Monday, December 15, 2014

More December Happenings

Many of these things I have already mentioned on Instagram, so sorry if you follow me there and have already seen these but I thought I would pull them together here for the blog, which is my more official record anyway.
A couple weeks ago we took the girls out to breakfast at Panera Bread in their Christmas PJs (we gave them a "December Box" this year on the 1st with new coloring books, pajamas, candy cane gum, etc. to enjoy all month long).  We didn't realize while ordering that Clara was trying to convince us to buy her this "mitten" cookie.  I somehow thought she was talking about Paul's parents' new cat, Mittens.  Anyway, once I finally spotted the mitten-shaped sugar cookies that she had been eyeing, we had already paid.  But a sweet woman in line behind us offered to buy it for Clara.  I tried to decline and was even going to buy it for Clara myself, but the kind lady said that she didn't have anybody else to buy one for and to please let her, so we did.  Clara was thrilled.

Rose was just happy to have a straw to play with.

Paul took Clara shopping for a present for Rose from Clara.  He made a cardinal mistake when he let Clara walk past the display of "Frozen" merchandise.  I will literally go all the way around a store to avoid such displays.  He sent me this picture of Clara clutching an Elsa doll and it was definitely not a good sign.  Especially since the "Frozen"-mania had really tapered off around here (thank goodness) and an Elsa doll wasn't even on her radar as far as Christmas things go.  In fact, Clara doesn't even really play with dolls (other than Baby Zebra) and for quite some time all she had cared about for Christmas was dress-up clothes (I am constantly harangued about dressing up so I know for a fact that this is what she really, truly wants), which is what she is getting for Christmas.  So now this whole Else-doll business and resurgence of "Frozen" is most unwelcome.  I know its just a dumb doll and that I am being a total helicopter parent and that I can be accused of overthinking everything, but Clara is at such an influential stage and it is like her opinions and tastes and interests are taking form before my very eyes and I just don't feel like an overexposure to Disney princess merchandise is beneficial at this time for her.  I know she is only 3 1/2 but trust me, her opinions of beauty are already forming and I feel like Elsa is just not a great example on many levels.  And while I have no problem with Clara watching the movie (or other Disney princess movies), I just don't want her to fixate on them too much (something she has already shown a tendency for) and so I try really hard to expose her to other role models through books ("Rosie Revere, Engineer" about a girl engineer is a favorite) or other shows ("Peg + Cat" about a math-loving little girl is big for us) or dynamic play where she can imagine her own characters and I feel like a lot of my parenting efforts are thwarted and undermined by this kind of merchandise. 

Anyway, enough of my soap box.  After prying Clara away from the "Frozen" section, Paul kept texting me some of Clara's other finds that she would say Rose would love, including a giant crayon bank (purple, naturally) and a car that Clara could drive her around in.

I helped Clara write a letter to Santa.  Dress-up clothes have gone out the window after the Elsa debacle but she's getting them anyway.  She signed her own name and traced the letters for "Santa".

We have been enjoying quite a bit of rain lately and the girls have liked having the Christmas tree lights on in the mornings while I make breakfast ready.  They play pretty well in there together while I get the food together.

We made sugar cookies one day when the rain was particularly heavy and we didn't want to leave the house.  Clara offered Rose a much too large piece of cookie dough and before I could get it away from her Rose had devoured it.  She definitely understands when she is not supposed to have something and does whatever she can to keep it, including wolfing down ridiculous amounts of cookie dough scraps given to her by a helpful older sister.  And you should have seen the mad dash Rose made when I dropped a couple of M&Ms on the floor later on when we were doing the decorating.  The look of triumph in her eyes when she popped that stray green M&M into her round little mouth had me cracking up and she hollered her discontent when I got to the other loose candies and swept them up before she could get at them.

Clara's frosting skills are certainly improving and she was very proud to tell me how her cookies looked so beautiful with all the sprinkles she was putting on them.  And as gross as I know they are in theory, I have to admit that I have an embarrassing love for those little sugar crystals on sugar cookies.  The crunchy texture on the soft cookie is just perfection to me.

One day instead of dressing up like mermaids (a favorite theme of Clara's) she wanted to dress up as Mary (we've been reading lots of books about the nativity).  I pulled out my scarves and she had a ball and wore them all day long.

But then at the ward Christmas party she was a little bugged that she didn't get to be Mary and was instead assigned to be a shepherdess.  She warmed up to it eventually though when she realized how long and flowy her shepherdess headpiece was.  At the end all the kids bowed and Clara was beaming. 

So far it is has been a very eventful and fun Christmas season.


  1. Do you let Clara play with any sort of dolls? I really think that as a mother of a girl myself, it is alright to let them play with "girly" things, even dolls. I do understand your opinions of Disney and actually agree to a point. But, I really don't see any harm in letting a little girl want to be frilly and feminine.

  2. sbu - thanks for your comment! Absolutely we let her play with dolls. She has a baby doll, two rag dolls, and an Ariel doll and I have no problem with "girly" things at all. Clara has froufy pettiskirts that she loves to wear and we make gowns for her out of paper and play kitchen and all that jazz. I totally agree that there is no harm (and in fact, a lot of benefit) in letting a little girl want to be frilly and feminine (we also read TONS of Fancy Nancy). But I don't want her ideas of beauty dictated by Disney execs and marketing magnates. And having known too many people with eating disorders and having had unhealthy self-image concepts myself in the past, I already worry about how early those ideas can develop and want to be cautious and conscious about what we bring into our house. She is already going to be exposed to so much anyway (which is fine - this is not about sheltering our kids to the point of keeping everything hidden) and I see so many kids who grow up so fast and I am just hoping we can teach and provide her with proper, healthy concepts of beauty and worth in our home before others are thrust upon her. But things like American Girls dolls (or similar - the brand isn't what I care about) or tea parties or playing house or dress up and make believe - all of that is perfectly fine. I guess its the disneyfication of everything that sometimes grosses me out a little, which is funny, I know, because I love Disneyland and all. I just don't love the juggernaut that their princess line has become.

  3. I can see your point with Disney. Girls are fun. I'm so glad that you and your husband have the opportunity to be parents and have these sweet little girls in your lives.

  4. It struck me as I was reading this exactly how different it is parenting girls than boys, especially with the last few days we've had. I think I have to worry substantially more about my children's physical well-being, but shaping Colton's self-image hasn't been an issue for us at all to this point. We of course praise him and give him love, and that's been all we've had to do. It was interesting thinking about how parenting strategies have to change for the different genders, and really for each child. I love that you're being proactive about helping Clara all you can with her self-image, because you're right that so many of us do struggle with that (me included).


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