Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mom Confessions

Is it June yet? I'm already tired of yelling about what time one should leave for the bus stop, why someone needs more than cookies in her lunch, and how hoodies really do need to be washed from time to time. It's gonna be a long year. On a more positive note, the tween is doing well in her classes so far. I stay right on top of her by checking the parent portal daily. I've already emailed several of her teachers just to confirm that my kid isn't full of poop when she tells me that some assignment "doesn't apply to her." Right now she has all A's and B's. She also got into show choir, so she has that for an after-school activity. When she's not at school or at show choir rehearsal (or at guitar lessons), she mostly just watches Glee reruns or Facetimes with her BFOTW (best friend of the week). I continue to check her phone periodically but the texts are all "IDK" and "FT?" It all seems pretty darned harmless as far as I can tell.

I'm glad that my daughter's middle school spans 6th-8th grades. My school was just 7th and 8th. I think that extra year really helps with the transition. Plus, at her school they keep the 6th graders segregated quite a bit so that they can get their bearings without scary 8th graders sitting next to them at lunch. My daughter is in 7th grade so she's already got that transitional year under her belt. Sometimes, I can't help but think of how miserable I was in 7th grade. I can't even pretend there was anything good about it. Awful from start to finish. I try not to make comments like this around my daughter, though. I don't want her to think that middle school sucks, even though every stand-up comedian on the planet will tell you that it kinda does once you have it in your rear view mirror.

Because of the bullying and nastiness I experienced in seventh grade, I suspect that I try just a little too hard to make sure that my kid has an easier time of it. Sometimes I feel guilty about it. When I was in seventh grade, the must-have item was Jordache jeans. They were around $40.00 at the time. It was crazy-talk. It wasn't happening. I am not sure that having them would have helped me too much, though. I remember wearing a pastel oxford (something that seemed to be "in" at the time) to school one day. Maybe I even popped the collar, which was a requirement in the 1980s. However, I made a mistake: I wore a necklace outside of the collar. I don't know why - I guess that's how I thought one should wear accessories? Amy in my home ec class did not waste a moment in advising me of my sartorial misstep. "Why are you wearing your necklace on the outside of your collar?" she asked in a tone of voice that made it sound like she was asking me why I'd just crapped on my desk.

These 35-year-old memories drive me to save my kid from my fate. If she wants Nike shorts (and she does), I buy them. She has Nike shoes - and Adidas as well. Converse All-Stars? Yep.

I am not proud of myself for giving in to these little indulgences. I do rein her in a bit when it comes to clothes. She doesn't get anything that's not on sale (Kohl's Cash for the win!). It's hard for her because she's so petite (her feet grow but the rest of her barely bothers). Her friends are able to shop at American Eagle and Aeropostale and wherever else teenagers spend their parents' money these days. She's still in a size 10-12. Even an XXS at American Eagle is too big. I know it bugs her that she can't always wear what her friends are wearing.

Mostly, she just wears leggings and hoodies (a formula not so different from her classmates, maybe). A whole closet full of clothes and she wears about five different things over and over. Sometimes I beg her to change it up a little. "How about this one?" I'll ask, holding up a shirt that I bought with a Kohl's coupon. Her expression tells me that it's a no-go.

"Just change it up a little," I suggest gently. "People are going to think we live in our car."

Anyway, if you are wondering what to get her for Christmas . . . I'd say that hoodies and leggings are a safe bet. She's all set with the over-priced shoes.