We're preparing for a slumber party for Miss L's birthday on Tuesday. This year she wants a makeover party. With makeup. And a flatiron for her hair. Last year we did a desert scavenger hunt; how can all these girls have changed so much in 12 months? And it's more than just makeup. Since she is turning 11, which her mother tells us is the age that all the women of her family got their periods, we stopped at the drugstore and bought supplies to keep on hand. Just in case.
I used to think 11 was crazy-young for all this stuff, but then I adjusted for the millennium maturity curve. I think an 11-year old in 2009 is the equivalent of a 14-year-old in 1989. At least that's how I'm trying to rationalize it to myself. Right now it's kinda fun, talking about wings vs. no wings. On the other hand, no one's actually using the pantiliners yet... only hiding them in the bathroom cabinet. Waaay in the back. We might all feel differently when it's not a giggling novelty trip to the drugstore, and instead our once-little girls are hollering "We're outta tampons!" down the hall.
Dan remains remarkably calm about the whole thing. And I'm more excited than traumatized... I guess. Mostly I'm excited to get back into an age where I enjoy parenting again. I reveled in my child from age birth through about 6. There's been a definite decline in my commitment level over the past few years, which my sister and I have dubbed The Age of Yick. This spans the ages of having to tell them to shower because they actually smell rank, the ages of noticing greasy, nasty-looking hair and having the kids insist they "just" washed it. Clothes are worn for god knows how many days in a row without washing, teeth are brushed for approximately 3 and a half seconds (only when prompted) and fingernails are constantly dirty, ragged, and too long. All this, when they are old enough to know better and practice reasonable personal hygiene... but choose not to. Yick.
But now I'm heading into an age where I'm less grossed out and getting enthusiastic again. The kids are being more proactive about their physical appearances, FINally. They're getting old enough so I can share anecdotes and give advice, instead of dishing out lectures and rules. Er-- well, in addition to the lectures and rules. I can totally gossip about boys and give lessons on applying makeup. I'd much rather be meeting new boyfriends than helping collect snakes for the terrarium. (I know, I know... be careful what you wish for...) I'm ready. Bring on the makeover.