Yesterday, I took little Miss M. back-to-school shopping. That girl has got a hell of a funky style and has always been fun to shop with. She rocks the ruffled shirt with the tulle skirt and colorful leggings. She wears plaids with flowers and polka dots with stripes. Somehow she pulls it off.
This summer, I’ve spent a lot of time being naggy and shrewish, so I wanted to really up my Fun Mom status. We dropped off the little bro at a sitter’s, so we oculd have some dedicated girl time.
“OK, Girlie, let’s go shop our heads off,” I yelled.
“Errrr, Mommy? You need to work on your youth phrases.”
“Huh? What’s that mean?”
“It means that’s not how I talk.”
I’m already not cool.
All the way to the mall, she sang songs from Free to Be You and Me, which made me feel good about her and humanity.
When we got to her favorite store, Little Miss M. squealed and jumped up and down. “Don’t you just loooooove it here?”
Thought bubble: I hate it. Hate it. Hate it. I just gave a big ol’ smile. I cannot tell a lie.
I saw an adorable dress, gray with silver strands running through it with a hot pink ruffle along the bottom.
“M., what about this?”
She looked at me with a patient smile, the way someone would look at a child who tried his hardest but still failed the math test. “Aww, Mommy, that’s nice, really. I just don’t see myself in it.”
“Really? But it’s awesome!”
“Mmmmm,” she murmured with more patient smiling.
Then she started picking things out for herself, which were fine, but had a lot of “paraphernalia,” garnishes, and adornments on them. Blech. Necklaces attached to shirts. Faux vests that are really sewn on. Gems?
This time I was the one doing the patient smiling. “Gems. Sweet.”
I gave her space to look for bedazzled clothes and wandered my way into the baby section. I picked up eensy dresses, held tiny shoes in the palm of my hand, and (I’m not gonna lie) got a bit choked up.
I’m pretty sure tiny shoes are always going to make me verklempt because Little Miss M. is at a crossroads between being a little girl and being a “big girl.” Having differing opinions about clothes is only going to be the beginning.
But I always want M. to rock her very own style. Unless it’s something inappropriate and/or that makes her look like a hooker, I’m going to take some deep breaths and support her in her fashion taste. Girls spend enough years feeling self-conscious and worrying about what everybody thinks. If she is this confident about wearing such eclectic outfits, the more power to her. (Although I still do not like those necklaces attached to the shirts.)
So I let her buy a bunch of clothes adorned with trinkets and told her how beautiful she looks in them.
When we got home, she squeezed me, giggling and said, “I loved shopping our heads off together.”