Watch out world, here comes my daughter
My daughter never ceases to alarm me. Like the time she fell through the deck. Or the day she endo’d on her bike and left half her face on the street. Or all the times she flies out the door announcing that she’ll be on the neighbor’s trampoline and will be back, “like, whenever.”
I have tried, over the past 11 years, to raise a proper child. I keep few secrets; I break no promises. We talk about everything – why she doesn’t have siblings, why she can’t wear shorts in the snow, sex, office politics, how cars work – whatever she wants to know. We taught her how to ride a bike, to look both ways before crossing the street, to say “please’ and “thank you.’ She also knows how to use the phone, in the event she wants anything that involves money and she needs to whine to her grandparents.
Up until now, she’s been rather impressed by the vast stores of knowledge and skills her Mama held.
But something happened this past year. She shot up 6 inches in height, for starters. She spritzes herself with perfume. She spends hours combing her hair in front of the mirror. She started listening to Avril Lavigne – and 1920s Depression music. Her shirts started making a hike up; her pants, a hike down. She got her ears pierced. She wears a sports bra, although she doesn’t need it – and won’t for at least a few years to come.
But the other night, she scared me more than ever before. My little girl has turned into a sex kitten.
I came home; something was blaring from the CD player. My daughter was sporting a sparkling “belly shirt” and a short skirt that flared out when she spun in circles. She threw her head back, swivelled her hips (that still aren’t rounded enough to hold her pants on without a belt), grabbed her neck and turned – to find me in the doorway, agape. She gave me a sultry look and finished her dance routine, spinning, thrusting, jerking, swaying, twisting and gyrating to the music.
I dropped everything in my arms.
The next CD track began; something about “Give it to me right now-right now-right now, baby! Give it all to me and only me; right now-right-now, my love.”
My daughter started her gyrating anew. She waved her spindly little arms in the air like octopus arms caressing the water. She dipped her shoulders, dropped a hip, did a little shuffle with her feet and threw her head back, her blond tresses whipping behind her like a seductress. Her mouth hung open ever so slightly; she licked her lips.
That was the last straw.
Britney Spears has nothing on my daughter. And that scares me.
We. Need. To. Talk. I said.
“Yeah,” my little girl said. “Did you see that move I did? The one with the …” And she swung her hip so far to the left I thought she’d dislocate a vertebrae. “Or this one?” She put her hand behind her head, mussed up her hair and gave a sharp pelvic jerk.
“No,” I said. “And I don’t want to again.”
“Oh, Mama,” she said. “You’re so … plain.”
Plain? Me? Me, who used to hang from railroad trestles waiting for the train to come by and rattle us to our very cores until we fell into the river below? Me, who used to light firecrackers on the police chief’s porch? Me, who once thought a good way to make money would be to sell my mother’s law books? Plain? Me!?
OK. So it could be worse than a few dance maneuvers in the living room. She could be listening to bands with names like The Perforated Bi-Uvulates or the Nomadic Stopcocks. She could be wearing a thong. She could have had something far different than her ears pierced.
With this in mind, I decided to let it go. If nothing else, it’s good training for when she hits those teen-age years and really cuts loose.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or email@example.com.
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