Thursday, December 13, 2012

a ranch filled with bunnies

once again, i'm in the process of figuring out Brooke. she's definitely growing up and showing signs of entering into the next phase of kid-hood. as soon as i think i've got things under control, she up and changes the game and i've got to work out a whole new set of rules.

she had a sleepover recently and the girls who were here brought nail polish. brooke has always shunned nail polish and won't ever cave to my desire to paint her nails, even if i offer her bribes. but guess what - she painted her own nails! granted, it was clear paint that glows in the dark, but still, she painted her nails. that's new territory.

she has decided that i'm no longer free to read her journal. previously she's always welcomed and encouraged me to read it and check out her drawings. no more. i'm pretty sure she's writing mean things about me. that's okay. i wrote mean things about my mom too, and it doesn't at all affect my feelings for her now.

last week i was trying to figure out what top i could wear with a pair of pretty chocolately brown dress pants that i inherited and hemmed so that they fit perfectly. i was struggling because i'm not very good at fashion unless it's really obvious and simple. brooke saw me struggling and decided to help me make an outfit. she went to google and pulled up a picture of a color wheel that included browns and from there decided which colors were most complimentary to my pants. then she went to my closet and made some suggestions, leading me to pick a shirt that looks great with them. who'd have guessed that a clueless fashion girl could help her clueless fashion mom by using the color wheel that i'd taught her about recently during an art class on contrasting colors.

we're also still working on acceptable words. it's hard for me to limit her vocabulary on words that i say. i never swear around her, but the words crap and suck are common place around here. however, some of her friends parents are less than thrilled to have her teaching such words to their own kids. i want to increase her chances of having good friendships, so we're working on that.

i'm also finding myself needing to teach her bad words. she would never use truly bad ones intentionally if she knows they're bad, but she's great at deciphering the right way to say something even if she's not clear on the exact meaning. she told me once, "don't be a pussy, mom." i had to explain that one and she was pretty embarrassed. thankfully she said it only to me and she thought she was just calling me a scaredy cat.

we watched an animal planet show recently that showed some dude who was raising tigers on his property. he was a total dunce who liked to walk them on leashes even when they were too big to be handled and could easily kill him with a quick swipe or bite. he gets famous people who like to live dangerously who come and visit his tigers, including heidi flys (spelled wrong intentionally), the madam who runs the bunny ranch prostitution ring. her name was written on screen and under it the words "Bunny Ranch Owner" and brooke latched right onto that. "ooh, mom, a bunny ranch! that must be such a cool place! i want to work on a bunny ranch someday."

i was left with the dilemma of deciding if i should let it fly right over her head or if i should correct her and set her straight to avoid her possibly telling someone at church (or the grocery store or anywhere else) that someday she wants to work at the bunny ranch. she'd be mortified later if that happened. i don't believe in telling kids not to say or do something without giving them an honest answer for why. i hate the mystery and intrigue that creates and with a kid like Brooke, if i didn't give a satisfactory answer, she's likely to google it and get way more than either of us bargained before.

so of course i told her what the bunny ranch was. yet again i was oversharing with my child in an attempt to save her from potential future embarrassment.

as we cross over into the place in life where there are rarely howling, head-banging, skin-scratching episodes, we've come to a place of too much information and uncomfortable conversations. i don't know if i'm doing it right, but i'm doing the best i can. she made me a christmas present, so i must be doing something right.


  1. It's weird to read about Brook's little changes although heartwarming at the same time, she's such a little cutie and it's hilarious to read that her journal's becoming private and she likes to use nail polish, great post Sherry.

  2. Brook is growing up fast. It sounds to me that you are a great mother. There's no textbook, so we have to make parenting up as we go along!

  3. Oh how I remember having some of THOSE conversations with my kids over the years. Some I am sure I just let "slip by"....not having a clue what to tell them
    And I think they totally forgot about those....or not, who knows.
    I am sure you will get many more of these to come.

  4. My boys are 12 and almost 11. My 12 year old is literal and so I find myself explaining A LOT. The Youngest usually lets stuff go right over his head, but I still cover the basics.

    It's better to educate them then to find the sitting in the principal's office. :)

  5. They grow up so fast, and the bunny story is so fun and innocent and endearing. I miss having kids around.

  6. Probably best you told her, you wouldn't want her telling her teacher that. You'd end up spending hours in parent/teacher meetings!

  7. I think you are doing things exactly right!

  8. You're doing good, my dear. No such thing as perfect parenting anyway, and would any of us even recognize it if we saw it? Perfect is what is best for your child in the context of your family.

  9. Damn, but Brooke is so interesting. I love the logical, methodical way she came up with an appropriate outfit for you. Now that's intelligent fashion!

    Personally, I don't have a problem with "crap" and "suck," but I guess it doesn't sound great if my kids were at school and said; "this math lesson sucks." Oh well. Jack recently discovered the word "slut" and I had to tell him that that is a terrible thing to call a woman, even in jest. Of course it made the word more appealing, but he's actually been mispronouncing it and saying "slud" and I haven't corrected him :) karen: 1, Jack: 0.

  10. I hope you-all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!


don't let me be the only one doing the talking around here. spill your guts!