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November 7, 2011

Quit Trying to Make My Babies into Big Kids!!!

A couple of months shy of three, my girls feel a lot like big kids…and I love it.

They speak mostly in complete sentences.

They have amazing memories and incredible imaginations.

They can take quite the hike with Mommy in the neighborhood.

They feed themselves pretty proficiently, and eating in restaurants with them can actually be quite pleasurable.

They are smart and funny and full of life, and life is pretty darn good.

Still, I’m not anxious to push them to grow up any faster than the crazy pace they’re already keeping. I know that before I can blink, they’ll be in elementary school…they’ll zoom through middle and high school…and I’m already dreading them starting to date when they graduate from college.

As I’ve been window shopping these past couple of weeks, thinking about the holidays and the girls’ birthday in January, my “big kid” anxiety has definitely heightened.

I’d been thinking for a while about getting the girls a dollhouse for Christmas…but I’m not sure I can do it. It just seems like such a “big kid” toy.

Several friends suggested a modern-day version of paper dolls...magnetic or snap-on dress-up play. While I imagine the girls would love it, that seems so grown-up, too!

As I step back, I think a big part of what weighs on my mind is that many of the dollhouses and dress-up sets on the market are so pink. To date, most of the girls’ toys are more gender-neutral, and it feels like a huge step to move away from the primary colors and wooden construction.

I’ve done some online research, and I think I can still accommodate my wish list for the girls, if I choose. There are more gender-neutral dollhouses, and there are dress-up sets that feature soccer players / doctors / firemen and policemen.

So I was breathing easier, at least feeling like I had more options…until…I went window shopping for holiday dresses over the weekend.

I was in a major department store, in the children’s section. I walked past the section labeled 2 - 6x, filled with beautiful pageant-type dresses. I was looking for size 3T, when I spotted the cutest red Scottish plaid dress with a sweet cream turtleneck underneath.

Hmmm...I only see through size 24 months, though...perhaps they're low on stock.

I looked around a bit more, and finally found a salesperson to ask what was going on with their inventory. She kindly steered me back to the big, fluffy beautiful pageant-type dresses. “Here you are!” she declared.

Whoa. My babies are not old enough for taffeta and rhinestones! I need plaid and knit, people!

Plaid and knit, primary colors and wood…perhaps I have texture issues. As pretty as the girls would look in those dresses, and as much fun as they’d have with those dollhouses, I’m just not sure I’m ready.

My girls may be growing by leaps and bounds, but this mama needs to take baby steps.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

Totally agree that babies need to stay babies as long as possible :)

while talking and communicating, of course!


I'm thinking of not getting them any Christmas presents - I still have bday things we haven't given.........

Mandy said...

Love that Marcia is thinking of not gifting! We too have birthday gifts and one lone Christmas present from last year!

I'm totally that mom.

I actually dread the girls going to school. I'll miss them terribly. I'll have to work! It's just all around a bad thing!!

As for the christmas dresses, boy do I EVER hear you! This is exactly why I make our dresses. I actually started today. I'm not a fan of the poof and glitz. I'm also not a fan of the $50 price tag, times two, that will be worn once!

I hope you find what you're looking for. I know the girls LOVE their dollhouse. I hate it, but I'll tolerate it so long as I'm still winning the baby doll battle!

Beth said...

Your girls will start dating after college... ;-) Love it!

From all of the stories you tell about your girls, I really think that they would enjoy a doll house. My kids absolutely love theirs! I love how creative they are with it. They tell whole stories about the little characters ! I am often annoyed at how pink the girl world has become, and also have sons, so I found this dollhouse and all of the kids have really enjoyed it.

Also, the Christmas outfits can be too much. I don't wear evening gowns. My three year old daughters certainly don't need to! My MIL bought them fancy dresses they will wear to Christmas Mass and I got them cute, casual outfits from Etsy they can wear to holiday parties.

You are the boss and you will make the right decision about when and how your little girls grow up!

Johanna said...

Mine LOVE their dollhouse. Of course, we have a plastic one that they can touch as well as a pretty one that they can look at until they are too old to play with dolls. Haha! I'm so mean. :) The dollhouse they play with is the Fisher Price Loving Family Grand Dollhouse. And I'm not exaggerating when I say they play with it every day. And I bought them all of the extra people (and different ethnicities/ages). My girls use the house in different ways, as I imagine yours would... they put their smaller stuffed animals in it, they have used it as a finger puppet theater, and the latest is that it is a princess castle. :)

And, I am SO with you on the big girl clothes. I still gravitate to the baby section before I remember "oh yeah... my kids are 3" :(

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

Dating post college...LOVE IT!! ;)

I agree totally with you...too much growing up...too fast! However, I find myself wanting to get all the toys I can now becuase I am so terrified they will stop playing with them too soon...crazy...I know but I have seen it so often with friends kids. :(

championm2000 said...

You slipped that dating after college bit right in, huh? Good luck with that :-) Honestly, I am a firm believer in no dating until 16. That was the rule at my house growing up. But if I could get by with 21, I would love it...

I am appalled at some of the things I see for little girls. I was all bent out of shape last year over the "I'm too cute for these boots" Gap commercial. Really???

Barbara Manatee said...

I, too, loved the dating note you put in there! :-)

I hear ya on the 'little girl' clothes - so much is so NOT really 'little girl-ish'!!

Barbara Manatee said...

On another note - we kept things very gender neutral for J&S for a long time. If Jacob got a truck, Sarah got one, too. IF Sarah got a doll, Jacob got one, too. They had equal exposure to both boy and girl things and a lot of very neutral toys. But, I think right around age 3-4, they really started to develop their own unique interests - and really very stereotypical ones! Jacob doesn't mind joining in some of Sarah's doll house and Barbie play, but MUCH prefers his trains and trucks with Adam. Sarah will gladly play along with the boys and their vehicles, but given top pick - will surely end up with her dolls, crayons or princesses.

So crazy how they still gravitated that way, despite the neutral beginning.

On the other end - Adam swayed to the more 'boyish' stuff much earlier than Jacob did - likely b/c when J was his age, he had more neutral stuff...where now that J has "boy" stuff, that's what Adam wants, too. He has NO interest in dolls, etc and lives for his trains.

Quadmama said...

I was so bummed when my girls outgrew toddler sizes. Going across the aisle to the 4-6x section isn't as much fun. Everything seems so grown up. Every now and then one of my girls will have on an outfit and I'll think "I know exactly what you're going to look like as a teenager."

reanbean said...

"starting to date when they graduate from college." Love it! :o)

T&R are getting a dollhouse for Christmas (a fairly big one), but they're closer to 4. They've loved playing with the one in the lobby of their dance studio, so I know they're going to love it. I picked it up a few weeks ago when it was on sale, and we have it down in the basement, but I couldn't tell you what color it is. I'll be it has some pink on it somewhere, but that will be okay since pink is R's favorite color.

As for the holiday dress, I went very casual this year- just a long sleeved cotton red dress from Oshkosh. No taffeta, no sparkles. But it will certainly be good enough for our holiday photos, and she'll definitely be able to wear it throughout the winter and spring. She can sparkle when when she goes to the prom. :o)