Interstellar Adventures

March 28, 2007

Little Girls, Little Girls

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 10:41 am

Where have  you gone!? Where is the sugar and spice and everything nice?

Elle has a couple of friend we’ll call Ally and Lynn. Elle has known both girls since kindergarden, and they have gone to each other’s birthday parties and whatnot. Ally’s birthday was most recent, back in February. She had a slumber party, and Elle, Ally, Lynn and a few other girls were all there.

The next week, Elle came out of school almost crying.
Elle: I don’t think Ally wants to be my friend anymore.
Me: What makes you say that?
Elle: She wouldn’t let me play with her today. She was playing with 3rd graders.
Me: Did you ask if you could play with them?
Elle: Yes, but they said there were enough people playing already. I had to play with a first grader.

This continued for a couple of days, with Elle asking to play, and being excluded from the group. At the end of the next week, I had a parent/teacher conference with the teacher and speech therapist (Elle will be getting speech therapy to help with the soft ‘r’s in her speech). During the conference I asked her teacher about the issue with Ally and Lynn and if she was being excluded. Her teacher said that yes, she had been.

Evidently Ally and Lynn are ‘growing up’ faster than Elle. They’re interested in their hair, are carrying purses, match their jewelry to their outfits, wearing ‘makeup’ (lipgloss), etc. Elle is still very tomboy, will put her hair up in a messy ponytail, will wear wristbands and her soccer shorts to school, mismatches her socks on purpose to be silly, etc. So, because she’s not ‘cool’ enough, she’s being excluded.

Let me just go ahead and say it. I didn’t like girls when I was growing up. There were a few nice ones, but most of them were bitches, a la Kate. I’ve always found it more difficult to make friends with girls that are very girly. I don’t wear makeup on the weekends unless I have to, I pull my hair into a ponytail when I get home, I will wear sweatpants to the grocery store, and sometimes I’ll even wear my glasses out! My mom didn’t do that. She would take me to the store and make me go inside with the short-list…she couldn’t be seen without makeup! I don’t care about that kind of thing.

And I don’t want Elle to have to care either. I want her to be who she is. Comfortable with who she is. Comfortable with what she wears and how she looks and not self-consious about her appearance. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ll tell her an old t-shirt she has on looks tacky and to go change it. I want her to be presentable when we go places, and I expect her to be clean and groomed. But I don’t want my 2nd grader to be all dolled up like those Bratz. And really, it’s this kind of stuff that I blame. I don’t buy them for her. Her dad does though. And that bothers me. I don’t want her to have to grow up obsessing over her appearance, the size of her body parts, or anything else. She is still a little girl. Still into little girl things. I’m not ready for her to grow up, but neither is she.

 I had a talk with her about it being OK to be different from other people. That it’s OK to play sports and run around at recess instead of playing ‘shopping mall’. That it’s OK to do what she wants to do…she doesn’t have to follow anyone around and do what they want to be liked.

And still, yesterday, Elle came to me and asked me to curl her hair before school. She’s never done this before. The last week she has also been carrying a purse. She’s still wearing her wrist bands and holey jeans. But today she walked out of the house with a hair clip, which is rare.

Ally is moving at the end of the school year. Lynn will still be there though. And there will be more girls like them. And Elle will hold out hope that she can change enough for these girls to like her. And maybe she can and still be happy with who she is. I hope so. But my crying shoulder is ready to take her tears and her hurts, and the mom in me is going to continue to build her up for the greatness that she already possesses.

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14 Comments »

  1. It’s anecdotes like this that make me glad I have all boys. Really, I hear things like this a lot from friends who have daughters. I agree, school girls can really be little b*tches. I hope Elle stays true to herself. I was a tomboy as a kid and look how I turned out. Uhm…

    You know, I think you turned out really well. 🙂

    ~IL

    Comment by AbbyNormal — March 28, 2007 @ 10:57 am |Reply

  2. You’re such a good mom!

    I try. I do. I don’t always measure up though. But I don’t post about those moments…

    ~IL

    Comment by ...JustCara — March 28, 2007 @ 10:58 am |Reply

  3. Oh, and I’ve heard good things about the book “Queen Bees and Wannabees” – http://www.amazon.com/Queen-Bees-Wannabes-Boyfriends-Adolescence/dp/0609609459

    Thanks…I’ll check it out. The scary thing is how many other titles are ‘recommended’ along with this one!

    ~IL

    Comment by ...JustCara — March 28, 2007 @ 11:00 am |Reply

  4. I watched a documentary last fall on TV about girls and bullies and exclusion. It was very, very interesting. I hope that Elle will maintain her individuality. It’s so disheartening to see all these little clones strutting around.

    It’s the advanced sexuality that really bugs me. I live near a very ‘tony’ mall, and the girls Elle’s age there are 100x worse than her school mates. I look around and wonder what the hell some of these parents are thinking. Heels and hairpieces on an 8 year old?

    ~IL

    Comment by Gypsy — March 28, 2007 @ 11:59 am |Reply

  5. seriously, you are an excellent mamacita. elle will get through it. we all do eventually.

    Comment by crystal — March 28, 2007 @ 8:24 pm |Reply

  6. *sigh*

    the little bitches.

    you want me to kick their collective asses?

    good job, mama… elle will be fine… but, we carry the scars forever.

    Comment by Kristin — March 28, 2007 @ 9:38 pm |Reply

  7. Awww! Thank goodness she has you on your side, Lass!

    Comment by Marie — March 29, 2007 @ 5:10 am |Reply

  8. (on her side!)

    Comment by Marie — March 29, 2007 @ 5:10 am |Reply

  9. Oh Man! I never ever fit in at school. And, I was a girl. Took me hours, yes hours, to do my hair. Anyway, girls suck. And, I have two of them. Even though they go to Catholic school and the class is SO small they have little fights. And, try to be cliquey and stuff. We just don’t ahve to worry about the clothes, as they all wear uniforms.

    You are doing all you can and being a great mom. Unfortunatley, she has to figure it all out, too.

    Comment by nancy — March 29, 2007 @ 7:52 am |Reply

  10. She may try being a girly girl for a while and get tired of it and go back to being a tomboy. I remember going through this till about high school when I went the complete opposite direction and dressed unlike anyone else and I liked it that way! Ugh, the growing pains! You’re doing a great job!

    Comment by carnealian — March 29, 2007 @ 4:31 pm |Reply

  11. Oh poor Elle. She’ll find her own way, don’t worry too much. I’m with you, I didn’t like girls too much growing up either. Especially the girly ones – I hated the dolls and dresses and all that kind of thing. Elle is an athlete and will come up aces in the end for her skill and finesse. Dresses? We don’t need no stinkin’ dresses!
    WC

    Comment by writerchick — March 29, 2007 @ 8:13 pm |Reply

  12. Oh, so hard.

    If only we could wave the magic wand and make it all so much easier to love and be themselves.

    Hug.

    Comment by raehan — March 30, 2007 @ 12:00 am |Reply

  13. By the way, today I wore sweats, pulled my hair back and wore no make-up.

    I think I looked okay, though.

    Comment by raehan — March 30, 2007 @ 12:00 am |Reply

  14. It’s so hard to know if the move to “girly” stuff is caused by peer pressure (used loosely) or by that fearful growing up stuff we all hope never happens to our babies, but sadly always does.

    Great response to her dilemma.

    Comment by TSM-truth, sincerity, madness — March 30, 2007 @ 12:04 am |Reply


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