I don't have a teenager yet, or even a pre-teen, so I don't know what exactly to expect from having a daughter during those years (hopefully they'll be less dramatic than my teen years). But so far, having a 5-year-old daughter is delightful. I'm trying to prepare myself for the fact that she will inevitably hate me at some point in her teen years, but honestly I'd rather not think about that now. Right now, I'm enjoying the fun parts of a girl, which for now means:
1. Collecting all that fun American Girl stuff.
I used to think that AG store was ridiculous with it's overpriced tiny doll clothes and moms and daughters who traveled from across the country just to step inside. But then Aunt Rebecca gave us her hand-me-down Josefina doll and now Claire and I go there and "ooh" and "aah" over the cute tiny ice skates and all the other overpriced tiny clothes. Whatever. If you can't beat 'em, you gotta join 'em, right?
2. Dressing up.
Here, you can't really tell, but she is dressed up as Josefina for a little party we went to together. If I dug through my old pictures, I could probably find 1,000 pictures of her dressed up,(usually as a princess or fairy or fairy-princess) because this is another favorite activity around here.
3. Sitting still.
Sammy and I don't do that very often, but with girls you can read and do crafts and color or even just sit for a moment for the sake of sitting. You can also actually take a picture of a little girl because she stays in the frame of the picture for longer than .8 seconds.
Since I grew up with sisters, I certainly planned on my daughter being "emotional" from time to time. But I didn't know it would start so early! Claire can literally break into sobs without any warning. In this picture she's crying because I had just said that I didn't feel like walking upstairs to get her Hello Kitty toothpaste, so she would have to use Sammy's spaceship toothpaste. If I had known she was going to have an emotional breakdown over that, I probably would have gotten the friggin' toothpaste...but the tears came so fast and with no warning!
5. Toe and Nail polish
I tried to suggest to Claire that although mommies can wear bright red on their toes, pink is a better color for little girls. But after one of the above-mentioned emotional breakdowns on her part, I "compromised". I mean "caved". I'm in for it, aren't I?
6. Tons and tons of coloring.
My daughter can pump out about 150 pictures a day. Sometimes I leave her at home with Matt for the morning when he's working from home so that I can get some errands done. When I leave, she's coloring; when I get home, still coloring. In this picture, you will notice that I am huge. In fact I'm much bigger than Matt even. Hmmm...
Claire has loved babies of all shapes and sizes since the moment she could hold a toy in her hand. We have cloth babies, plastic babies, caucasian babies, african-american babies, babies that pee, babies that drink from a bottle, babies that open and close their eyes, babies from grandma, naked-and-moldy-inside babies from garage sales, babies that go into the bath, etc, etc, etc. And, of course, we have all the stuff that goes with babies like strollers, clothes, cribs, diapers, pacifiers, potties, etc. etc. etc. Claire takes her baby playing very seriously.
Every morning, we have to braid Claire's hair so it will be out of her face. But sometimes we switch it up and do two braids or ponytails, or two braids hooked together in the back, or two braids with a hat. The possibilities are endless. I like doing her hair. It's kinda like having my own real doll to experiment on. Except, occasionally, tangly morning hair leads to having a hard time brushing through it, and we end up with another emotional breakdown. But isn't she precious?! I love her so much.
Claire: Please, please, please don't ever grow up and be a teenager! I'm enjoying this time where I can fix most of the little problems that come up in your little life. I don't want you to ever feel embarassed or broken hearted or self-conscious or betrayed! Just stay a little girl, ok?