Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thoughts on Child #4's Birthday Celebration

I did not bake this cake. Or any cake, for that matter. Child #4 wanted a "real" cake this year. By which she meant "bought"!

We celebrated Child #4's 9th birthday with a makeover sleepover party!

Yes, yes, I So Don't Do Makeup opens with a makeover slumber party! It was a case of real life imitating art. Without the mystery part! :)

The girls patted an oatmeal + yogurt mask on their faces.

The girls soaked their cuticles in a honey + olive oil

The girls soaked their tired nine-year-old feet in aluminum lasagna pans filled with warm water + foot salts. Then they massaged their feet with a rubber foot and used silky lavender lotion + oil.

Of course, as the mother of the birthday girl and spa manager, I hung out a lot with the girls. And eavesdropped. Here are a few of the interesting things I overheard straight from the mouths .

"Boys have issues."
Spoken with much authority by one of the guests. She was explaining why Child #4's brothers were playing video games and not joining in on the spa fun.

"Girls, girls! My makeup's falling off!"
Shouted by one of the girls who had slapped on eye shadow and blush at 7 a.m., then promptly catapulted into the pool with the rest of the gang.

"I don't know why she put eyeshadow right up to her eyebrows. Are we supposed to do that?"
A question pondered by women around the world!

"Mrs. Summy, you know what would make me really happy? If you gave us cake for breakfast and then let me go on your treadmill. It would be like I hadn't eaten at all."
This last one actually bothered me. The girl who made the request is a cute, creative, chatty 9 year old girl of normal weight. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive about the eating thing because I'm reading Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, a YA dealing with anorexia. Or maybe 9 year olds should be thinking exercise=healthy not exercise=not gaining weight.

What do you guys think?


Kristina P. said...

Sound like typical 9 year-olds to me!!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

What a great idea for a birthday party! I'm sure it was one that won't be forgotten in a long time!

I would also be concerned by the comment about the cake and the treadmill. We want our girls to have healthy self esteem so how do we change that thought in them when the media is always painting a tainted view of beauty? It's sad but 7 and 8 year olds are freaking out over getting fat! Something has got to change here.

Aimee K. Maher said...

That was kind of disturbing for me to read, so it's not just you. When did 9 year olds start talking in terms of tread mills anyway???

What happened to jump in the pool, run in the yard, go to the park?

Teresa said...

Sounds like Child #4 has one of the best mothers in the world. I, too, am a bit disturbed by that last comment on exercise and weight.

David Cranmer said...

I'm with the boys playing video games.

Lauren said...

That last comment is pretty scary. Did she say "hadn't eaten at all" or "hadn't eaten cake at all", because I think that the difference is fairly signifigant. The cake part might actually be okay, because she knows not too eat too much cake, but the eaten part would be highly disconcerning.

The other comments were super cute, though. :)

Chantal said...

Oh my, that sounds disturbing to me too. I have a cousin who has an eating disorder in which she eats, figures out how much calories are in the food, and then exercises until they are all used up. This little girl sounds like she is on a similar path.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

What a cool party! Lucky kids.
The makeup and 'issues' comments are so fun, so kid. But, as with everyone else, I'm bothered by the treadmill. They get this from our culture, unfortunately. I remember being livid that an entertainment writer said Scarlett Johansson had baby fat! Good grief. If someone as beautiful as that gets such derogatory comments, this world is doomed.

Jenn Jilks said...

It is worrisome, Barrie. Things girls worried about in gr. 9 have become things they worry over by gr. 6. I've seen this over my teaching career.

Yet, a lot more of these kinds of stories hit the news - re: adults, and it extrapolates down to the kids anyway. They are always playing dress-up in their minds.

The Internet opens them up to influences they might never have heard about. That is a scary thought. In my Internet Safety workshops I always counseled parents to check the History function of the computer after their child was on it. My gr. 6's would speak of scary strangers. This is more worrisome than a false self-concept.

When I look back at my teen years, I always felt fat. I look back now and see photos of a young girl who was a normal weight. Those were the days of Twiggy!

kaye said...

what a fun birthday party

Bookworm said...

Sounds like fun! So funny about some of those quotes, but the last one is a little scary. Why should a nine year old care about working cake off? Yikes.

Happy Birthday to Child #4, sounds like a fun day. I loved being 9, it's such a great age!

Mac and Cheese said...

The treadmill/cake bit is somewhat disturbing. She should be all about the cake at that age.

Did your nine year old really request a party like this??? I was/am a tomboy, so I can't make sense of it. Sounds like it was a hit though!

Aimee K. Maher said...

As an add on, a friend told me a few days ago her 6 year old son patted her on the stomach and told her her "tummy is too big".

She asked where he would have gotten that from, and my first instinct, honestly, was all the weight loss commercials and everyday media.

Big blanket issues for kids, not just small ones.

Barrie said...

Lauren: I'm pretty sure she said that it's be as though she hadn't eaten anything. So, not just in reference to cake. But I can see what you're saying about a big difference between the two statements....

Mac and Cheese: Yes, she did request this party. She'd been to a sort of similar birthday party.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yogurt masks and honey and egg fingernail dippings! And boys have issues?

Swishy said...

Oh, how FUN!!! I would love a party like that even now :)

laughingwolf said...

lol... fun times at barrie's place ;)

Sarakastic said...

When I was a kid I meant the same thing about "real" cake. I do think the treadmill thing is disturbing but for the life of me can't craft the proper response to it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It reminds me when my kids wanted a real Halloween costume Bought. Although with my sewing skills, I couldn't blame them.

Barbara Martin said...

Makeup on 9 year olds??? I must be living in a cave. I was hard-pressed at 16 to be allowed to wear makeup. Times seem to be changing much too fast (though it's been 40-odd years).

Boys never had issues for me, because I tended to be a tomboy. Girl things were so boring.

Give my birthday regards to your Child#4.

Miss Chevious said...

it's hard for me to think about makeup now (at 31) much less at 9! i'm a pretty plain jane kind of girl.

Corporate Housing said...

Happy birthday!

my son it turning four next week and he's so excited for his party!

Sarahlynn said...

Oh, this is an issue I work on so hard. I struggle with healthy eating/exercise/weight management but I try to always frame my comments in a healthy body way in front of my girls - and never let them hear me talking disparagingly about fat or being fat.

E.g. "Eating this will help your body have energy to run faster at soccer."

Your party guest has probably heard her mom say something very similar to what she said to you.