I never thought I'd appreciate the quirks and challenges that come with an infant so much until I spent the afternoon shopping with a couple of 8 year olds. First, let me say that they are both wonderful girls and quite typical for their age. Second, let me say, can mine PLEASE skip that age?!
It's amazing what 8 year old girls think is funny and appropriate. It's incredible how at that age pointing and staring and loudly commenting on other people's appearances is not a red-flag of wrong-ness! But, alas, they are still children.
I had my first experience in the mall with children who were not in a car-seat/stroller today and actually learned a lot about the independence of an 8 year old (which is proven by the fact that she will correct me and say that she is 8 AND 1/2). Almost capable of going off to find the restroom without the assistance of an adult, they are uniquely able to disappear into the myriad racks of clothing and miraculously re-appear moments later from an entirely different part of the store, all WITHOUT destroying the place or shrieking like a banshee. This is amazing to me, as I'm used to hanging out with infants and toddlers, whose vocabulary consists mostly of wimpers and horrific screams.
And I was sadly reminded of how horrible (and I mean HORRIBLE) an 8 year old's sense of fashion can be. It doesn't help that the fashion now is reverting to the neon/spandex/hightop days of the 1980's, which I had desperately hoped had disappeared forever. So there is this odd combination of the desire to repeat the fashion blunders of the past, while combining with the unexplainable never-ending fashion disaster that is the goth movement. I miss the days when wearing solid black all of the time was reserved for widows in mourning and priests. The white face-paint of mimes has been butchered into a hideos death-like mask for people wishing to "express their individuality" meanwhile spending time in crowds of equally terrifying death-obsessed people who all seem to look like mild variations of the same human.
Of course, the 8 year olds think goth is cool now... Stores like "Hot Topic" don't help this fad... in fact, they only serve to perpetuate this odd combination of goth and skater that seems to be permeating the masses... and it makes me SO greatful that my darling daughter is still in size 6 months... (even though she's only 3 months old). For now, and hopefully years to come, I can choose what Natalie wears. Pretty pink dresses, pants that fit properly and shirts that cover her belly (not to mention skirts that go past her knees) are all that will live in her wardrobe.
I love the expression that 8 year olds think they have. I love that they seem to believe that their tastes make them unique or "cool" when they really are a part of the pop culture movement of the time. I remember being 8 years old and my New Kids on the Block belt was the cool accessory to go with my leggings, too long shirt (with a shirt clip, of course) and my Punky Brewster high-top sneakers... O.M.G. I was so cool!
And now I'm even more terrified for Natalie to grow up!