Mae turned 9 today. I gave her a bathrobe and a book about girls’ bodies for her birthday. She requested a robe because she’s now self-conscious about leaving the bathroom undressed after a shower or bath. I told her that the book will serve as a reference as she notices changes in her body. We talked about menses and what she should expect when her cycle begins. It wasn’t my intention, but I freaked her out a little. She imagined walking through the school hallway leaving a trail of blood behind her and kids slipping in the blood. She said, “Mom, you’re scaring me!” Heck, it’s scary for me, too! In a different way. I assured her that all of this stuff is normal and there are lots of women at her school who can help her.
Last week, my mom sent Mae two birthday outfits that I thought were a little mature, including a pair of jeans with studs down the side of the legs and another with bold, glittery swirls down the side. Mae loved the outfits. She told me that she would wear one to skate night because she most definitely could not wear her school uniform. She used to care so little about clothes (other than refusing adamantly to wear dresses and skirts).
I’ve avoided certain styles (curse skinny jeans!) because I think children should dress and look like children, not mini adults. But, I said nothing about the new clothes, just looked and listened helplessly. Hubby takes her side on this issue, putting me in the minority. He’s the one who took her and Jay skating and she told him she wants to begin buying her own clothes. He told me that she’s not a little girl anymore and her clothing and hair should reflect as much. Today, he gave her a Target gift card for her birthday and told her she could go clothes shopping. I guess she can’t wear jeans with embroidered butterflies and flowers forever.
I knew this phase was coming and something about this number 9 makes it more real for me. There are nothing but double digits after this and more stuff to get scared about. Waaaa!