6.06.2010

When Smootch steals my blogging time...

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For every little girl I see dressed up to the nines in a lacy, ruffled dress, clean white stockings and co-coordinating bows wrapped around perfectly curled hair, there is another who has dirt smeared on her face, rat's nest hair, blood running through the holes in her stockings, and who (as her mother says with apology repeatedly to anyone who will listen) dressed herself from the costume bin, looking a cross between a member of Ali Baba's harem and GI Joe.

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We've all been both of those little girls at one time or another. Our daughters also play both roles, sometimes within the same hour on any given day. It's really easy to adore Miss Clean and polite. It's harder to appreciate the messy, bloody child, who insists on taking every photo with her head turned or her tongue stuck out. The child who doesn't care about your agenda.

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This one is for the imperfect girl who does her own thing. For this girl, I say give her scissors, give her glitter, give her time.

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Underneath the unkempt hair and contempt for toothbrushes is a heart of gold.

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Her adventurous spirit and disregard for convention will serve her well as she grows, encounters persuasive peers and predatory adults.

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Practice letting her do her own thing, and then practice helping her be who she is, even when it almost kills you not to put in a ponytail or she wants to wear the same stained dress with the missing buttons five days in a row. When she doesn't look like the other neat little girls, when strangers look at her and frown, when her constant questions drown out all possibility of discussion with your spouse.

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Smile at her, hug her, and promise, yes yes, to read her another chapter of her book instead of getting the living room picked up or planting the kale that really, really to get in the ground.

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Do not tell her,'just one more minute' another time.

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'K, gotta go read a book now...

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24 comments:

  1. So true! I have a little girl like that too, thanks for reminding me I need to go read to her today...

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  2. I know that kid, I used to be one. In a way I still am, I guess. Keep letting her go her own way and I promise you that she will make you very proud.

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  3. I love this post (and the look of that girl). I STRUGGLED for 3 years with a sun (SUN!) who really needs to wear black. Preferably with hideous skull and bleeding eye images on front. And this is a Steiner-school kid who is very happy at his rainbow-coloured school, and doesn't watch television. He's been teaching me lessons for nearly 7 years. I let him wear what he likes now, and really... he shines much more.

    Your daughter looks adorable.

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  4. thank you so much for this post.My daughter is a tomboy in a dress, whos knees are scuffed and scratched while she is wearing a pretty twirling dress and purple rain boots with a head full of crazy curls that she never lets you brush. Your post makes me feel much better about letting her be herself rather than me trying to make her look like all of the other little girls.
    thanx

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  5. I have to remind myself to stop and answer questions or let her help me out in the kitchen even though it means I won't get everything done. It's hard to let them just be themselves sometimes.

    Great post.

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  6. Every time you write a post about smooch it reminds me of my little girl.. Its great to have a child who appreciates the ability to be themselves knowing they have the support of their parents :D

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  7. I love how you constantly manage to give me a friendly parenting boot up the bum at just the right time.

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  8. I totally agree to let them be creative and don't tell them to stop!! My baby is 18 and will be graduating next week. She has always been my creative one and we used to tell her she thinks not only outside the box but outside the planet!

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  9. Beautiful post. My main fear is having a 3 year old with permanent dreadlocks as getting her to happily have her hair brushed is a no go zone at the moment. But my biggest fear is having my kids grow up with an overwhelming need to conform (like I had) so I am all for giving them the room to spread thier wings. It's just that my kids aren't that adventurous lol.

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  10. This is awesome!! and my youngest daughter is so the way you described. Her hair is even matching your daughters!! (any hints on de tangling those birds nest would be greatly appreciated too!!)
    Great top!

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  11. THIS is why I knew you'd choose to homeschool :-)

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  12. Thank you for the reminder.

    I need it.

    I want my daughter to be able to spread her creative wings. And there are too many times when I am too busy. Or think I am. Which is the point - what I am doing will wait - her growing and living is taking place now.

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  13. I love the last photo. You are a great mom. I hope people remind you of this often!

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  14. Thank you for that! I have a daughter who likes to wear what she wants too and most of the time it does not match at all, or is stained, or is perfectly content to wear her dress ups all day. Thank you for reminding me to just let her be and she'll be fine.
    That is cute and she is too.

    If you would like to go to my blog it is www.brittasboutique.blogspot.com
    My sister, Hannah (from Lily and Thistle) told me about yours and I love it. Great ideas and inspirations! Thanks!

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  15. Veronica CummingsJune 7, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    I started reading your blog because I sew. Now I read it because it is so inspiring to me as a mother. I too have a daughter with wild curly hair and a sense of style all her own. Thank you so much for this blog.

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  16. "when strangers look at her and frown"...
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    That's the kind of kid that I look at and smile the biggest smile :D . Those kind of kids make my day!

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  17. I remember being that girl and while I have 2 boys I will still let them be who they are! The big one wants to be an engineer and the little one just likes pink!!

    We draw, cook, sew, create, play dragons and much more!

    I love your post, I feel I'm doin ok letting them be them!

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  18. i neeeeeeeded to read this. thank you!

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  19. As my grandfather says, "some of us just aren't meant to have a models legs". I wouldn't trade my scars and "battle wounds" for a models legs anyday.

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  20. Our daughters MUST be the same child....Like you, I've had to learn to let go and let HER.

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  21. Thanks for the reminder. I need to let my girls be who they are. They're all so different too.
    Love the tee.

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  22. Yes! Thank you for helping to affirm me in my allowing my daughter to wear that really nice flower girl dress I made for her (to play in the dirt) and her too big sandals with rainbow striped socks, hair that is tangled even when it is in a ponytail, don't even mention the multitude of food stains on her face, missing front tooth and all! My son looks the same and no comments about that (most of the time). Too soon they are forced to think in unhealthy ways about appearances, I want them to be kids. Plus it helps take the focus off of my disheveled-ness. :-) Thanks as usual for your honesty!

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  23. That's why kids are so fun! I don't think those perfect little kids and I would like each other very much...

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