8th of 21


Owie knees.

The beloved and I each spent untold minutes trying to convince her to wear pants today, for the practical reason that, should she fall again, she’d have a little more protection where she’s currently really sore.  When she said she wouldn’t fall again (right? she’s four and a half; of course she said this), I tried to impress upon her the nature of a fall. That it’s accidental, by definition; you don’t actually plan to fall. 

Inside I thought: “With the exception of the upcoming California Supreme Court decision on Prop 8.”

I asked her if she could explain to me why she preferred the shoes — the caused-her-to-trip-and-fall-yesterday flip-flops — and she made an eloquent and convincing case.

“Shoes like these are more… gentle. More delicate. They make me think about dancing around in the grass late at night, and flying with fairy wings.”

“I totally get you, sweetie,” I said. “That makes complete sense.  Also, you’re right.”

As the girlie sat waiting on the couch, ready to go to school, her mama tried again one last  time to persuade her to opt for practical, injury-sensitive footwear at least — this nice sturdy pair of Keen sandals, even?  The hand-me-downs from your biggirl hero, Lucy?

“I’m a delicate-y girl, Mama,” she said with the calm, matter-of-fact tone one might use to list one’s age, or height.

She walked out the door wearing the skirt and the flip-flops that she wanted to all along.  God I love her.


[It’s A month o’ photos at LD. Here for just words? Please check back in June 1.]

12 thoughts on “8th of 21”

    • Nope. Best I can do is remember accurately and report faithfully.

      The wonderful thing is, though on first pass her reasoning circles back around to contradict itself — she’s delicate, therefore she needs more protection, not less — if you keep circling along with her (which is the way of the young mind, or maybe not circling so much as zig-zagging), the reasoning leads somewhere else entirely. She knows the price of her haberdashery choices — more skinned knees than her brother, unless he’s shorts-clad — and yet she’s determined to make them. Ironically, this makes her wrong, but in a whole different way: her commitment to her delicacy is as strong as iron. Making her… ?

    • !

      And Joni Mitchell’s “Ladies of the Canyon” is one of her all-time favorite songs. (Lyrics here; highlight of the first stanza for the Joni Mitchell-impaired:

      Trina wears her wampum beads
      She fills her drawing book with line
      Sewing lace on widows’ weeds
      And filigree on leaf and vine
      Vine and leaf are filigree
      And her coat’s a secondhand one
      Trimmed with antique luxury
      She is a lady of the canyon

      Thank you, Reno! Beautiful image, too.

  1. Let a more seasoned mother tell you something: You may as well stop meddling with her choice of clothes or shoes right now (did you stop meddling in her eating as I told you to, by the way?).
    Kids struggle to be independent beings (as you can clearly see) – and clothes is such a harmless arena. If she makes the wrong choice, no harm done, really. She can change her clothes any minute, or tomorrow. Obviously, you do yield, but how about making it explicit: ‘You know, sweetie, what you wear is really up to you. You know better than anyone what you like, and you’re the only one who knows if you are too cold or too warm, or comfortable’.
    I believe it teaches kids that small a great lesson in choosing for themselves, and knowing themselves. Clearly, you are doing a good job as it is, but this could be a great and safe arena to exercise her judgement in. She will make horrible choises sometimes (hopefully), and then have a precious opportunity to evaluate her reasoning (vanity versus practicality, etc)

  2. I predict that this is the sight that will greet me when I pick up my munchie in two hours… who left to school with her “balloon” birkies. She proceeded to walk into the classroom and announced to the teacher that she wouldn’t run so she couldn’t trip. Please, we’re talking about a kid here whose t-shirt should read: I was born to run.

    I admire the strength of your young un’s willpower.

    • Me, too, lulazoid. I reckon it will stand her in good stead in a great many arenas in her future.

      Thanks for the advice, ullalauridsen. So far, with most everything from food to clothes to you name it, we make healthy choices available to her — food, clothes, reading material, whatever — that we can live with, make our suggestions and explain why we make them, why we feel strongly about them (if we do), and then leave the girlie choose her own path. It’s been torturous in the food realm, since she can go ages with very minimal protein and vegetable input. But we’re looking at the long view (over a longer course of time, like a week or a month, her intake seems to balance out) and we neither of us can stomach using one food item as punishment and another as reward. (c.f. Alfie Kohn) As to clothes: fortunately we live in a temperate climate, so hypothermia is rarely a threat.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.