Pressing questions for the mother of an 11 year-old girl.
1. Does this flat-as-the-Kansas-prairies child really need a bra? Actually, the answer is yes, I guess. The pediatrician said she would feel more secure about herself if I let her have one. Those two were in cahoots - I could tell. OK, we went to Target and found the training bra aisle. It took some searching to find ones that weren't padded (No WAY! How can you enhance something that DOES NOT EXIST?), but we managed to get some little vest thingies. By the next day, she was already complaining about straps showing. Welcome to the rest of your life, kid.
2. How much help with a project is too much help? Here's her Oregon "float" for the long-awaited Fifth Grade Parade of States.
I think it turned out pretty well. You've got the covered wagon theme going, and the flat bit up by the handle is the "ocean", complete with fishing boat. Then there's a map suspended from the wagon bows. True, her dad built the wagon bows and figured out how to make the mountain. He showed her how to paint it, but she did the painting and all the rest. Anyway, at our house, parental help is dicey anyway. Notice that the wagon bows are already going catywumpus. That's because we decided to pull it to school this morning using the overland route, which was a little bumpy.
Simon also suggested adding a few of the state's products, and found a bottle of Oregon wine in the rack. We drank it up, and he put the bottle on there. The only other product they bothered with was a piece of wood. C'mon! He just wanted the wine bottle on there to see if he could get a reaction from the school administration over some zero tolerance policy; or at least cause some clucking among the Latter Day Saint teachers and parents. Since he is out of town, I took the wine bottle off the float and threw it out. See Sara? Parents aren't really very helpful after all.
3. What am I supposed to do about the badly behaved girls in her Girl Scout troop? There are three brainless, blathering girls in there that I don't even think realize that they are at a Girl Scout meeting. They spend the whole time yelling and monkeying around. It drives the other girls crazy. The troop can barely get anything done. The leader says it drives her nuts, too, but that, "These are the girls who really need Girl Scouts the most". Hmmm... That's a very nice sentiment. The leader is a better person than I am. I find myself fantasizing about chaperoning a camping trip and scaring them so badly with bear stories that they run away and never come back. Maybe a little scratching at the tent wall in the middle of the night, with some growling and huffing sounds...
4. Am I supposed to be freaking out about middle school already? She has one more year left in elementary school, and then it is time for the dreaded middle school experience. Turns out that, just as she is supposed to start there, the building will be torn down and rebuilt. The kids from her school will be bused to another middle school several miles away, where they will share the building with the kids from that school. Granted, it is a really spacious school, but some parents are already pulling their kids out of our local elementary and putting them in elementary schools that will be served by middle schools unaffected by the disruption. Of course, that means that they can't use the school buses and will have to drop off and pick up their kids every day. I work full-time. And Sara doesn't want to be separated from her friends. If I let her be bused to the other school, am I the Antichrist?
5. Does she need braces? The dentist says so, and referred us his orthodontist buddy. But of course, it might all be a conspiracy. I had braces, but there was no doubt I needed them. My mouth looked like a glacier that was about to calve. How the hell am I supposed to know if she needs braces?6. And the big one for today. Do I think this haircut looks cute? She loves it. Sure, Sara. I would never dream of telling you that you really...
...look just like your brother! See? Don't you think her teeth look fine? I mean, once those canines come in.