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lessons learned

July 23, 2013

girlangelMy daughter is a whiner. We often pick on her for whining, saying things like “it’s tough being a little girl isn’t it?” Most of the time, it’s not. She may have to do a few chores now and then, and her tv and Kindle Fire time might be limited each day. I make her eat healthy food, and she has to bathe with some regularity. Otherwise, she’s got it pretty good. Besides, she’s just a kid. Her level of responsibility doesn’t go much further than emptying the dishwasher and feeding the dog. Sounds good to me.
When asked what’s hard, she tells me that it was scary learning to ride a two wheeler, her eyes burn after swimming in the pool, and making herself go to sleep at bedtime is rough. Being seven is sweet.
She’s had a rough go around lately, though. Life lessons and learning experiences have plagued her summer.
A couple of months ago, she was asked to keep track of her suitcase and a small purse in the airport. We realized she can handle exactly half of that. After we realized the purse, filled with a Kindle Fire and her first Sweet Valley Twins book, was missing, we called the restaurant. They had it, and they’d gladly hold it until we came back through for our return flight days later. Easy, right? Returning later in the week, after being assured again and again they still had it, with my name on it, in the restaurant safe, we expected to walk up, speak to the manager, and walk away with the purse. No such luck. Somewhere between the last girl I talked to and the 45 minutes before my flight, the purse had been stolen. I returned to crocodile tearing little girl, who learned a hard lesson. We have to keep up with our things.
When we were little, we left behind a book. Mom said “Sorry!” We moved on. It gets complicated with expensive electronics. I have a love/hate relationship with electronics.
While The Girl was away from me, and therefore under the care of another, she was able to peruse YouTube at leisure. She wasn’t holding the iPad, so I don’t blame her entirely, but I hope she’ll walk away next time. Folks, you have to monitor your kids on the internet. If that’s too much to ask, you really should take away the devices all together. YouTube has great videos of baby panda’s sneezing, and brother Charlie biting fingers, but with the click of a wrong button, it gets so much worse. Like, “9 year old girl gives birth” worse. Yep.
Fortunately, The Girl knows our house rule: no kids on the internet without an adult. She asked if we could watch some videos she’d recently seen. I said that sounded good, and I’d be happy to look them up for her. When she told me they were about kids having babies, I nearly choked on my tongue. Because I wanted the full story, I didn’t get mad. After a bit more research, that was the worst one they saw.
The worst part was the conversation I was forced to have with my 7 year old little girl. Anyone who knows me well will tell you we are very up front with our kids. They know about 9/11. They know about Sandy Hook. They do not know about 9 year olds having babies. Well, they didn’t before June.
I told them that having babies is a beautiful thing. Two of the most special days in my life were the ones when my two were born. Having babies is not something a seven, eight, or nine (and on and on) year old girl should even be considering. Reminding myself to deal with the variables as they arise, we told her to worry about babies when she was a married adult. Phew.
She asked a few more questions about how babies come out. The fact that she wasn’t able to say the word “vagina” is rather telling about her maturity and whether she should’ve seen those horrible things. Hell, I didn’t want to see those horrible things. I think we’ve sorted it out for the time being.
Don’t worry, BabyGirl. There will be other electronics. Stay little while you can. Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. You just be you, and the rest will unfold as it should.

*originally posted in The Metro Spirit, Augusta, GA 7/18/13 – visit http://www.themetrospirit.com

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2013 9:38 pm

    This reminds me of my niece, and she has to have it all her way too!!

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