(Not) Too Big

I handed Kate a Dora band-aid yesterday and she– for the very first time ever– balked at me.  “Mom, the other kids are still going to think I like DORA.”

Up until that very moment, neither Kate nor Joan has ever said or done anything to indicate that they were “too old”.  When I get out some of their old toys or puzzles for Marin, they gleefully join her in playing.  They also willfully play with Little People, or the doll house, or crazily gallop around the house on stick ponies with Marin.

They have different interests when they watch tv (iCarly, anyone?), but if I ask them to put on something for Marin, they will happily watch with her, just as “into it” as she is.  They actually still DO like Dora, and up until now did not care who knew.

They still hold my hand, sit on my lap, want me to come to their school.  Recently at an elementary dance, some of their peers were embarrassed to have their mom or dad dancing with them, but Joan and Kate proudly danced with their Daddy the entire night.

They have no awareness of their bodies, or of being embarrassed.  That innocent light of early childhood still glows strong within them.

They often offer to read to Marin, because they still love the books that she loves.

At a restaurant, they fight over who gets to sit by me.  It honestly has not yet occurred to them to be embarrassed by David or me or even Marin.

Every morning about 10 minutes before our alarm goes off, Kate climbs into bed next to me.   She can never, ever get enough snuggles.

I get so weary of my children sometimes.  So sick of being hung on, fought over.  But when Kate didn’t want that Dora band-aid, I realized…  the days of their little-girl-hood are numbered.   Many of their peers have already moved on to the next stage.  I’m excited to watch them grow up, but I’m also going to enjoy their little hand in mine for a little longer, while it lasts.


The local school levy did not pass.  AGAIN.  It lost by a very small margin.


9 thoughts on “(Not) Too Big

  1. Oh, I’m so sorry about the levy! The schools in my hometown are really suffering too. Nothing like when I was there. My own MOTHER considered not voting for a school levy this year–my sister and I FREAKED. So, now she is one of those crotchety old people who thinks “MY kids are grown, so now who cares?” NICE.

  2. School levy – no! That is awful. I am worried about the people who got elected to our school board because they all ran on the platform of “cutting costs.” Eek!

    Your writing about your daughters is beautiful.

  3. Uck, sorry about the school levy!

    My 7.5 year old son refuses to kiss me anymore and hasn’t let me walk him even close to the school in a year. He is too cool for those things. He will still snuggle with me after reading at night and occasionally holds my had for a few minutes, but I’m so very aware my “mommy” days with him are really numbered. I thought I’d have more time, but evidently not. Bummer

  4. Oh I get SO FIRED UP about school levys! I’m so sorry about yours! I don’t understand people. We had one last year that passed by a slim margin (2nd time around), and people are STILL writing hate letters to the local paper about how pissed they are that the levy passed. I worked in the public school system for five years, and I wish that some of the nay-sayers could just spend a few days inside those buildings and see what those people DO everyday, and the corners they cut to do it. URGH!

  5. It’s insidious how gradual this change is. My oldest (9.5 yrs) is pretty oblivious to what’s socially appropriate according to his peers, so he’s not so worried about how things look to other people, but his tastes have changed. He DOESN’T watch Dora, Wonder Pets, etc. with his siblings anymore. He doesn’t disparage them or anything, but the stories just don’t hold his attention. (He’s the one who watches iCarly now… His 6yo sister will watch with him, but she still prefers the younger kid stuff.)

    My 6yo daughter, on the other hand, is hyperaware of what’s socially acceptable to her friends. She tells me what her friends think and the shows and stuff they think are embarrassing, but she hasn’t seemed to be too affected by it yet. I know it’s coming. She reads board books to herself at bedtime because these are the ones that are easiest for her to read; it doesn’t seem to bother her.

    I still have three (the 6yo, plus two sons, ages 3 and 1) who will hold my hand and sit on my lap. My 9yo probably would – he’s really sweet – but it doesn’t seem to occur to him anymore. And none of them are aware of their bodies yet, but I know that’s just around the corner.

    The challenge is trying to remember how fleeting it really is when it seems like every day is Groundhog Day and you’ll never ever have another day of not having to get someone a sippy cup of milk.

    • I actually think you describe it better- they don’t actually *like* Dora anymore (the story lines are boring to them) but they don’t DISLIKE her either. It’s more like they will be good sports for the sake of their little sister. I just know kids their age that would NO WAY be caught DEAD watching Dora, but it has not occurred to them that some things are “babyish”.

  6. Oh I’m sorry about the school levy. Ours did pass this time (after losing by 4% last time) by about 6%. Do you know if they’ll have an emergency vote in February? Locally the district got VERY CLEAR and PUBLIC about the consequences of a failed levy and I think it finally got through to enough people.

    The getting older thing – sigh. I’m noticing that Harper is more sensitive/aware of peer relationships this year. She hasn’t crossed into being embarrassed about babyishness yet, but I can feel it coming.

    I also really love the way you write about your girls – this probably sounds like a stupid thing to say but it is clear how well you know them and how much you love who they are.

  7. I really needed to read this post right now, after yesterday when I couldn’t get a modicum of personal space if Dora herself appeared and ordered the preschooler and toddler to allow it. The idea that they won’t always be this needy of -or even INTERESTED in- me is a good reminder.

    And: I’m so, so sorry about the school levy. I hear you and it sickens me, too.

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