In the photo above, my daughter is wearing a hair implement that she picked out herself. It's essentially a ponytail holder with four sheer strips of fabric attached. There are a few rhinestones thrown in for good measure. It's cute. She digs it.
But then: "Kylie said I look like I have a paper towel on my head."
I told her that Kylie (a girl in A's class at Kindercare) has no fashion sense and that she can just ignore what she says. This Kylie character probably wears white shoes after Labor Day and mixes pink and red.
This little exchange did get me thinking about the rising tide of external influences in my daughter's life, though. I've been able to hold much of it at bay for a long time. At home, she does not watch a lot of network television. Before bedtime she will often watch one of her Disney DVDs or one of her favorite shows on Noggin. Noggin is commercial-free (proof that there is a God, I think), which is nice because she isn't being pounded constantly by toy advertisements and whatnot. At Christmastime, she had a hard time thinking of what she should put on her Santa list because she wasn't fully aware of just how vast her choices really were.
Bit by bit, though, the big bad world is seeping in. She is influenced by kids in her class. All of her classmates are three to four years old, but many have older siblings. Through them, my daughter is now aware of Hannah Montana. I think Hannah Montana is pretty harmless, but I'm not about to buy my child any of the 489,324 products that bear Miley Cyrus' likeness. Or at least I will hold out as long as I can. My stand against Disney Princesses lasted about half a day.
Last night, A announced that she wants a Strawberry Shortcake theme for her birthday, though I'm not really sure why - Strawberry Shortcake does not figure prominently in her life as far as I'm aware. After throwing up in my mouth a little, I told her, "Sure!" My middle sister loved Strawberry Shortcake when she was a kid and that was the first thing I thought of. My sister had a little doll and the red hair smelled like strawberries. One time, I sniffed the doll's head and my sister flew into an apoplectic rage and started screaming, "STOP! YOU'LL SMELL HER ALL UP!"
I may still try to talk A into something a little more unisex, since there will be boys at her party. The fear, though, is that she might choose something worse. She also spoke of the possibility of a Spiderman party.