A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 2

If you haven’t had a chance to read:
A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 1, check it out!

After my daughter decided that chores were basically slave labor, she decided to become an entrepreneur to raise money. She created paintings and put on an art show. None of the neighborhood kids wanted to come see her art show, let alone pay actual money for the art. So that was a bust (of course I thought it was so cute, that I purchased some art). She also attempted to become a street performer and pan handle for money. Basically she came out of her room with a pretend hymn book, singing, and holding an empty egg cartoon. We enjoyed the performance, until she stopped, gave us a horrible look and said, “Don’t you know why this egg carton is here? So you can put money in it”. Well, holy duh! Of course. How could we ever miss that?

She even tried "living room" street performing for money.  Image borrowed from: http://literarysignpost.com/2012/09/01/street-performer/

She even tried “living room” street performing for money.
Image borrowed from: http://literarysignpost.com/2012/09/01/street-performer/

After trial and error, she came home from daycare one day with an epiphany. She would put on a lemonade stand. Yes! This was the answer to all she was looking for. After thinking about this for some time, I decided, yes, I can handle this. Some Kool-ade, maybe some cookies, sell them for a buck each, BAM! No….. it doesn’t work that way apparently. You have to make the lemonade from scratch. Organic preferred. And in doing some “market research”, 25 cents is pretty much the going rate for a cup lemonade. Doing the math, I realized, she would earn maybe $5.00 if she was lucky. But I was willing to give it a try.

We picked a weekend, and set a time for the lemonade stand. I game her a 2 hour window to be open for business. We picked lemons from our daycare provider’s tree, purchased poster board, cups, and some cookies, and got to work on our marketing strategy. Ok, I have to admit, I have a career in marketing. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I kinda know what I am doing when it comes to getting the word out. You just gotta blanket your target audience. Ok… I tooted!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade and Cookies. 25 cents!

It was SOOOOO hard not to want to micro manage. Of course by this time, this was MY lemonade stand in my mind, not hers. It took constant reminding, to stay in the background and gently coach the process, vs leading. I encouraged her to make a flyer and we could put it on the door steps of the homes on our street. Being that she is 6 years old, she isn’t the worlds best writer. But we worked together on what she wanted to say, I wrote it out, and she copied what I wrote and added her own flair. Apparently spider illustrations along with “Fresh Homemade Lemonade” was her marketing approach. Some words were miss spelled or missing. But you got the message from reading the flier. If anything the fact that it looks like it was written by a little kid, probably drew in more customers. It was SOOOO hard to not correct her every move. But I didn’t…. much.

By the time the lemonade stand open for business, she had left fliers with every house on our street, we put poster-board signs at the end of the street next to the bus stop, she made a hand written huge sign for her table, and I emailed our family and Kinder class, and posted it on Facebook. Overboard you may say? I think not!

Oh yeah, one last thing. She decided that we should feature face painting along with the lemonade. Which meant, mommy gets to face paint. Fun…. (that is “Fun” with a lingering sarcastic tone). But I went along with it. She also wanted to put out chairs for people to sit and enjoy their lemonade while they hung out. In the 2 hours her lemonade stand was open, she sold out of ALL the lemonade, had about 5 cookies left, and made $30!!!!! I could’t believe it. She added it to her money pile.

In doing some research, I found companies who sell clothes for the American Girl Doll for half the cost of the official brand. http://www.doll-clothes.com/ is one of them. Not having to pay so much for clothes, really helped the bottom dollar amount she would need to save.

She was convinced she had enough. I didn’t believe her, but was open to counting her money, again, so we could see how far she had to go. Low and behold, in one month’s time, she had saved a total of $100. I was shocked. You know what that means? I had to come up with my end of the bargain of matching her dollar for dollar? What the hell did I get myself into? I never thought she would be able to save that much. And in only a one month time? Really?

One thing I have to say, is that the ladies in our family have tenacious genes running through our blood. We are go-getter biatches! And we don’t work hard, we work smart. Funny how she already has figured that out. I am actually very proud of her. She put her mind to it and did it!

So today, she got to order the doll, the clothing, and the accessories she wanted. And so the waiting game starts. She better love this doll with all her heart. If I find her American Girl Doll in a pile with her other dolls, collecting dust with matted hair, in the closet, I am going to be pissed. Well, not pissed per say. I will probably just reclaim her as my own doll. I never had my own American Girl Doll. You are never too old. And technically I did pay for half of her….. I am secretly really excited for her to arrive. Does the stork bring her? She wrapped in silk when she arrives? Does heavenly light burst out of the box when you open it? I can’t wait!!!!

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A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 1

It all started about a month ago, on a warm sunny Spring day. The mail had arrived. And there it was. 30 pages of glossy full color heaven. The all mighty American Girl Doll catalog. It was like the clouds had parted and the heavens were singing to my daughter as her eye lite up turning each page of girly goodness.

This is the closest you will ever see what my daughter looks like.

This is the closest you will ever see what my daughter looks like.

She immediately decided that the American Girl Doll was the perfect doll for her. And a doll she MUST have in order to complete her existence on this earth. I of course, rolled my eyes and secretly wished that catalog never had arrived. I know my daughter. She plays with almost NEVER. She likes the idea of dolls. She has a collection of them. They pretty much chill in a pile in the closet collecting dust and knots in their hair. Poor dolls…. However according to my daughter, none of those dolls look like she does, hence why they are not played with and why she MUST have the American Girl Doll that looks like her. I looked at the price tag. $110.00!!!!! And you don’t even get a cute outfit or accessories with it. Are you fucking kidding me? Pardon my french, but what bullshit to expect a parent to fork out over a $100 for the doll. Not to mention $30-$50 per outfit. I won’t even spend that much money on an outfit for myself, let alone an outfit for an 18″ piece of plastic.

After she hounded me for a day or so, I decided to make her a deal (insert evil laugh now). She went through the entire and narrowed down everything she wanted, from the doll to 2 outfits to get her wardrobe collection started. We tallied the shipping, tax, and what little money she saved so far. She needed a total of $225.00. I agreed to match her dollar for dollar. Of course in mind my, I never thought in my wildest dreams she would actually follow through. Which in turn, would save me over $100. We are talking about a girl who would pan through the couch for loose change, just so she could use the little bit of saved money on yet another 6 inch stuffed beenie animal she saw at the drug store. But what the hell, right? This would be a good lesson of saving money, doing chores for money, and be patient if it was something she really wanted.

We started off with her making a poster with cut outs from the catalog of all the items she wanted. She then wrote, “Do you have any chores for me? I am saving for an American Girl Doll”. We posted it on Facebook for our friends and family to see. From that alone, she received $20.00 from a distant grandma. She also was able to earn some money from doing odd chores for the grandparents. This includes window washing for grandma, and helping her grandpa wash the boat.

She realized very quickly, that chores were a waste of time. Really? I had to think fast. My plan of teaching her the value of hard work was sinking quickly. She decided she didn’t want to help out around the house for extra money. She already has chores that she has to do as “a part of her contributions to the family”. But then there are things she can do for extra money. Apparently she is too above hard labor or something. I mean shit, all I asked her to do was pull some weeds for money. Weeds that would have taken me 5 min to pull myself. But to her, it was slave labor….

Read Part 2 of how she finally earned her money and made her big purchase. 

My daughter is 6 going on 16

teengirl

This is NOT my daughter, although sometimes it feel as though it should be.

This evening I was watching old home movies of my sweet daughter when she was 2 years old. So small and innocent. So carefree and playful. She laughed at anything, danced around the house like a little fairy, and just rocked it all the time.

Now fast forward to age 6. My sweet little “teenager”. Oh man, I remember being a kid and saying, “I can’t wait to grow up”. And my mom telling me how wrong I was. In my mind, it wasn’t any farther from the truth. Being a grown up was way better than being a kid. How wrong I was. Now I watch my daughter as she grows up. She defiantly puts me to work when it comes to teaching her values, morals, right and wrong, and just all around living life to its fullest. It just seems like she is so anxious to grow up. What happened to playing with dolls, playing house, or building a sand castle in the backyard sandbox. Oh yes, she still does that. But now when she plays house, there is usually an imaginary boyfriend who is kissing her, or she is pretending to push out a baby in a vaginal childbirth….Yeah, that one is my fault, as she was by my side when I gave birth to her baby brother 18 months ago. It just seems like her entire attitude is similar to a hormonal, premenstrual, young lady….. eye roll and everything.

She knows the lyrics to some of the major top 40 billboard pop songs. I am constantly being asked, “Mom, put on Carrie Perry: Kiss Me, Kiss Me”. I have only told her about 100 times that it is Katy Perry. Other than that, she knows songs I don’t even listen to when she is in the car, including: Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. Of course when I try and sing with her, I get that almighty, “No, mom, only I get to sing it”. Which of course I then begin to channel my mother and say, “Well it is my car, and when you have your own car, then you can decide the rules. But until then, I get to sing along as well”.

She tries to wear hoochie mama clothes to school. She will be in her room getting ready for school, as I work on getting the baby ready, lunches packed, diapers changed, etc. Then struts out of her room like she is on a red carpet runway. This morning she comes out of her room wearing a leotard, leg warmers (no panties), and a ruffled shirt. “Um…. what are you wearing?”. Which she responds with, “mom, it is a skirt”. I am sorry, but a little chiffon ruffle is not a skirt. Nor is a leotard considered clothing for school in any shape or form. I am constantly saying, “Honey, I see you want to wear a skirt, here are your options of skirts you can wear, including clean underwear and leggings to cover your booty when you are on the playground”.

This is a regular line I hear in the mornings, “Mom, my ponytail isn’t high enough”. If her ponytail was any higher on her head, it would look a unicorn horn coming out of her forehead. The hairdo is a HUGE deal in the mornings for her. Luckily she only needs me half the time to do her hairdo. Most of the time she comes out of the bathroom with about 5 headbands on, and about 8 clips. But she rocks it.

Lastly (but I know there is more), she acts like she owns the playground. We attend a charter school with grades kinder-8th. When I bring her to school, she works the courtyard. I watch her as she has no fear and approaches the 8th grade girls to say, “Hi Dakoda, how are you?” Then gives the girls hugs and moves onto the next group. It’s nice the older girls just think she is super cute vs an annoyance. Of course she doesn’t give a regular kid hug, oh no…. She gives the “chick hug”. You know the hug us women give each other that includes the one arm, barely making physical contact, at the same time saying. “hi, how are you?” with a slightly higher pitch than normal.

I am constantly telling her, “You may not wear a bra until you actually have boobs to hold them up”. “Sorry honey, kindergartners are not allowed to have boyfriends or kiss boys at your age” and, “Sorry honey, having pink hair is only for Crazy Hair Day, Halloween, or a special occasion.”

I love my daughter with all my heart. And I feel confident that we don’t expose her to inappropriate movies, behavior, or influences that are above her age development. I just have to continue reining her back to 6 year old land. Even if it means bursting her bubble and bringing her back to reality.

My tired “bipolar” teenage 6 year old

My daughter is like Candace Flynn, but in a 6 year old body

I was driving home from work today, trying to figure out what to blog about tonight. Usually I like to have my blog post ideas just hit me with a ton of bricks, vs struggling to come up with content. It becomes a chore when that is the case. I had nothing. And was fully prepared to just put blogging on hold for tonight, mess around on Twitter…. and watch Sons of Anarchy (which I am totally obsessed with right now).

And then my daughter walked in the door. And hit me with a ton of bricks. The minute she walked up the driveway, I knew she was totally fried out of her brains. She has been on Spring break this entire week and today she was at daycare while I was at the office. At daycare, they went roller skating, the park, and basically played hard with her friends all day long. Quickly the plan for the evening changed from making dinner and playing with the kids followed by our regular evening bed routine, to getting the shower ready, while running out for takeout and off to bed.

My daughter walked in the house with a sour look on her face, threw her stuff down and stomped off to her room. My husband explained how she has been acting like a complete nut case on the way home, and he got short with her. Which of course started the tone for the evening. Trying to play the sympathetic card, I pried myself into her room. It was hard since she was propped up against the door. But I squeezed in. She went from telling me to go away, to crawling up inside my lap and wanting me to hold her. Then back to telling me to go away.

She then moved to being super energetic and wanted to do the Xbox Dance Party. Um, yeah right kid, like that is going to happen tonight. I talked her into taking a bath while I ran out to get us tostadas (her fav). I poured out the boiling water I had started for dinner, turned the hot water on the bath, and grabbed my keys.

After chatting with my husband before walking out the door, I checked on her in the bath. She had poured an entire bottle of bubble bath into the bath water and was proceeding to make a water slide. WTF WOMAN? So that was that, she lost her privilege in the bath, and had to get rinsed off and out of the bath. Now some of you may be thinking, “why would she lose her bath privilege from that>” But you have to understand, we have told her a billion zillion times to not pour out the entire bottle of soup into the bath. Especially after I had already poured at least a half of cup into the water as it was.

With that, she started to cry. And not the mad cry. The disappointed cry. I basically told her I wasn’t going to be buying any bubble bath anytime soon, since she used all hers up in one bath. So once again, she ran into her room crying, slamming the door. And off to Taqueria Vallarta I go. She was my husbands problem now.

Thankfully once she got some food in her, she became somewhat normal. And now she is reading a book before heading off to bed. I have a feeling there is one more meltdown in the evening schedule for us.

My daughter is usually a very leveled headed little girl. Granted she is 6 and has many 6 year old attitude issues. What little girl doesn’t? But when she gets tired, she becomes a “bipolar” teenager. Watch out everyone, cause the tornado is coming through the house. Just hold your ground, don’t take shit, but deal with her as you would an angry drunk person and just get her to bed as calmly and tactful as possible. Tomorrow will be a new day.

How could she say she loves daddy more than me?

She loves daddy more than me!

She loves daddy more than me!

The other day my daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, I love you this much (with her fingers super close together), and I love daddy this much! (With her arms spread wide apart)”. My first reaction, although I kept my internal dialogue to myself was:

“What the hell are you talking about? I do everything for you. I cook, clean, hairdos, wipe your ass, buy you shit, play dolls with you, art projects, listen to your whining, make milkshakes, hold you when you are scared or hurt, work at your school, EVERYTHING! What does daddy do for you? Tell me that! He gets to play with you for 1 hour a night and then on the weekends, where he mostly plays video games. And that is worthy of you loving him more than me?”

But I didn’t say that…. After I took a deep breath and carefully chose my words, all I could say was, “Well, I love you, dad, and baby brother all THIS MUCH (with my arms spread way apart over my head), and when you are in a family, you can love everyone the same amount.”

Since then, she has been giving little punches here and there. Saying shit like, “Well, if you and daddy weren’t together, I would live with daddy”.

Which of course I replied with, “Well who would wash and fold your clothes? Who would make you smoothies? Who would color with you? Cause daddy’s not.” Probably not the most “Positive Discipline” thing to say, but my feelings were hurt. And at the moment, I didn’t want to sit back and choose my words correctly.

A part of me totally understands where she is coming from. She loves her dad. She would do anything for him. She searches for his attention in any way possible. Don’t get me wrong… my husband is a great father. He is patient, affectionate, and loves his kids with all his heart. But handing out attention, free willingly? Get in line, cause we are all in it. His second love in life, after his family, is his video games. The man is obsessed with games. And sometimes, quite frankly, he puts his games in front of his daughter wanting to play with him. His solution is usually to include her in his gaming. But that can only take you so far.

So when daddy is available to hand out attention to his daughter in any shape or form, mommy is usually left with the dirty work, of dishes, laundry, cooking, teeth brushing, negotiating bed times, and arguing about the amount of screen time or candy eating.

I am her veggies she has to eat on her plate before dessert. I am nutritious, healthy and something she needs for her body. Daddy is the ice cream Sunday she gets to eat after her she is done with her healthy food. I mean holy hell, I have taken parenting classes for god sake! Why would she say, she loves daddy more than me?

In the end, she is being a kid. And frankly, she knows how to push my buttons when she is pissed at me. She could be saying this because she is upset I made her put her dishes away when she was done eating. Or took the iPad away when it was time for bed. But it is hard to not take it personally. I just hope when she is in her 20’s and out of the house, she can look back and think, “My mom rocks! And she took such great care of me. And I love her so much!”

I am patiently waiting for that day to come.

Is it my snack day again?

photoThis past weekend, while laying on the couch sick as a dog with aches, fever, and a sore throat, I received the dreaded reminder email from our kinder class. “Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow if your snack day”. Oh shit!!!! I totally forgot. Didn’t I just have snack last week? Oh, right… that was a month ago. I laid there contemplating on how I was going to get my ass off the couch and to the store to shop for Monday’s snack day. No, that was not an option. I can barely walk to the bathroom, let alone drive to the store. I asked my husband, which his response of course was, “I am sure we have something here they can eat”. That is his way of saying, “Don’t bother me, I am playing video games”.

With sick kids and a sick mom, we have been pretty much surviving off of the Costco sized Kraft Mac and Cheese and takeout for the past week. Of course that crossed my mind. Maybe I can just make them a huge batch of mac and cheese. Nah, too much work.

So I mustered up the energy and stumbled my way to the kitchen to see what I could scrounge. Fruit bowl. What rotting fruit do I have that I can pan off on the kids? Cutties, yes!!! I have a Costco sized amount of Cutties. And lucky enough, they have about 2 days tops of life in them. Luckily I had 18 total, one for each kid.

Then I rummaged through our pantry. I found a couple half eaten bags of nuts. If I put them all together in one zip-lock bag, it could like a full bag. I also found an opened bag of peanut butter pretzels and a box of unopened crackers. Crackers that I bought months ago, on sale, but no one has wanted to touch them yet, cause really they are only good with fancy cheese on them. Kids don’t give a shit, right?

Ok…. I almost have it. If I can find one more item, like protein or something that can round my buffet, I will be good to go. I checked the fridge. I had a total of 8 string cheese. If I cut them in half, that would give me 16 halves. Hum… there are 18 kids in the class. 2 kids are bound to not want cheese, right? I was banking on that.

So there you have it!!!! I was able to provide snack. I was so proud of myself. Back to the couch I went, to lay there in my misery, counting the minutes till the kids went to bed and I could watch The Walking Dead in peace and quiet.

Then an hour later I see my husband come out of the kitchen eating the string cheese. “WTF are you doing? That was part of my snack for the kids tomorrow”. He didn’t know of course. But he should have known. He should have read my mind that I was saving that for snack day.

The next morning, off to the store I went….. With kids in the car, I ran into the store to purchase one more package of string cheese. And left feeling a bit of defeat and deflation from my once prized accomplishment of feeding 18 kids on an empty kitchen without spending a dime.

I am trusting you won’t corrupt my child

Please make sure my daughter comes back in one piece after staying at your house.

Please make sure my daughter comes back in one piece after staying at your house.

When my daughter was 3 or 4 years old, she started having playdates. Most, if not all were playdates where I was friends with the other parent, and the kids would play while the grown ups would bitch about parenting, husbands, etc, with a nice glass of wine or coffee. Good times….

But now she are in kindergarten. A whole different world. Everyday I hear, “Can I have a playdate with….”. Or the kids who live on our street want her over for a playdate. Even little boys are starting to ask her over for playdates. My daughter has a busier social calendar that I even had in my 20’s.

Before we hit this new milestone, I had a very specific and calculated envision of how I would handle my daughter making new friends and playdates. I mean, there are a lot of psychos out there. And as far as I am concerned, you may be a druggy, child rapist until you prove otherwise to me. Yes, I am paranoid. Yes, I trust no body with my child. And yes, I will come after you with a shotgun and bury your body under my house if you touch my child in any way. I felt like in order for my child to be left at your house, I would need a full background check, your driving record, proof of insurance, a signed contract of the schedule activities of the playdate, and a list of 3 references of other families who have kids where you have hosted a playdate. I want to know without a doubt that that you aren’t snorting crack in the bathroom while my child is playing with your kitchen knives. Or that your unemployed horny uncle isn’t living in your basement, watching the children, while you run errands.

Luckily my daughter attends a co-op elementary school. Us parents work in the class together. We get to know each other in parenting classes and school meetings. So I feel like in order let go of my fears, I need to learn how to trust a little more. Maybe those parents are as paranoid as I am. I guess I am hoping that the fact that other parents are trusting their kids at each others homes, then maybe I should. Of course I would never leave my child at a home that felt sketchy or felt unsafe in anyway. And of course people can have skeletons in their closet and their outward appearance can be different than what happens in closed doors. But maybe I need to let go of the anxiety and live by the fact that “It takes a village”.

I still try and live by the general rule that we invite the child to our house for a playdate first before having my daughter play at their house. I invite the parent in and ask if they want to hang out for a while for a cup of tea or whatever. Shit, maybe they are freaked out that I am snorting crack in the bathroom, while I let the kids play with kitchen knives. It isn’t like we introduce ourselves and ask, “Um, can I please check out your house before I leave my child with you. I brought my police dog with me. You don’t mind, right?”

Now the day will come where she will make a friend and I despise the parent. Oh, not looking forward to that day.