Last weekend we had two of our daughter’s friends sleep over at our place. Usually I wouldn’t do that, have to kids over at once, mainly because I hate sleepovers which force you to deal with the random whims of other people’s kids. But it just so happened that two of our friends were in need of some help that weekend and I am all about building up the karma these days. I feel like it will ward off a grisly death on the Metropolitan highway.
So. Four girls. All messy, a little bit flaky and definitely whimsical. It just so happened that one of them had brought some money with her and they all wanted to high tail it to the Dollarthèque which is kiddie corner from us. After thinking about it for a moment, I decided to let them go. After giving them a lecture on how to cross the street Montreal style (which means trust no one and nothing- especially not the traffic lights, as people look upon them as mostly decoration, like pretty, colourful flashing lights instead of anything meaningful). They did what I said and I watched them disappear into the Dollarthèque from my vantage point on the front porch. Okay then. I went back inside and waited for them to come back.
Ten minutes later.
Twenty minutes later.
Thirty minutes later. I get dressed and go and find them. They are still in the store, negotiating, pricing stuff out. I am unceremoniously pushed out and told to go home, that they will be there in a minute. I agree hesitatingly and leave. They finally come back, each with their own plastic Dollarthèque bag full of crap. But what crap, do you think? Did they spend it on those cheap glittery tiaras they would have jumped at a couple of years ago? Did they buy a ball, or a plastic shovel or fake plastic fruit? Nope. They bought baby soothers and dog collars.
Yes, you read that right. Baby soothers and dog collars. They spent the morning with their dog collars on, sucking at their soothers.
I was not sure what to do about this. So I did nothing except display a snort of disapproval. I suspect this is a weird trend going on in the school, and that to give it too much meaning or negative emphasis would come back to bite me in the ass big time. So I didn’t. But I hated it. Can you say subjugation, my little one? How about warped little girlie sexual objectification?
So I am stuck between that rock and that hard place, where, to be honest, I find most of motherhood takes place. They did nothing wrong. They chose these things and are using them as props for their game. They do not see the dog collar and the baby soother the way I do. They don’t know that a dog collar not on a dog but a little girl has onion layers of meaning, or that a baby soother in the mouth of anybody that is not a baby has a certain sexual connotation. And I am not going to be the one that tells them that, at least not at the age of nine and seven.
So what do I do? Nothing. Because they will soon lose interest. Already the dog collars have made it onto the stuffed dogs and beautiful leashes made out of electric blue yarn has been fashioned to it. The soothers lie on the floor of their room, unused since their friends left on Sunday.
And another tight spot is squeezed through….I wonder what the next one will be? The trend of fashioning condoms as balloons?