Thursday, September 18, 2008

Parenting revelations aren't on sale.

Tucked away inside this shoe box is a parenting revelation that cost me $43.89.

There are times in my hectic life, where I get caught up in the moment and lose sight of my ultimate goal as a mother. I will be the first to admit that I have made and do make parenting mistakes.

This time around, before my mistake was executed, I had both my mother and my husband intervene.

Those two very important people in my life only needed to say, "she is so young" for me to get back on track with my goal of raising confident and well adjusted children. That is all it took for my epiphany and it only cost me $43.89. Parenting revelations were not on sale this week.

So. What is inside the box?

Good question.

It has been properly labeled and now being stored in our basement crawlspace. My beautiful, confident, and extremely well adjusted 4.5 year old daughter agreed with me (us). We packed away the once admired goods in a "time capsule" to be opened when we are both ready.


Flashback two days prior to packing our "time capsule" when I got caught up in the moment. That led to my mistake. That led to my epiphany.

Lola could barely contain her excitement as she ran her fingers through the blond wig and examined the sparkly microphone. "Yes. YES. YES!!!!!!!" She screamed. "I figured it out. I want to be Hanna Montana for Halloween." I took her hand and together we jumped up and down surrounded by other cheaply made costumes in Target. I stopped for a minute to make sure my indecisive preschooler was sure, "Are you positive? What about this fairy, or how about this kitten, or perhaps even a witch? That would be cool." Lola squeezed my hand and looked me straight in the eyes, "Yes, I am s-u-r-e. Sure. I love Hannah Montana!"

And so. In one hand she firmly held the costume and in the other she lovingly held my hand as we walked up to the friendly people in red polos to check out.

We barely made it out of the parking lot before she tore open the packaging, littering the cheap contents all over the minivan. "I. Love. It."

She. Loved. It.

I loved that she loved it.

My husband came home and did not love it. "She is too young." He whispered in my ear as we watched Lola bounce around the room screaming into the microphone. "She is growing up way too quickly." Our eyes met and I was speechless, usually my whipped husband always agrees with my decisions. "Really? But she loves singing... she wants to be a star... she's so cute." He silently shrugged his shoulders and walked away. "But..."

Although I completely agreed with him, I desperately wanted a second opinion and emailed that photo to my mother. "She is so young." My mother called me after receiving the photo. "What? What do you mean? You dressed us as punk rockers in mini skirts for Halloween in the 80s. Kash was in kindergarten. THIS is the same concept." I tried to convince her, already knowing in my heart that I was wrong, but I really like to be right.

It was my turn to silently shrug my shoulders and walk away. I needed to think and reconnect.

"Nobody's Perfect!
I gotta work it!
Again and again 'til I get it right
Nobody's Perfect!
You live and you learn it!
And if I mess it up sometimes...
Nobody's perfect"

Honestly. I don't have any issues with Hannah Montana. Lola has one CD and together we have danced to "Nobody's Perfect" many times. In my opinion, her lyrics are G rated compared to the classic rock we often jamm to. The only Hannah Montana we have watched on TV was the "behind the scenes of the tour" I had DVRed and viewed together. "See, Lola... how nice she talks to her father without whining?" I paused the movie. "And see Lola... how much work and practice goes into being a singer?" I explained.

I do not want Lola to live in a tiny bubble. Okay, perhaps a very BIG bubble. But I digress.

It seems we can't even walk through our grocery store without being exposed to Hanna Montana. There is drinkable yogurt with Hannah Montana packaging, cereal with her face plastered on the box, and underwear with teeny tiny sparkly guitars packaged for four year olds. Walking through Lola's preschool there are dozens of girls with huge High School Musical backpacks and Hannah Montana lunchboxes.

With so much exposure to Hannah Montana and others on a daily basis she has fallen in love.

Is there anything wrong in idolizing in what seems to be sensible, gifted, and well adjusted singer? No, not really. I believe it is healthy, in moderation. However. She is only four. "And a half." She would add.

Was the world a different place 20 years ago? No, not really. My sister (only months older then Lola is today) and I idolized Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Shall I refresh your mind of some lyrics I knew by heart?

"I think were alone now
There doesn't seem to be anyone around
I think were alone now
The beating of our hearts is the only sound"


Yeah. The 80s. They happened. And I turned out to be a seemingly well adjusted person.

Nevertheless. After much thought and after looking over all the costumes she has worn throughout the Halloweens: a pink pig for her 1st (currently selling on ebay), a pink Aurora princess with a glow in the dark leg cast for her 2nd, a beautiful bride that was stopped by dozens for her 3rd....

And. OH. MY. GOSH. She can not be Hannah Montana for her 4th Halloween ever. She IS growing up way too fast.

"Lola, honey?" I approached my daughter the morning after crying over years worth of Halloween pictures. "You can not be Hannah Montana this year. I was on the dot com and it said that she was created for girls ages 6 to 15." Lola blinked. "And. And girlfriend, let's put this costume in a box and find something better for your age."

"Okay."

"Okay?" I asked.

"Yes, Mama. Okay. Let's find something else." My beautiful, confident, well adjusted, and smart daughter replied.

She has so many years ahead of her to stuff her feet into tight stilettos and paint her face with makeup. This is her time to wear ridiculously cute fairy costumes, princess gowns, huge butterfly wings and to pretend she is anything.

As for our "time capsule." We might crack it open on rainy days this Fall and together sing, "Nobody's Perfect."

57classy comments:

Stephanie said...

I get lost...in your eyes. And I feel...my spirits rise and soar like the wind. Was it the love that I am in? Yeah, so I was an incurable Debbie Gibsonite. ;oD

My 2 year old knows who Hannah Montana is. "Look Mommy, there's Hantana!" She's never even see the kid's show. It's unreal how they get these things!

Hopefully together you can come up with something more age appropriate. In the meantime, "Hantana" can just be for dress up!

Elaine A. said...

Wow, I am SO impressed with how well she took it.

Good decision. I saw "Hannah Montana" teddy bears at Build A Bear the other day and was like "OH geez, they'll put that girl on anything!"

OH and also... I've left you a little "love" at my blog! : )

carrie said...

Way to go, using the "dot com" for the pertinent information regarding the rules a la Hannah Montana.

Yes, we all make mistakes. You're lucky you had the guts to admit it and pack that away until she is officially old enough.

And now, I am seriously questioning my mother letting my friend and I lip sync to Material Girl in our 5th grade talent show . . .with the lace, and the jellies, and the legging and the ratted our hair . . . omg - we WERE such children of the 80's!

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Soooo cute! This is why I wish I had a girl or two. Oh! Well! There's always nieces, right? Hannah, er Mylie, came in concert here for the 4th of July. All of the girls in the neighborhood went and dressed like her. It was soooo cute.

Happy WW!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

UGH I don't like Hannah Montana. She is doing normal teenage stuff, but her show - is it aimed at teenagers? No. Not even tweens. It is for primary kids. I mean, Hannah Montana has a good heart and all, but I wish these young girls would just stick to Strawberry Shortcake and Disney Princesses.

That said, my daughter has a CD I burned for her with some High School Musical music on it. She was singing one of the songs in the car today "... shake your booty..." I almost crashed the minivan. WHAT DID YOU SAY????? Mom, booty isn't a bad word, is it? (we don't say "butt" however "booty" is okay - I am going to have to rethink that one.)

Collette said...

My 6 year old is in love with Hannah and we almost fell into the Hannah halloween trap. Luckily, my beautiflu well adjusted Tweedle decided she wanted to be a kitty. My hubby burned her a CD with some Hannah stuff on it and she fine with that.

LOVE Debbie Gibson and Tiffany!

krissy said...

OMG....I loved Debbie and Tiffany.

I understand where you are right now. It is soooo hard to have them grow up.

And there is a fine line between openess and keeping them in a bubble.

Good luck with your costume. And give that beautiful girl of yours some love for being such a understanding girl.

Miss said...

Awww well, at least it wasnt Britney. Thank Gawd for small miracles.

BusyDad said...

At least it wasn't Bratz. If I had a little girl, I don't think I'd be too scared of her wanting to be Hannah Montana, but sometimes your gut is all you have to go on. Trust me, we ALL expose our kids to stuff that others might be horrified at. Fury is 6, and pretty much can look at any bottle of booze and tell you what brand it is. He doesn't even have to read the label. Does that mean he'll be an alcoholic? No, it means his dad appreciates different spirits and talks about them. Not a bad thing, but on the street or in the supermarket, people are horrified when he says "The Belvedere is on sale, dad!"

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Wow, she handled that so well! You all did, in fact. My Princess wants to be Hannah for Halloween this year, she is seven. Prior to now, she has been cute and cuddly things, except one year she was a Punk Rocker with pink hair and a Guns N Roses shirt! She loved it.

Kash said...

Oh yes, you better stop her from frowing up to fast. I want her to stay 4.5 forever!

Laura said...

She is a big girl, and a smart girl - way to go Mommy!!!!

Hope you find the perfect costume!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

It's so sweet she was OK with it.

My oldest likes Hanna Montana but won't be her because it's 'babyish' (and she is only ten). I am one of the mean mommies that won't let them watch HM because she sasses her dad. She does watch High School Musical though--I'm not that mean ;)

I'd try to distract her from the tween Disney junk as long as possible because when they do hit 6 or 7, it's like non-stop :0

vincent said...

My beautiful four and a half year old is stuck on being Batgirl... I have no idea where this came from... We made a trip to Wal-Mart where cheap yet "pretty" princess cosumes abound, and she still says "No thanks Mommy, I want Batgirl out of the catalog!". And yes, much to our distaste, her grandmother (I believe purposefully, since 3 of 4 in our family had just said we did not really like the aura of Hannah Montana) got her a doll last year. It was so loud we promptly threw a large piece of tape on her to quiet her some. Then she got "lost" for about 6 months, and the girl forgot she even had her... She still doesn't chose her over her other toys, so I guess it's her own taste!!! But your daughter did look cute. Maybe Rapunzel??? :)

mommynotes said...

She is so cute. It is amazing how fast they grow up. I think she handled it well. Keep her young for as long as you can. Sarah, my oldest, still plays with princesses and my little pony's. I love that and she is almost 6 1/2. They do grow up so fast.

Rhea said...

Well, I'm glad that she was so flexible about it. I don't think I would have been upset by it, but if your hubby and mom were, then perhaps you made the right decision.

Perhaps. :o)

Kaci said...

I love your pictures!! She is so cute!!

Tracey said...

Oh yeah. Our lyrics were a THOUSAND times worse...

I agree, though. This is her time to be sweet, little girl things. My daughter? The 3 year old obsessed with all things princessy? Has decided to be Batgirl for Halloween. BATGIRL. Anyone have any ideas on how to make a bat mask????

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I have a HUGE box for DRAMA productions here in my house. Use that costume. Help her write a play; learn the lines; produce it.
At her age, versions of familiar fairy tales work well. Make a stage. With a curtain. Be the Master of Ceremonies. Video it.

Kids-- LOVE it. I've been doing this my entire life as a mama. Now, my two older children are masters in the Drama Club at their schools.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Psst- borrow that wig for yourself sometime. **wink, wink!**

Or.. use that sparklie microphone at an open karaoke night. roflmao!!

Shannon said...

Wow - what a terrific story. . . and what a lovely, mature little girl!! I bet you'll find something else completely and totally perfect for her. It even happens to boys . . . my 4 1/2 year old wants to be Indiana Jones and I keep saying "you're too young!" :-)

Smart A$$ Mom said...

I can't get around how well she took it-that is FAB, Mom!!! Mr.T and I both talk often about what is age appropriate. He is still violently against Missy B having her nails polished because it just looks too grown up. I find I put Missy B in a time capsule as well, when I turn my nose up at certain clothing stores and force her into Gymboree.....comci, comca.

CC said...

Awwwwwwwwwwww. I so wanted her to be Hannah b/c YOU were so excited about it! I totally agree (my daughter is going to be a chicken for goodness sakes!). But you guys were just so excited!

Meg said...

I never ever had a kid that flexible. Good for her!

Halloween is tough. If you're a Gypsy, you're offending an ethnic group. Being a hobo seems politically incorrect. A princess seems to reinforce the 'females need rescuing' stereotype.

My 10-year picked out a costume last year--big hat, glasses, a gold necklace--and I only realized once I saw him in the parade, that he was a pimp.

I agree with BusyDad, exposing kids to pop culture things (or liquor bottles) is fine--but talking about it is imperative.

Nice post. ;)

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

that was beautiful - and I am so with you on this one. My just turned 5 year old daughter (so not into Hannah Montana) picked a saucy costume at said Target and I simply said, I don't think you will be very warm in that costume. It's cold here on Halloween, remember. How about a Snow Princess? Okay momma, but I don't want to be a Snow Princess either. Can we find one another day. Yep we can!!

Flea said...

Isn't it amazing how well they take these things? We're the ones who get worked up about it. Kudos to OHhunny.

Kel said...

Lola sounds like a very smart little girl - I can't imagine all kids would act that way, but you are right about being at the age where they can be young enough to enjoy it and be anything they want to be.

It only lasts for a very short time...
~K

Blessings From Above said...

My first instinct when reading this was that Hannah Montana is not that bad, as far as role models go. Like Miss said, at least it wasn't Britney!

But, when I got towards the end of your post, and you mentioned her past costumes and keeping her younger longer...I totally got it and could not agree more. At 8 years old, my daughter is fiercely independent. We are way past picking out clothes or costumes together. Any suggestions be me, as her mom, are immediately considered not cool. Anyways, keep her young as long as you can!

Also, are you doing anything Saturday night? Any chance you'd be up for shopping and drinks?

Melissa said...

I'm so feeling you on the growing up to quick thing. My mom bought Hope some High School Musical shoes this week. I nearly had a heart attack!!

To young!

Courtney said...

Taylor loves Hannah Montana too and has never seen the show, but kids at daycare talk about it all the time. I have a feeling that's what she'll want to be for Halloween, but it's not happening this year at least. You are not only classy (which truly shows in this post), but loving and smart too. You are a killer combo OHMommy!

Don Mills Diva said...

I love how well BOTH of you handled this!

imbeingheldhostage said...

oh wow. Brilliant post. I was actually all for the Hanna Montana get up and was jumping up and down with your ingenious creativity....until you changed your mind.
They're right-- you're right, and I stand impressed.

Mishelle Lane said...

My mind is going a million different ways with reading this post of yours, P.

The one great pull, though, is with your husband. So glad you and Lola came to the agreement.

Krystyn said...

How perfectly she took it! That is one well adjusted little girl!

I think my hubby would probably say the same thing (about being too young). He said our daughter shouldn't wear tank tops (she's not even two.)!

It will be fun to pull the box out, right?

Helen E.M. Wright said...

Glad it all worked out. I guess yes, maybe it might be too old but at the same time...she is four and pretending, on Halloween. As you said, we went through the Debbie/Tiffany times and turned out fine! Sure they both ended up doing Playboy but that wasn't until they were much older! ;)

I remember years a go when I taught at a Montessori school and some of the four year old's wore shoes with heals, belly-shirts and low riders to school...daily!! Now that was a shame!

Jaina said...

I think you made a great decision. And honestly, I agreed with you about it being okay until you reached the conclusion it wasn't...and then it made perfect sense. I think putting it in the time capsule was a great idea. And her response to the change is a testament to what a wonderful mommy she has.

anti-supermom said...

Man, you should be so proud of Lola for how well she took it all, I don't think there are many little girls that could.

Way to go, Mom for having such a cool girl and going with your gut.

Courtney said...

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Jessica said...

Oh my gosh...I always stop and laugh when I really sit and think through the lyrics to a song! Goodness...we sang Tiffany on the school bus on our way to field trips! I am struggling with Halloween costumes this year!

enthalpymama said...

So cute, and yes, still SO young. Trust me, they'll be trouncing around in fishnets for Halloween before we know it (and they'll look good too).

Nan Patience said...

Dads and their little girls...

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I dont see how you can avoid Hannah Montana having girls. She is on clothes, shoes, school supplies, purses, socks, panties. She is a barbie sized doll with accessories and shoes. She is on bikes, birthday cards, wrapping paper, hair barrets.
Honestly, what girl would have a brain about her to know there is anything else? Having no girls, I didn't know there was anything else? Besides princesses.

KEEP BELIEVING

Amy said...

Well I pretty much have Hannah Montana crammed down my throat here. But I don't think that Lola is too young for it. I do think that she is one smart cookie who probably realized that now she gets TWO Halloween costumes though ;-)

Megryansmom said...

Sure the 80s happened, but isn't the BIG hair enough reason not go repeating history?

renatamic said...

boy, i am so NOT with it. i saw absolutely nothing wrong with her costume (although i loathe HM - was a skeeze getting all neked for the annie l. photo shoot). i'm telling you though, the older ones pave the way for the little ones (as you did for kash). when fifi is 2.5 she'll be a VS supermodel or something ;-)

April said...

Wow for only a four (and a half!) year old, she took the news like a well adjusted grown-up. :-) And damn if I didn't wish I could dress up as fairy or a princess again...

Eve Grey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eve Grey said...

Ok, now i now for certain i am too strict. (:
I just let my daughter watch Hannah Montana this year...and she's 8! They kiss & stuff on there, way too mature for pre-schoolers. Plus what about how vapid and shallow all those girls are? It's certainly not about using your brain. My friends laugh at me and say i'm raising my kids in a bubble. They are the healthiest, kindest, nicest kids though and I am very proud of them.
You are an awesome mom who thinks so carefully about her children's needs and it seems like you never mis-step!

Cecily R said...

I'm not scared of Hannah Montana myself. She seems like a fairly decent kid...especially in the world she is in. Course, Gracie isn't THAT into her, so I don't know what would happen if that changed.

I still don't have a straight Halloween answer from that kid either. It changes on a weekly basis.

Oh, and I was a HUGE Tiffany and Debbie Gibson fan...woah.

Tara R. said...

They do grow up so fast. I'm sure you both will decide on a costume you can be happy with and she will be fabulous.

the higgins' said...

My daughter (6 at the time) was Hannah Montana last year, complete with the same blond wig.

AT LEAST four times someone said to us, "Look, it's Britney Spears!" and I felt inclined to yell everytime, "She's NOT Britney Spears! She's Hannah Montana."

It was great.

Indy said...

Hmmmm. Tough call. I don't know what I would have done. I think if you can get her to be a little girl for one more year, it is probably the best call. She'll have lots of years to get a little crazy. Just imagine her in college in a cute little bunny outfit.....

* TONYA * said...

Wow, she took that really well. My kids would have had a fit.

April said...

Yet another example of how much you rock as a mom.

Allison Says said...

Wow. You are a wonderful mom. And she is a very mature 4 (and a half) year old.

Tiffany said...

That whole Hannah Montana thing has got to be a dilemma - It makes me happy to have boys! I am amazed at how young the little girls are into it. You did a good thing!

kittyconcerto.com said...

As usual, you have the right answers. Good going Mom!

 

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