Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Saving Innocence

She is my dreamer, with an overactive imagination. She is the epitome of femininity and everything frilly. She loves animals, chocolate and rock and roll. She is (almost) always willing to share and is quite skilled at using charm to get what she wants.

She is the middle child. And the one most often looked over.

Before Baby came, I spent a few minutes every night in Sister's bed snuggling, singing and talking with her. Then along came this colicky newborn who demanded all my attention and those precious bedtime moments got lost in the shuffle.

I wonder sometimes if she remembers that.

Needless to say, I feel guilty. Brother gets a lot of one-on-one time because of school. Baby gets a lot because...well, because she's the baby. I never get it with Sister. And I miss it.

This morning Hubby took Baby and Brother with him to run some errands so Sister and I could have some time together. Just us. She wanted to go the candy store at the mall. So that's what we did. I bought her M&M Minis at 10 a.m. and let her eat every last one. We looked at books in the book store, candles and picture frames in the gift shop, toys in the toy store. Whatever her little heart desired.

Toward the end of our outing I noticed the 70% off sign at JC Penney's. And though she was very adament about not wanting to look at clothes (wonder how long that will last?), she was very sweet about letting me.

Ladies, I don't know about you. But for me, Happiness is the clearance rack at Penney's. I do my best to buy clothes out of season for the next year. Clearance? I'm there!!

I went directly to the toddler department, because that's what Sister is...a 4T.

But next year, she will wear a 5.

And this, my friends, is when the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Size 5 is in the Girls Department. I won't be shopping for her in the Toddler Department anymore. She's moving up.

So, with much sadness and a bit of shock, I found myself browsing in the Girls Department. But where are the poofy dresses? Where are the frills and bows? These were all mini-women clothes. This cannot be. Why, oh why can't we keep our little girls little longer? I don't want her wearing a T-shirt that says, "I'm perfect, so stop staring." I don't want her wearing camisole tops and hip hugger jeans. I don't want her wearing running pants with words like "Cute" and "Angel" on the butt. I don't want her to look like a miniature version of the next big Teen Pop Princess.

I want her to look like a little girl. But more importantly, that is what she wants, too. She loves swirly, twirly dresses. And I will break out the sewing machine (as scary as that sounds) and sew her a wardrobe before I give in to Penney's and all the rest who say my girl needs to grow up.

I bought nothing. Instead we rode the glass elevator and I reveled in the magic of my beautiful baby girl and all that is pure and sacred about childhood. I cherish these days. I'll not waste a moment wishing them away.

27 comments:

Mommy the Maid said...

I hated going through that with Turtle and am dreading the impending doom of Little Bear growing up. I made Turtle boutique twirly skirts and dresses for years. Then her dad moved to the "stick in the bum yuppie" area and Turtle suddenly decided that her clothes just wouldn't do. Her step mom agreed and now she is wearing mini-Duff clothing.

Wendy said...

I could so relate to your post..probably because our families mirror each other. We have a boy (in school at home) and two girls. My middle daughter will also be moving up to size 5 this fall. It makes me sad too and I don't want her wearing those t-shirts either. For now, she is happy wearing her tu tu everyday and sometimes it gets washed. LOL!

dcrmom said...

I've heard from my mom friends with older daughters that it is nearly impossible to find clothes once they leave the toddler section that aren't made for a ho. I don't get it. Why can't they look like little girls?

Amy said...

I'm finding it harder and harder to find clothes for my little girl that are appropriate. Each size she moves up it becomes more difficult. I've lugged out my sewing machine and am slowly improve my skills so I can make more of her clothes. It's fun but pretty challenging too.

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Aww...that was such a sweet post. You should really save it and give it to her when she's a grown woman. My 9 year old is now in size 6 1/2 women's shoes. Try finding cute shoes for a 9 year old in the womans section...it doesn't happen!! They all have heels!! she'd kill herself, and her dad would kill me! ha! Well, do cherish these years, man, time does fly!

LiteratureLover said...

How precious! I'm so glad that you got that time with your little princess. I'm sure that she ate that up!

novaks8 said...

Why do you think places like Kellys Kids and Patsy Aiken/Chez Ami are so popular?

I still have one in the little girls section.

But I know that won't be for long!

Mama of 2 said...

I agree with you about the clothes in the girls department. For me it's horrible to see what they expect some 6 even 5 year olds to wear. I too have no desire to see my little one in hip hugger jeans and printed tees. For me those can wait until she's a teenager and she and I can duke it out over them all.

I miss the time I used to spend with Little Man. Where we would read and do things together that stopped when Girlie Girlie was born just because hubby was going to night school 3 nights a week and I was a single parent with little left over time on her hands. It's gotten better but it's still not as it once was as a mother of only one child.

Glad you had a great day with sister and hoping there is more of those in your future.

Heth said...

Awwww. Those one on one times are so precious. What a good mommy to let her eat those m&m's. Did you get any?

shannon @ rocks in my dryer said...

Beautiful. Thanks for that reminder.

Denise W. said...

Look at that cut hairbow!

janiners said...

that is very precious, girlie! I gotta admit how much I still feel like that girl and how much I miss having time with my mom even now. I'm so glad you got to spend some nice time together. so sweet!

tonya said...

We ran into the same problem when our little girl, who isn't so little anymore, looking for dresses. I had to really look for clothes that were still cute. I don't understand why designers think it is cute to put little girls into hoochie-momma clothing! Good luck on your search.

Rabbit said...

Ohhh...Supermom. I loved that last paragraph. My Pie Girl is going into 2nd grade next week. Back in kindergarten there were classmates in Bratz tshirts with miniskirts and platform clogs on. It makes me sick to my stomach...what will those girls be wearing in 6th grade? You might try Lands End (available at Sears), Justice stores, and Hanna Andersson (pricey but one outfit will LAST).

Cheerio's on my butt? said...

Amen! I hate shopping for the girls and it's because of the selection! you hit it right on the nail! Yeah let's start selling their bodies at eight years old, please! This year I had to buy my nine year old a bathing suit in the women's section! She's a tall child, and so here we go again! She wears shirts from the women's section now too. There does seem to be a slightly bit more modest selection there but I don't think she's gonna like the styles. Oh the joys. Let me know how the sewing goes. I stink at it!

Andreia said...

Next thing you know it will be size 6X. I remember all I wanted was to be a size 6X cause that meant in my little mind that I was a big chick! Now I cant stand the thought of buying it for my baby!

Goslyn said...

Amen sister.

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

I loved this.

Grafted Branch said...

Yeah...the girls department...and it only gets worse in the 7-14 sizes. Welcome to my world.

theresa said...

My daughter grew up to be so conservative in her style of dress, yet classy. She never was interested in all the "cool" clothes even though she is an artist. I'm proud that she never went all purple hair, black clothes on me while she was growing up. Hopefully your daughter will be confident enough to wear what she wants. Good going with one on one time....that's what it's all about with kids.

Daddyman said...

Look no further!!!

http://www.cafepress.com/mlovemore

The Pink Commander helped to desing these; the idea is small now but ya'll could help it to take off.

HeartsDesire said...

When my son was 2, I had to go back to work full time. I had never been a "working mother". It only lasted a couple years, but I feel as though those days are gone forever. Thankfully, it has not affected our relationship. He's still a mama's boy.

Susanne said...

You are SO right! I get depressed when I look through the little girls' section at department stores. If I'm not able to learn to sew, I guess I'll have to buy from places like Chez Ami, where kids can stay kids longer. I can also relate to not being able to spend much time with your older child when you have a baby. I've had a hard time with that too. I think you should save your beautifully-written post and give it to your little girl one day.

Mom2fur said...

I know exactly what you mean. My youngest (16) just moved from the largest boy's size to the smallest men's size. When my 3rd one turns 20 in November...I'll have four kids in their twenties. Where did my babies go?
May I make a suggestion? This worked with me and my four kids. Yours are a little young just yet, but it's something to think of for the future. Dedicate one Saturday morning a month to each child. We used to run errands, hit garage sales...and then have lunch at the restaurant of the child's choice. The famous line around here was: "Who's Saturday is it to go out with mom?" Mine are 16, 19, 21 and 23 now, so those days are behind me...but they do bring back memories!

Mom2fur said...

I have to comment to dcrmom: isn't it awful that they try to dress 11-year-olds like 18-year-olds? I'm so glad I was able to sew. Do you know, though--when my daughter was little I wanted to make her a pinafore dress for Christmas. It was the last year I thought I could 'get away' with anything so frilly. I guess she was about 10 or 11. And there wasn't a single dress pattern with a pinafore! I had to use an apron pattern. Well, it turned out nice. A lot better than the skin-tight leather mini skirts or belly tops they were showing in catalogs! Ugh!

Lucy said...

I'm something of a lurker, but I just had to comment about this one. I loved the picture of your little girl. My hubs walked by as I was looking at and commented how much she looks like our little girl. Our Princess will be three in a few months and she's also the middle between two boys. I hope she never feels lost because she is such a treasure to me. I take her with me when I go to garage sales or antique stores. That's what she thinks shopping is!

Thanks for the post.

Christina said...

It does go fast. I've been lucky with my girls. I only have 2 girls and 5 boys. My one daughter is already 22 and on her own with a husband and a baby, but my 16 year old is here. She has grown up in a church that is Bible believing and is now involved in church youth group heavily. She wears a band on her wrist to school that is for celibacy. I think it is called love waits, and she still dresses very modest. She never did dress like a pop star, so I am very blessed. I hope the same for your little one and know it can happen.