May 12, 2008

Teenage Angst. About 12 Years Too Soon.

Ok, so I expected to run into the drama and misery of my daughters' teenage years sooner or later...just not when she was 3 1/2 years old. Lately, Chatterbox is unhappy about, well, everything. I noticed that it began a week or so ago when she started insisting on wearing the same pair of jeans Also, I bought a brand new pair of adorable shoes and she absolutely refuses to wear them, but only wantes to put on her broken down old shoes from last fall. So getting dressed in the mornings became a battle. Then came Alexa.

Alexa is an older girl in Chatterbox's class that had "big ties" (meaning braids) in her hair. Oh and Alexa wears flip flops to school. Well, between those two fashion statements, Alexa has quickly become Chatterbox's fashion muse. She was upset (and I mean UPSET) everyday last week when I did her hair and it did not look like Alexa's. And she was further upset by the fact that I wouldn't let her wear flip flops to school. I mean, not only are they impractical for running on the playground, etc., but I believe that there is a time and place for flip flops and school isn't one of them. So on Friday I had the woman who braids their hair on occasion come over to see if we couldn't hook Chatterbox up with some "ties." She was excited and I was relieved. Only to find out that the braids the woman gave her were not "BIG!" "LIKE ALEXA'S!" And so we were back to the sour face. Then she kicked and screamed when we were getting ready to go to brunch for Mother's Day yesterday because she didn't want me to put any bows in her hair. Nor did she want to wear the outfit that I had picked out. And of course, she wanted to wear flip flops too, but aside from the fact that she would have looked nuts, it was cold and rainy and that wouldn't have made any sense. Really, it was so bad that my morning was almost ruined. Hubby had to have a talk with her to calm her down like only he can.

And don't get me started on the regular meltdowns we have in the kitchen over what she does and doesn't want to eat.

Just what on earth is going on with her? I spoke to my mom and a couple of friends about it and they all seem shocked that she is so opinionated and looks-conscious at such a young age. I'm going try spending some more one-on-one time with her and maybe talking to her teacher to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on at school. I'm hoping it's a (short) phase, because Lord only knows I can't be going through this for the next 12 years.

Maybe I can move in with Alexa.


Mrs. Schmitty said...

I've got me one of those girls too. 4 going on 16. It's very scary. Wait until she tells you she hates you. I got that already...wasn't expecting it until AT LEAST 14!

Dee said...

My daughter is the same way! She definitely has her own taste and can get pouty, angry, or sad if I am not doing something a certain way. This morning, there were tears b/c I tucked her plaits behind her ears so they wouldn't stick out. Oh brother. Can I join you at Alexa's place?

Justice Jones said...

Seems like there's a consensus here on raising little girls. At the end of the day she's a woman and she's determined and that's how we are. We are born with it! Daughter started driving me nuts about her clothes last year, when she was two. My resolution was to hide all the stuff I don't want her wearing and letting her (think) she's picking her own clothes before she goes to bed. This way we avoid the morning drama and she has some part in the process. IF we still can't agree, I assure her she can wear those clothes when she gets home from school, no matter how crazy they look. Lately though, she's actually been matching her clothes, go figure!

Dem Mom said...

My daughter did the same thing. I will say though, I think they go through a bit of a magical transformation when they turn 4. She's been much more pleasant since that amazing birthday. I also stopped caring about what she wears. As long as it's (at least close to) appropriate for the weather, she wears whatever she wants. Sometimes she matches perfectly, sometimes she looks like a hobo...I decided to pick my battles and that's not one that I choose. They do have a rule against flip flops at her daycare though, which I'm grateful for, or I would be fighting that battle.

Nerd Girl said...

3.5 is the new 13! I feel your pain. Our Alexa's name is Ada. "Ada has this, that's not how Ada wears her hair, etc." 4 years ago I would've rolled on the floor laughing if anyone had even suggested I'd be raising some mini-diva - yet here I am, in the throes of it.I shudder to think whhat the next few years will bring. I am going to take comfort in dem mom's statement that a magical transformation will take place when she turns 4 in September!!!

the mama bird diaries said...

My 3 1/2 year old daughter is exactly the same. She's has been picking out her own clothes since she was TWO. Won't wear anything that I pick out. She's very specific and honestly, I've just learned to let a lot of stuff go because she beats to her own drum and it's not worth the battle.

I let her wear flip flops to school. But if it's cold, she has to wear socks under them.

Sounds like a normal toddler. :)

Kim Moldofsky said...

It's stories like this that make me glad to have boys!

But even for me, 3 was a tough year with my oldest. When you're gritting your teeth, try to remember how wonderful it is (in theory) that she can think independently and make decisions. A mother of an autistic child recently wrote about her sadness regarding her son's delays in these area and her perspective really changed my thinking.

Hopefully she'll mellow a bit by 4, like Dem Mom suggested. In the meantime you've got a blog and plenty of women who can relate to your struggles.

Anonymous said...

My almost 3 1/2 yr old boy has been the same way since he was 18 mos old. Very opinionated about what he wants to wera. Insisting on wearing the same new jeans for days on end. Even to bed. Even in the morning when he's wet in them. Ugh! That's the only battle I pick over clothes. No clothes with pee on them! (ok, no inappropriate clothes either, like b/c of weather or place we're going...)Hang in there!

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