It was a quiet Sunday afternoon. After a busy Sunday morning. Lunch was over. I had just settled the boys in their beds for naps and went to check on little bit. She asked me if I would nap with her. I told her I would after I cleaned the kitchen. I figured she’d be asleep before she called me on it.
After I cleaned up and ate lunch, I decided to see if I could figure out why our computer stopped working. I leaned into the boys rooms and they were sound asleep. Then I peeked in to her room, and she smiled right back at me. She was waiting for me. She patted the spot next to her on the bed and said, “I saved a ‘pot for you.” I grinned back at her and walked into the room. Then she pointed to the pillow laying next to her own and said, “I pudda pillow out.” It was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears. She was waiting up, she cleared a spot on her bed for me, and she’d even gotten me a pillow to lay my weary head on right next to her. Well, there was no work to be done at that point. I crawled into bed with her. She checked to make sure I didn’t need covers. Then she rolled over to face me and held my hand. Her little face was six inches from my own. I smoothed her hair and kissed her face and prayed she would remember this 10 years from now. I fell asleep minutes later. And I don’t even nap.
We are all in such a hurry. I am the worst offender. Oh, but I almost missed this. I almost hurried myself right past this sweet time. And she probably would have fallen asleep eventually without me, but then I wouldn’t have followed through on my promise and she would have gone to sleep sad. I don’t want to hurry past these moments. I don’t want to miss even one if I can help it.
Right on the heels of this sweet moment with my three year old little girl, I was confronted with how blind society has become to how they are artificially maturing and sexualizing our young girls without any pushback. Little bit has been in ballet and tap this year. Her recital is in a couple of months. Her two costumes just came home. Her “bumblebee” costume was indecent enought to make me send a sharply worded note to the school and request a refund. It had a small halter top in yellow and black with a sheer mesh insert connecting the top to these little bottoms that didn’t start until below her belly button. She is three. Along with this ridiculous outfit, the note said she needed to wear heavy makeup. I get they’re on stage, but at three do they really need saucy outfits with heavy makeup? Is anyone else bothered? Did the other moms get these “costumes” and feel their blood boil? I felt like I’d just signed up for a bad episode of that reality little kid pagent show. The idea of this little one who still says “pot” instead of spot getting dressed up in a tiny “tap bikini” for a recital before an adult mixed gender audience is unbelievable to me. There is no question that she will not be in ballet next year, but what about now? What is our reaction? One parent won’t effect change, but couldn’t we all voice our concern that decisions are finally outlandish enough to warrant some restraint?
I love my sweet girl. I refuse to go along to get along. We’re going to play with baby dolls and sing Twinkle Twinkle and curl up in her butterfly painted room for a little while longer before the world tries to steal her innocence.
My 15-year-old daughter has danced since age 3, and I assure you that I have seen about 1 million bumblebee costumes that are completely modest and adorable. If your daughter likes dance, you may want to look around for a different studio more in line with your values. There are even some that use all Christian music. At both studios where my daughter has danced, the owners are Christian women and are very cognizant of what they’re putting on stage in front of who-knows-who. Dance has been a blessing to my daughter in terms of self-confidence and her ability to find a place where she fits in. You’re a great mom, your babies are precious, and you’ll figure out what to do.
I know that’s true of many dance companies, and I don’t need her to just dance to Christian music, but the outfits are too much. I think we’ll try gymnastics next year b/c she’s equally as good at that and has indicated she’d rather take those classes.
Oh I would definitely send a sharply worded note *and* put a black leotard under that bumblebee costume. Like Lori, I have seen many bumblebee costumes that were very modest, by dance costume standards. There is no excuse. The dance instructors should be ashamed of themselves.
And good for you not missing that moment with Little Bit. I needed that reminder today – not to miss the small stuff.
That’s so funny April – that’s just what I did. They issued a nasty email back to me and so I ordered her a larger size and then ordered a leotard to go under it!!! I just loved my time with her and it made me realize how quickly that bubble bursts now….
What a precious moment with your daughter. She is thoughtful, loving person, and how blessed you were to experience her expression of love!
I’m saddened (broken hearted) by what our culture wants our girls to look like. The fact is they have their whole lives to lose their innocence, but once it’s gone there’s no getting it back. And I don’t just mean in a negative way. As a mother of an 11 month old, you realize that every milestone means something will disappear. Pretty soon Hannah will only be walking, and the cuteness that IS crawling will be a faint memory. If we train them and love them, they will grow up…there is no hurry.
I tend to be ultra sensitive in the “suit” department. For bathing suits, I was blessed living in San Diego because a rash guard and board shorts looking super adorable and conservative (plus 2 pieces are better for potty training and changing into dry clothes). So when Sam started gymnastics at 5 I noticed 2 types: 1 that looks like a bathing suit and 1 where the suit goes down to mid thigh like biker shorts. I was immediately sold on the latter. I feel like we can always go TO the regular one piece, but we may never be able to go back. I’ve seen the preschoolers in just regular t-shirts and shorts (uniform of our gym), and I don’t know if they wear gymnastics uniforms yet.
I think as a parent one of the hardest things to do is to stand up for what you believe when you’ve already committed. I’m so impressed by you to be offended by the costume and not suffer through her wearing it before letting them know!
First off Alicia, I am so glad to get the tip on the differences in the gymnastics outfits – we will definitely go with the latter when we start her in gymnastics later this year. I’m actually really sensitive to “suit” stuff too. We are big one piece swimsuit wearers in our home, she’s always had one pieces, and last summer I just put her in swim diapers b/c she wasn’t perfectly potty trained & this year she’ll have a year of being solidly potty trained under her so that should be easy. With a pool at our house, she lives in a suit in the summer, and I want to set standards now. I was honestly so shocked by the outfit when I got it that I didn’t have a choice but to issue a complaint. Now that I have a larger size and my leotard on the side to go under it, I feel comfortable allowing her to dance both numbers (otherwise I was pulling her from the tap number). And I know, all these moments fly by. Even their laugh is beginning to grow up, I’m treasuring these last toddler moments……
Christine Wright says
Awww, that story. She even saved you a ‘pot. Love that. It’s this age so sweet? (My youngest turned 3 in January)
I’ve heard of similar complaints in my town from moms regarding the dance costumes. Good for you for saying something. My 7 yr old is in a ballet program that’s offered by local a church. The director is wonderful and I’ve not had to worry about the costumes they choose. Is that an option where you live?
I know Christine – it’s a precious age. And I’m constantly amazed at how so many of areas of our life keep overlapping!
It’s interesting b/c I’ve had a couple moms email about a dance company where they are very comfortable with the costuming – so that is an alternative option. Also, b/c little bit is not just enamoured with dance right now, gymnastics may end up being a better fit……(in more ways than one!)
So sweet! I love special moments like that. 🙂
I nap with my 5 year old 2-3 times a week when I am off work. We love to co-sleep and it has been an amazing attachment for the both of us. I agree that so many moms these days are so busy with dmeanding careers and schedules that this big opportunities are missed. I am a single mom by choice and adopted by girls from China at 10&12mos. At that time I told myself that I would always “be in the moment” with them and give my full attention to them. After doing this for the last 8 years I feel I have not missed anything about their little lives. I cry all the time at how awesome our lives are and have been. God made this perfect little family for just us. So even if you are not a napper, give yourselves a break from all the chores and hold your littles as they fall asleep.
Oh how precious – and kudos to you for remembering to stay in the moment – I sure am working on that!
Funny that I just read this, my 5 year old only recently expressed interest in dance and it seems to have passed. Our good friend is 11 and we have been watching her dance at recitals for a few years. I have been absolutely shocked at the costumes and honestly that made me hesitant to sign my little girl up. I danced for a few years as a kid and it was the full bodice with tutu attached, what happened to those?? Last year I almost took my daughter out of the recital because she mimicks this little girl all the time. Her costume was very skimpy and the dance moves, in my opinion were highly inappropriate. Use your imagination. I just could not believe it! I was however happy when the holiday show was full of full length costumes and dances put to tell a story. Things can be done tastefully. I am also in shock when I browse the little girl section at some stores and see padded underwire training bras. That infuriates me. I see primarily all online shopping for my daughters in their future!!
As for swimsuits, I am okay with the one pieces. But I love the rash gaurd or UV Skinz ( not plugging the name for credit, they do not know i exist, just like the product) that have the short sleeve swim top with boy short bottoms. It really helps for quick potty breaks and limits the amount of sunscreen needed!
I wasn’t in dance so this caught me off guard but it sounds like dance is different now than it was even for dancer friends. Love the tips on swimsuits!
This post is so timely for me to read. After almost nine years of dancing my daughter is giving it up this year. She goes to a very conservative studio with Christian Teachers and I’ve never not liked the costumes (handmade by one of the teachers) or the music. But…she’s been dancing Competitive this year and while her costumes, moves and music remain fine I can’t stand sitting in the auditorium watching the shaking, grinding and bikinis! I have a post scheduled for later this week on this very subject. How I wish we could live in a bubble, and avoid this at all costs but it’s been a very good life lesson for a 12 year old girl and her mother!
I didn’t even think about all the other dance companies – it’s so hard to have to leave something you enjoy but hopefully she’ll find something she loves for her next phase!
Just have to chime in one more time and say that all you young moms are so smart to be concerned about what even your preschoolers are wearing! I heard from a mom in a MOPS group when my daughter was tiny that you shouldn’t let your girls wear at 3 what you wouldn’t want them to wear at 15 and I really took that to heart. I don’t know if my 15-year-old is just naturally modest or if that has really worked, but we never have any disagreements over what she wears. In fact, it’s pretty difficult for her to find clothes she likes — I always say that if Grace Kelly wouldn’t have worn it, my Rachael doesn’t want to wear it. Which makes it a little tough to shop in the junior department!
thanks lori – and yes, i can’t imagine grace kelly would find much to wear in any of the stores readily available right now (i can’t even find grace kelly clothes – much less our teens!)
Diana Graves says
Gindi – It has been a LONG TIME since we have seen each other, but I still check in on your posts. I enjoy your reminders to slow down and absorb life.
I had to give you one warning on swimsuits – watch out for those high-cut one piece suits! I can’t put my daughter in one piece suits because they are too high cut in the legs and end up showing half of her butt! Not something you really notice if they are in a swim diaper. Granted she is a little tall, so that makes it even harder to fit. All of our suits around here are boycut bottoms and rashguard tops. Makes potty breaks easier too.
Keep up the wonderful writing!
Diana – really good tip, Lillie is super long-bodied too so I’ve been having to buy up a size to get one to fit her.