Beauty School Dropout
My oldest is now 13 years old. My first-born, my training baby, my giant child, my young lady is thir-freaking-teen. This is supposed to be a transitional period, where the un-selfconciousness of childhood crashes into the awkwardness of adolescence. This is the time when (supposedly) parents who have run this gauntlet are left navigating a scarred, charred wasteland and a thousand-yard stare, occasionally punctuated by shudders and a twitching eye.
By and large, though, we're doing great. Greatish. (knocking wood.)
I'm struggling with my weight (still, always) and have been having some really candid dialogues with my kids about why I need to watch what I eat, why I need to exercise better, longer, just more. As I mentioned a long time ago on my old ClubMom Blog, I don't want my kids to have a complex about being an idealized weight. I want them to know that food is fuel (while also being fun) and I want exercise and physical play to be a normal part of every day for them. I want health and physical ability to tackle any task they want to accomplish to be the rewards of eating well and moving often, rather than fitting into a certain size.
I want this for them, and I want this for me.
I've lost my way, though. I'm sitting on my exercise ball chair in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day (although I walk and stretch during meetings and calls when I don't have to be right in front of the computer.) My mom, and my sister, and my friends and coworkers all have lots of great advice, and what they know, I know. I know what I need to do, and I know how to do it, and I know when to do it, and I know why to do it, and I still am not doing it. I mean, I'm eating low-carb and writing down my weight and thinking about doing something, but other than that? Not doing it.
I am still not doing this, even though I want this for all of us. ANYWAY.
My thirteen-year-old daughter's primping routine far outweighs my own. She's a girly girl in all the ways I used to be. I'm glad to know that I passed on the Razzle Dazzle Jenny gene to at least one of my kids. She mixes her own lipglosses and creates complicated patterns with her eyeshadows and seems to be developing quite a look for herself.
She likes to have her hair in big, swoopy, wavy curls, and she often turns to me for help putting up her hair in buns before bed, hoping that this time will be the time it actually makes pretty curl, instead of weird, crispy, disordered frizz. I try my best, but a lifetime with hair that doesn't curl for nobody, nohow, has left me inept with hot rollers, foam rollers, rag curls and pin curls. I can do a curling iron, sometimes, but I get impatient and use too large sections of hair, resulting in unevenly curled and weirdly crimped.
The unveiling the next morning almost always results in my daughter getting frustrated and going to school with hair that looks like her mother attacked her with something bendy and her hair caught the worst of it. My daughter, sitting beside me now, just said that it sometimes looks like a dead cat. SO YEAH.
But one thing that I can do better than she can is paint nails. She loves to paint her nails, but she also likes to paint the surrounding skin and really glop that stuff on there. Yeah, she loves her some thick-ass polish layers. She polishes, and then removes, and then polishes, and then removes, and the entire family is gassed out of whatever room she's working in. There is much complaining.
As a nail biter, I rarely have nails to paint, but I've been growing them out and so I figured if you can't beat her, join her, right? So, I've been sporting some Klassy looks over the last few weeks. My daughter cracks up because I have a tendency to paint my left hand and then get bored, and so I end up with crazy nails on one side, and naked nails on the other. She says my left hand is the one I kill people with. The eeeevil hand, if you will.
Right now, I'm sporting bright yellow nails with golden glitter top coat, and boy don't I feel fancy. It's the worst color in the world for me. I'm already plotting the next polish change. The surprising thing about these spontaneous manicure sessions is that it brings my daughter and I back into harmony (most of the time, when she's not trash-talking about her polish being better than my polish or mocking my hairstyling skillz.) We can just sit together, and inhale fumes from wee bottles and enjoy the clacking sound of ball-bearings pinging against glass.
I don't know what the next few years hold for us, but I'm hoping that we continue to find these moments of camaraderie as we navigate the teen years.