The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


The Third Grade Fashion Police

“Today Phoebe asked me why I wear dresses all the time,” said my eight-year old daughter, Lena, one day after school.

In denial that girlie peer pressure, which I remembered from middle school, was starting in the third grade, I gave Lena’s classmate the benefit of the doubt.

“You know, Lena, sometimes kids have trouble making conversation.  Perhaps Phoebe just wants to talk with you, and discussing clothes is a way to start.  May be she likes dresses, too. ”

Lena gave me a puzzled look.  “Last week, when I wore my satin skirt, Phoebe asked if I was going to the prom,” said Lena. “Phoebe hates dresses.” 

Come to think of it, during the two years that Lena and Phoebe were in the same class, I had only seen her wearing jeans and thin, pastel T-shirts.  It didn’t matter if it was too cold for a T-shirt or too hot for jeans; Phoebe’s outfit was the same.   Phoebe’s  T-shirts either had botanically incorrect flowers, Hannah  Montana, or “edgy” slogans like “Boys Drool and Girls Rule. ” Most of the girls at Lena’s elementary school dressed in the same can’t-wait-to-be-a teenager outfit.

“Well, why do you care what Phoebe thinks?” I said, which is probably the most naïve thing a parent can say to a child.”

A couple days later, Lena wore a black skirt, bright green T-shirt, black leggings, and a black small sweater.  I thought the strong colors made her look particularly beautiful. She was upset when I picked her up. 

“Mom, today Phoebe, Michaela, Niki, and Camaron all asked me together why I was dressed all in black, like a witch.”

I patted Lena’s head until she felt better.  As we drove home, my eleven-year old son, Walker, who is soon to be in middle school said, “You know Mom, may be Lena needs to start dressing like the other girls.”

I couldn’t help clicking with disgust.  “Why does she need to follow everybody else?”

“So she can be popular, and fit in,” said Walker

“Aren’t the popular people the ones who think for themselves?”  I said.   I let my kids put in a CD, so I could have the last word. 

The next day, I picked up Elena after going to the gym.  I wore a T-shirt that shrank too much in the wash.  As I sat on the bench while I waited for Elena to load her backpack, I noticed Michaela staring at the bit of my stomach that my T-shirt revealed.  Michaela then looked at her mother, and rolled her eyes. Michaela’s mother rolled her eyes back at Michaela.  I turned crimson and frantically yanked by shirt so it would stretch into my shorts.  I was still shaken as Lena, Walker and I walked back to the car. 

I hoped Lena hadn’t seen anything, but she had noticed the eye roll, and worst of all, my embarrassment. All she said was, “Aren’t Michaela and her mom mean?”

I agreed, and finally understood what Lena had to face every day. 

By Beth Touchette


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Seriously?! That is awful. Girls won't be girls, they'll be who we teach them to be. Keep encouraging your daughter to be unique! She'll appreciate it in the long run!
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