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You just have to laugh

January 19, 2009

by Jen Bakken

With 18-year-old and 11-year-old boys, I’ve had quite a bit of “boy” experience.

In 2000, when I was about to have another child, I kept my fingers crossed. I prayed and I begged for a girl.

Well, I did get my girl, and it was a wonderful thing to finally have the color pink in my life. I couldn’t wait until she grew some hair so that I could brush it, braid it, and put cute little bows in it.

Even more fun has been finding adorable outfits and playing dress-up. Suddenly, Barbies entered my world again. (The Barbies now-a-days, are a bit different than my Bionic Woman or Shawn Cassidy dolls.)

She earned the nickname Monkey by the age of two when she started climbing on everything. (Not exactly princess-like.) She figured out how to hold on the refrigerator handle and climb up to the freezer door as if it were a climbing wall.

When she was four years old and declared she would be a princess when she grew up, I couldn’t help but think it was the cutest thing I’d ever heard.

In first grade, she was asked if president, what would she like most about the job, she said. “It’d be fun to be the boss of everything.”

Her brothers may argue that she actually thinks she IS the boss of everything. Little did I know that I’d be blessed with a daughter who could not only be “girly” but also stand up to two older brothers.

Some days, it’s fun to paint each other’s nails, even if mine end up 10 different colors.

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience make-overs from a little girl who chooses to use make-up in creative ways.

With a rainbow on one eyelid, frosty blue powder on another and bright red rosy cheeks – the mirror has revealed a mommy turned clown many times (much to a little girl’s delight).

Recently, she has become my little fashion advisor. I’ve been told what looks good together and what doesn’t. Once, she even announced, “Oh, Mom, you can’t wear that. It’s an old lady sweater and you aren’t that old . . . yet!” (I wasn’t sure whether to feel complimented or insulted.)

Along with her fashion advise has come a complete disregard for wanting any clothing suggestions from Mom. Sometimes I wonder if she refuses to wear something just because I said it was cute.

When I was young, I loved slumber parties, and it didn’t surprise me when my daughter begged to have one of her friends spend the night. This experience was far different from all my years hosting sleepovers for boys.

First, there was some energetic and spirited play with Barbies, followed by giggles. Then there was pop, videos, and dancing, followed by more giggles.

The Easy Bake oven kept them messy but occupied for about an hour. Did you know they actually get so hot you can burn your finger? (I proved it.)

It was unlike the boys, who wrestle around and stay up all hours of the night, then sleep in. These girls were both sound asleep and snoring before 10 p.m. then awake and giggling by 5 a.m.

It’ll be awhile before there’s another girl slumber party at my place – I’m still tired.

One day last week, I was getting the kids up for school when my little princess looked at me and said, “Geez, Mom, you got big baggy wrinkle things under your eyes.”

Of course I had to look in the mirror and I couldn’t deny what she said. When I was just about finished putting my make up on, she was standing next to me and asked, “What do you put on your face anyways?”

I thought she was interested in make-up and started showing her the different things I use. I told her about mascara, eyeliner and lipstick. “No, Mom, I mean what do you put on your face?”

I realized she must be talking about foundation and powder, so I showed them to her and she added, “Oh, so that’s what takes those wrinkly things away, and makes you look a little better and not look as old as you are.”

They sure say whatever is on their minds, don’t they? I guess you just have to laugh.