Now That I'm Someone Else

LIfe and loves of the bubble bath queen

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Southern Belles in waiting

Where do kids get their preconceived notions? I know a lot of what they think, say, like and believe initially comes from their parents. In our house an example of this is that when Mo was a baby/toddler, she LOVED spaghetti, as she got older and realized that her Dad didn’t like it, she stopped eating it, she’s just barely starting to come around on this one.

As they get older their friends start to exert more and more influence. This starts at a very young age- right around kindergarten. When Mo was little we were so very fortunate to have the best day care Mom in the world. Anna is great with kids and she loved Mo. Anna has three girls of her own but always treated Mo like part of the family. Mo loved her back.

The summer before Mo went to Kindergarten we were teaching her to tie her shoes, so was her daycare family. Her dad and I were teaching her the “round the tree and through the hole” method. One morning I’m working with her to tie her shoes before day care and I notice she is trying to do the “bunny ears” method. I ask her if she needs help, and my cute, chubby cheeked little preschooler says-

“Mommy, you don’t know anything about this, it’s the Mormon way.”

It took me a moment to get what she was saying. Her daycare family was Mormon and we were not, so if they were teaching her something that we hadn’t it had to be because it was the “Mormon” way and I could not possibly have a clue.

And so it began.

Now that Mo is mostly grown up I can see the influence of those around her on her choices. The music she likes changes according to boys and friends, the clothes she wears change too, one type of boyfriend means more black, a different type means more color. Also, she will try just about any food if her friends are eating it, for me, she won’t try anything.

But, every once in a while she will voice an opinion and I’m like, “Where in the hell did that come from?”

Yesterday Mo and I were hauling rocks. Terrie has a water feature she is getting rid of and there is lots of lovely flagstone that she said I can have.

Now, I don’t want you to think that my teenage daughter would voluntarily haul rocks, or anything else for that matter, I bribed her.

Anyway, my little princess is helping her Momma haul flagstone and we take a break and have the following conversation:

“ How come we’re doing this instead of men?” spoken like the Princess she is.

“ Because I don’t have a man so we have to do it.” I said.

“You have Marty” While rolling her teenage eyes.

“He’s not my man” I remind her in my subject closed voice.

“ Well, he is a man and men should move rocks, we should be sitting on the deck in poufy dresses sipping ice tea.”

I almost choked on my beer.What the hell? When did my daughter become a southern belle? I don’t know where this particular preconceived notion came from. Mo has always watched me and my sisters and my friends work hard. My sisters and I don’t sit around and wait for someone else to do for us, we grab the bull by the horns and do for ourselves.

Mo has watched us patch roofs, lay sod, dig sprinkler ditches, trim trees, plant trees, move furniture, install fences, clean gutters, hang Christmas lights, the list goes on and on. Why does she think that none of that is womens work?

I remember when she was around five and I wanted tile at the entry ways instead of the linolenum that was there. Steve ripped up the linoleum and was going to lay the tile but first he needed me and Angie to scrap up the old linoleum adhesive. So Angie and I are chatting and scraping when my baby girl walks into the room, dressed in full princess garb and sadly shakes her head and says to us,

“ I can’t believe Daddy is making you work like Cinderella.”

I am kind of comforted though, it’s not only my daughter. My cousin John’s wife Denise, who is very funny, posted on my Facebook in reply to my comment about hauling rocks- “ Isn’t at why they make convicted felons?”

I love these girls.


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