Visit Bloggy Moms
|The Room Sets the Stage
When they told me I was having a girl after giving birth to three boys, you can imagine how excited I was. There would be so much new and different even though I was fairly seasoned at this mother thing. The first thing I did was begin to plan the new nursery. After years of blue – we would paint that bedroom a different color. Nope not pink…I was never a “pink” fan – I chose peach. We painted a white picket fence around the room 3 feet tall and my brother would come over to add life sized forest animals like squirrels and bunnies with furry caterpillars, lady bugs and perching birds to the walls. I remember looking back at that room with the new white crib (the boys had trashed the previous brown one) and thinking – this is my baby girl’s room!
Shortly before she turned 3, my husband and I shopped for a bedroom suite for her. It was time to find the perfect set that she would use throughout her childhood but not young enough that it couldn’t be carried into teenage years. We chose a beautiful set with a queen sized headboard and footboard, tall chest of drawers, nightstand and bureau with a mirror. It was oak with some painted flowers - enough to make it feminine and dainty but not childish for when she would grow older. I remember looking back at that room and thinking – this is my little girl’s room!
Nearly 8 years later, she has asked to change things up a bit in her room. So this past summer she picked out a new comforter for her bed. As I bundled up the old yellow gingham and shook the new hot pink stripes onto the mattress, I felt excited about what was to come. Weeks later she asked for some framed ballerina prints for her room to replace the counted cross stitch pictures and girly trinkets that adorned her walls. Again, I was more than happy to “redecorate” – she was finally making her room her own!
A few weeks later I walked past her room to find a magazine poster of Taylor Lautner thumb tacked over her bed. She had not asked me about doing this – it was just done. When I asked her about her new interior design – she laughed. I looked around her room and thought – this room is about to completely change. I gazed around that room and took it all in. The hodge podge of design going on in there. The Laura Ashley curtains that I made for her when I was pregnant still hung over the windows more than 11 year s later. Her lamps were still the same lamps used when this room was her baby nursery. In the corner her toy box still sat filled with stuffed animals and baby dolls that haven’t seen the light of day in years and next to her bed was her baby doll crib that is now piled up with her UGG boots and fuzzy sock collection. I thought to myself – she is sitting right on the cusp. Still okay with holding on to her little girl life but ready to burst forth into the next stage.
As I turned to walk out of the room, the other corner caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks. I hovered over that dollhouse for a long while. Her father and I purchased that dollhouse for her 3rd birthday. It is one of those gigantic wooden houses with numerous rooms, play yard, decking and garage. We shelled out nearly $300 for that house, thinking how she would have years of fun and play with it. I remember how I talked with everyone in the family and we all agreed to contribute to the efforts by purchasing a set or two of furniture so that we could furnish and decorate it all at the same time. We planned it all.
For her 3rd birthday, she chose a Sesame Street theme as Big Bird was her favorite thing in the world those days. I found a 6ft tall Big Bird balloon and made an Elmo cake. The fireplace hearth was topped with stacks of pretty pink packages for her to open and we would spend the day assembling this dollhouse and all of the accessories for imaginative play. The family had taken care of everything. That dollhouse was equipped with a pink punch buggy, a see-saw and swing set, tables, chairs, cushions, lamps, beds, toilets, shower stalls, computer and desk – you name it, it was in that house. We even gave her the people to play with – in fact we bought 2 families for her because she was disappointed when her play family only had 2 children – because her real family had 4 children. After we carried it all upstairs and put it together again in the corner of her room, later I walked past and saw her sitting on her knees. I remember that moment so vividly. She was in her little pink skirt, her white Stride Rite sandals, and her Gymboree pastel striped shirt with ¾ length sleeves. Her hair was up in a ½ pony tail with her straight cut bangs framing her eyes and her chubby little pink cheeks puffy from smiling. She didn’t know I was there because her back was to the door and I only watched her briefly so not to inhibit her. I was impressed with her imagination and the maturity to sit and play alone. But I remember thinking—“Wow. Look how much she has grown.”
I turned away from that dollhouse knowing that it hadn’t been touched in years. That was evident by the dust bunnies that rolled around inside of it now. I asked her if she was ready to get rid of it – perhaps give it to another little girl that might be able to enjoy it like she had. She replied with a very abrupt, “Sure.” I’ll admit I had done very little to change her bedroom since that conversation. Removing the toy box, doll babies, stuffed animals, cribs and dollhouse would be quite a chore—a lot of work you know – it could be exhausting –and okay, perhaps emotional for me.
My husband and I have been complaining in recent months that our daughter is always in our bathroom when we need to be using our bathroom. She uses our bathroom to dry her hair, style her hair and house her accessories. Every time we are preparing to go somewhere she is in there. It is beginning to cause a bit of a clash. She doesn’t like to use the bathroom that her brothers’ use and this I can appreciate but we knew there had to be another answer. We were fighting for our own time in our bathroom as she began to spend more time “preparing” herself to go out.
I had picked out a vanity set to give to my daughter for Christmas. I had one when I was growing up and I absolutely adored it. When my husband saw the box he said, “Where do you think THAT is going?” I quickly replied that it would be going where the dollhouse is now. He said, “OOhhh.” There was no further conversation.
So 2 days ago my daughter opened her vanity set. Santa had managed to coordinate his gifts to ours and brought her a curling iron, hair dryer and a flat iron. She begged my husband to assemble it – because it was still in pieces in the big box and yesterday while I was watching movies with my family, he quietly snuck upstairs to put it together. I heard him calling me from upstairs. I knew what he had done. The vanity was assembled and sitting in the middle of her room. He wanted to know where to put it. I pointed to the corner with the dollhouse and knew that it would be my job to remove this from her room. I hesitated to see what her reaction would be. Nothing. I told her to get a large shopping bag and to empty all of the furniture from it. I went to get the vacuum and I cleaned out all of those dust bunnies. I told her would we take it down to the loft and store it there until we found someone who may want it. I watched her throw those wooden pieces into that bag and not bat an eyelash. After the job was complete – she was out the door and didn’t come back. I stood there looking at the dollhouse and the bag of furnishings – I felt like we had JUST done this when we brought it in to assemble it – but it had been nearly 8 years ago…
I dragged the dollhouse down to the loft – I carried the bag down to the loft. I turned back one last time and looked at it and I could recall the first time I saw her sitting in front of it chatting away to the little people of the house. I returned to her room to look at the vanity set. It did fit in the space perfectly. I pulled out the bench, sat down and looked into the mirror. It was the strangest sensation because I instantly remembered sitting in my own vanity. Though it had been some 23 years since the last time I did that, it felt eerily familiar. I got up and looked around the room, knowing that the toy box would be next - because she also received a giant saucer chair that she had asked for Christmas. I knew that chair would be going where the toy box sat. I started to walk over to the toy box and lift the lid. I thought twice about that and just walked out. I wasn’t ready to sift through the babies and stuffed animals housed in that box just yet.
Later that evening I went upstairs to my bedroom. As I was exiting my room, I saw my daughter sitting at her vanity. She had brought up her hair dryer, curling iron and flat iron. They were plugged in and her elbows were sticking out from her head, up in the air, as she sat curling her hair in the oval shaped mirror. She caught my reflection in the mirror and immediately turned to talk to me. She was noticeably excited and began chattering about how her hair wasn’t holding the curl very well. I asked her if she liked it and she responded positively. As I stood in that door way and looked at her, that 3 year old appeared in my mind. Then I looked at my daughter – the chubby cheeks were gone. The bangs were grown out long ago and her hair is all one length flowing down her back. The Stride Rite sandals have been replaced by UGGS and the days of her wearing little skirts are long gone. She was wearing her new “jeggings” and her Aeropostale tee. Very little was left of the physical appearance of that 3 year old.
It’s funny how I have watched all of this happening every day. I have seen and heard the changes in her. But as long as the baby dolls and dollhouses were still in the room – somehow it made it all okay. When those are gone, a mom can really take notice of the difference then. It‘s almost as if it’s not really happening until the room reflects the stage. The crib announced a baby. The new bed announced the toddler. The baby dolls announced a preschooler. The dollhouse announced a little girl. I looked at that room last night and thought – my little girl is developing into quite a young lady. So I guess it must be happening if her room says so.
We Are Family
When Will You Realize Vienna Waits For You?
The Quest for Gold in our Backyard
Can I Give You A Kiss?
Peace. At Last.
Life Is Not Perfect - But He Is
Until You Realize That It Isn't
For Those That Need A Lifeline
Back to the Days of Christopher Robin and Pooh
Boy, I Didn't See This Coming
Whatever You Do - Just Do It
Cleaning Out and Letting Go
So I Will Write It All Down
Who Do People Think You Are?
My Graduation Gift
There Will Be No More Nagging
Whatever You Do - Do NOT Turn Off the TV
A Change is a Comin'
When A People Pleaser Parents
What I Learned My First 18 Years of Parenting
Chip Off The Old Block
Have You Ever Thought About...
Cause and Effect
Let The Coaches Coach
Where The Boys Are
Is It Good For The Soul?
What's YOUR Plan?
It's Time For Me To Call It Quits
The Christmas Book Poem
When I Realized I Was Growing Up
It's All Downhill From Here
And Then There Are Those Wooden Blocks...
You Just Never Know
Have I Introduced You To My Husband?
Permission To Be Sick
Do You Know Your Paper Boy?
I Remember Little Bear
I Told Her To Do The Wrong Thing
Parenting and Prayer
Life Is Not Fair
Do I Wish To Sing?
Another Birthday Bomb
Have You Noticed? It's All In Their Eyes
Stress. I Won't Allow It. At Least Not Today.
And Then the Earth Quaked
Because I Was Home
Don't Mistake the Silence
Thoughts About Time and the Time Spent in Thoughts
And Then There Was A Girlfriend
Who Likes Leftovers?
How's Your Corner of the World?
Dear Son #3
Just Do It
The World's Fastest Decade
Because I Love You
Then The Clock Stopped
Think It Isn't YOUR Teen?
If I Could
When I Grow Up To Be A Man
The Soundtrack of My Life
In My Attic
If He Walked Into My Life Today
Decisions to Homeschool
Psst. Did You Hear About...
His Forever Picture
In Fifteen Years, It Will Be Fifteen Years Ago
"You Were Perfect, Baby"
Es Lo Que Es - Part Two
Forever and No Matter What
Es Lo Que Es - Part One
If Something is Wrong - What Then?
I Have Failed
The Sleepover Dilemma
The Case of My Son's Pants
Trust Has To Be Earned
Step-Parenting: You Just Have to Find Your Own Way
Inside a Mother's Heart
Let's Just Let It Ride
My Doctor Doolittle
Summer is Stressing Me Out
The Gift of Time
Life is Forever Changed
If She's Meant To, She Will
I'm Letting Go of My Mom Guilt
Like a Real Man
Someday Her Prince Will Come
Welcome to the World
Have You Seen the Groundhogs?
Good-Bye My Sweet Pea
I Promise You Won't Regret It
All Good Things Come To An End
Swinging: A Short Story - Will You Come Away With Me?
Life Just Keeps Getting In The Way
Sometimes Ignorance Is Bliss
Wait Until You Have Children Of Your Own
The Dangerous World of Play Dates
If You Really Knew Me, You Would Know That...
If You Build It, They Will Come
In the Still of the Night
You Break It, You Buy It
A Father Speaks to His Son
When Dad Travels
The Secret World of Cell Phones
Two Hours At A Time
Can We Talk?
When I Grow Up #1
What Are the Chances?
"Real Friends Don't Let Real Friends Use Facebook"
It Takes a Village - But You Need To Open Your Front Door First
Finding A Beach in My Bathtub
To Be Sick or Not To Be Sick, That is the Quesion
Real Life Quotes and Real Life Happenings - February Edition
Teenagers and Running Away
World's Greatest Teacher
A Mother's Secret
Divide and Conquer
"There is Really Something Wrong With My Son"
Will You Be My Valentine?
"Dancing in the Minefield"
Just Call Me "Mrs. Mean"
"People Don't Change"
For My Girl - All My Love, Mom
You Want My Real Life Parenting? You Got It!
The Secret to Marriage
I've Got the Orthopedist on Speed Dial
Drowning in the Waters of Adolescent Parenting
Helping Him Be All He Can Be
Why Am I Writing This Blog Again?
Mourning the End of Vacation
New Year's Eve Just Means Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
There's Nothing Wrong With Being JUST a Mother!
The Room Sets the Stage
My Favorite Day of the Year
"Is Christmas Really Different When You're A Grown-Up?"
Vivi's Top Ten Real Life Parenting Christmas Pet Peeves
The Root of the Problem
My Christmas Story
Another Coughing Christmas
Tired of Being Too Busy
Another Wrestling Season