Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Caroline is Growing Up!

As a parent there are certain things that you just don't realize.  Yes, I know my daughter is 9 years old and yes I know she is growing up but it's hard to know what a 9 year old is truly able to do for herself.  We let her try things out but there are some things that you've been doing for so long that you don't even think to let the child do/try for themselves.

Case and point:  Fingernail and toenail maintenance

Back in the fall, Caroline asked that I stop trimming her fingernails because she didn't like how I trimmed them short.  I gave in somewhat and said that I would trim them but not as short as I used to when she was little.  She was okay with that but then right before Christmas she asked that I stop trimming them altogether so she could file them.  Again, I was happy to oblige and enjoy her new found autonomy.  I even bought her some cute nail files for her stocking this Christmas which she really liked receiving.

Then last night as she was getting ready for bed I told her that after her bath she really needed her toenails cut.  Ew.  She quickly responded, "Mom!  I am 9 years old, I don't need my mommy cutting my toenails."  Wow, not what I expected.  But I took it in stride and handed her the nail scissors that I always find works best on their toenails and she did it without any issues.  (Now thinking back I probably should have found some clippers for her but we need some new ones so maybe I will get a new pair for their bathroom this weekend.)

So she did it and she did a nice job.  But I realized what an odd thing to not even consider she could do for herself.  I've been cutting kid finger/toenails for over 9 years now and didn't even consider that I don't need to be doing it for her anymore.  (I rarely do it for Bryce anymore because he's a nail muncher...yeah, fingers AND toes.  Ew.)  But I still do it regularly for Piper.

Now mind you, Caroline's fingernails are in need of some filing in the worst way but they aren't my fingers and they aren't for me to comment on, so I will just let her alone about it.  She seems to be getting more interested in making herself look good too.  While she's taken great pride in her hair for several years now, I notice that she's getting more interested in other self-care routines lately.

For example, last week when she was reading her American Girl magazine (love this magazine!), she was showing me a page about winter "beauty."  (The magazine did NOT call it beauty, which would have bothered me, but I can't think of the word they used now.)  On the page it gave tips on things like how to combat chapped lips, dry feet, and static-prone hair.  Really simple things that most grown women know but groundbreaking stuff to a 9 year old who is really starting to care.  A few weeks before we moved, I gave Caroline my own beauty trick for keeping her hands soft.  (She has TERRIBLY rough hands in the winter!!) I showed her how she could coat her hands in lotion and then put a pair of socks over her hands to sleep in and it would help her skin get softer again.  Well, it worked like magic and after repeating the treatment a few nights, her hands were soft again.  She was thrilled and loved that I had shared it with her.  Quite honestly, I was tickled to have someone to share that kind of stuff with.  It's kind of funny to realize now that I have a growing girl who is interested in that kind of stuff.

I'm also really impressed at how she matches her earrings to her outfit and takes great pride in making sure her hair accessories match too.  I've always thought she has more fashion sense than I do so I can only assume she will be advising me before I know it.  I like that we can share this kind of stuff with each other and that it gives me another thing to bond with her over.  Having a 9 year old girl is pretty neat some days.

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