Thursday, September 14, 2006

Arguing over SHOES.

*This is a rant. Consider yourself forewarned.*

Thing One, my eight (nearly nine) year-old daughter, and I really got into it this morning. She wanted help picking out her clothes. It is supposed to be in the seventies today, but this morning was chilly. So I opted for a short sleeve shirt, and long pants. These cute CK green ones that were a tad long on her, so I told her she needed to wear her brown shoes, because they have a heel, and any other shoe would make her pants drag on the ground.

This explanation was apparently lost on her, because she "refused" to wear the shoes (yes--the exact same ones when I showed them to her in the store she begged me to buy) and I looked at her and said. "You are wearing the shoes. End of story."

Well, it wasn't the end of the story. She tried EVERYTHING. During the course of the morning she told me the shoes were too small, which I know they weren't because just a month ago we carefully found the size that fit her.
Then she said she was going to get blisters and I told her I'd give her band-aids for her heels to carry in her backpack.
Then she said they were too painful to wear and she couldn't walk in them (which I knew was rubbish because she had a pair just like them last year).
Then she pulled out all the stops and started SOBBING and saying I was mean because I was making her wear ugly shoes to school and they were going to give her blisters and a list of other assorted atrocities I was committing. I ignored her.

She kept whining, and I kept getting angry, and finally, five minutes before the bus was supposed to pick them up, I told her that I was the boss and she was going to wear those shoes or she was going to go to school NAKED.

She wasn't naked when she got on the bus, so you can tell which option she chose.

We were all standing at the bus stop, and she was standing ten feet away from everyone else, arms folded and in a huff, facing away, and one of the moms asked me what was wrong with her. I said "Shoe Squabble." and she just laughed and patted her eight-year old daughter on the head. Apparently she had the same problem, and knew my pain.

Of course when the bus came I was talking to one of the moms and I felt these arms around my waist and it was Thing One, apologizing and telling me she loved me. So, she ended up fine and I ended up thinking she's EIGHT, and we're having this kind of problem, over SHOES?

So what happens when she's sixteen? Who knows. Until then, I'm the boss. I certainly have more fashion sense than an eight-year old. 98 percent of the time she doesn't like how I do her hair in the morning and when she comes home from school she thanks me because of the compliments she got.

Where does she get this? When I was growing up I didn't care what I looked like, until I was in the 8th grade. Seriously. I was a hopeless tomboy with stringy long hair and I had maybe two pairs of shoes and not a whole lot of clothes and I didn't care. My mother would beg me to take a shower. So, why do I have a daughter who is already, at the tender age of eight, so High Maintenance? She says all the girls at school have perfect hair and clothes, and that stuff wasn't even on my RADAR when I was eight.

Times sure have changed. We definitely have become a more materialistic society, and it's affecting our kids, who are destined to be shallow and materialistic when they grow up. Its a double-edged sword, really. You want your kids to be cute and popular and have nice things, but then you risk them becoming "all about clothes" and there's SO much more to Life than that. Then they start to become judgemental of others, and the snowball effect continues.

Sure, we're arguing over SHOES. But what will we be arguing about tomorrow? I'm actually worried.

...Of course, maybe it's because she's a girl. My boys couldn't care less if they went to school in a potato sack I bought at Walmart and I didn't comb their hair EVER.



Michelle Miles said...

She just wants to be like the other girls, honey, that's all. :) And she's just eight.

Your job is to teach her how NOT to be materialistic. Maybe you could have a way to show her how to work for the things she wants - i.e., make her do chores and earn money for shoes or what-not.

In the meantime, just keep being the boss. ;)

Imez said...

I'm preggers with a little girl, my first kid, and I think about this kind of stuff all the time. It's nice to read wisdom from those who have gone ahead.