makes a great yardstick for how much she's matured that year: from first grade, when she attended as a day camper with me right beside her, to third grade, when she managed to sleep over one night before needing to come home, to fourth grade, when she thought she could only do one night, but ended up staying both nights and loving it. This year, fifth grade, I signed her in at the campsite, gave her a hug and said "Have fun," and she said "Bye Mom!" and was off like a shot.

I should probably be more sentimental about my baby not needing me, but if you knew G as a small child, and how clingy and terrified of everything she was, you know this level of confidence is practically worth throwing a party over. I may launch an independent adult yet!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

But I didn't mean to!

Orchard Bank might want to rethink their marketing campaign. It's an invitation to apply for a preapproved credit card, but it reads like a Puritan minister thundering accusations from the pulpit. Oh, you can try to hide, but we all know where the blame lies. YOU made this happen! Do you feel guilty? YOU SHOULD.