Read more from Megan over at Thoughts of an Oxymoron and be sure to come check out her column here next Tuesday!
Today I did the unthinkable. I took one very enthusiastic two year old girl chanting, "Poke, Wing Wings!" to the salon, held her in my lap and pierced her little ears. She had been trying to shove everything from Tic Tacs to real earrings down her ear chutes for weeks now so I decided that a little blunt force trauma was probably better than taking her to the ER to have a bean removed from her ear. I went down that road with Mr.4 last year and it wasn't pleasant. She took it like a champion and cried for maybe two minutes before asking for a sucker then checking them out in the mirror. We went to the root beer stand after the insertion of her new sparkles where she immediately showed the waitress her new wing-wings. She loves them! Her dad is NOT thrilled. I'm banking on the fact that he will get used to it or just decide that he can not be around his adorable daughter whom he dotes over anymore. The first seems far more likely. Plus, I assured him that she looks adorable and that she LOVES them!
See, my mom, my brother, and my husband, and I'm sure plenty of other people think that two is far too young to have your ears pierced. I disagree. Two year olds don't worry because haven't been told horror stories from their friends about the excruciating pain and trauma of having metal jabbed through your ear lobes. You get them excited, take them in for a quick poke then hand them a sucker. Its over. They don't want to change them and, in fact, often forget they are even there so they rarely touch them. I'm a fan, of course, I'll have to deal with daddy drama when I get home and he tells me that she looks like a little redneck baby. He already texted me to tell me that he'll be cutting the sleeves off his plaid shirts and taking her to the Wal Mart so they can fit it. *Eye roll*
She looks sweet and she is jazzed about having them. I can't argue with something so simple. Its one heck of a lot simpler than trying to take your eight year old daughter shopping that doesn't make her look like Brittany Spears. I am semi-happy to report that Miss 7 is a dress girl. Its sweet and nice to know that she wants to look fancy. She and I have VERY different taste so she shops with my mom which is also a good thing because she has a thing for accessories. I'm a little to funky for her and that is saying a lot if you look at some of the trash that's out there for little girls. I've seen fishnet hose, shorts that may as well be bikini bottoms, shirts that just scream EWWW, etc., etc., etc., I am most certainly not a prude and I'm all about funkifying your wardrobe but YIKES. And then there are these little gems...
I don't know what kind of sick puppy came up with the concept of a thong wearing baby doll, but they should be on the watch list. Once, my son's friend came home for their preschool gift exchange with a Bratz doll donning low rise jeans and a thong. Nice. That went right in the trash. She got the traditional Barbie to make up for the lost present. Bratz have been outlawed at the Devito house ever since.
It comes down to this. I think little girls should be sweet and look funky and fun and adorable. I think there are ways to do that without turning them into attention seeking, under dressed (as in, you need more clothes on) brats. I can't put a t-shirt saying, "Its all about me" on my daughter and then tell her that its not all about her. I can't let her run around looking like a Bratz doll and then ask her to be a sweet seven year old. It bothers me to look around at how hard we push our kids to grow up. We want them to to school younger, wear make up earlier, wear your skirt shorter, make sure you're noticed all the time and still be sweet and innocent - but not too innocent. Its a brave new world and I'm all in favor of jumping in with both feet, just not at the expense of our kids and their already abbreviated childhood. Earrings are one thing, but stealing the innocence out from under them is entirely another.
So, how much is too much? What pushes your buttons? Where have you made exceptions?