Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dusting off the blog

Why not? I sit around talking to myself all day. I might as well put things in writing.

The 11-year-old is mad at me. Why? Because I let the 9-year-old shave her legs this week. Now, before you start fanning your hankies and asking why a 9-year-old needs to shave her legs, let me introduce you to her parents: one mother who descended from hairy Eastern European stock, and a father with Brillo pad arms and legs. The kid didn't stand a chance.

Anyhow, the older one started lobbying for leg shaving in the fifth grade. I resisted, thinking she was much too young to take such a step. Plus, I remembered those horrible cuts from my own early shaving career, the ones that bled for hours and left stains around the tub. But enough people reminded me that it's not easy being a hairy girl, and this wasn't the proverbial hill to die on, so I gave in that spring. She actually took to the razor naturally and was quite pleased with her silky skin. Granted, there was that one morning when the bus was 15 minutes from arriving and she was still leisurely shaving her legs in the tub, but that was the exception.

Still, the younger one is a full year and grade younger than the older one when I let her start shaving. Granted, she's the hairiest one of our bunch, but even I admit I would have never considered letting the older one shave this early.

There's a lesson here, and I fear it will be repeated many times during the next six to eight years: The older child does things first. The younger does things earlier. No, it's not fair. Guess what? Life isn't fair. That's another line that will be repeated for years.

Guess what else? After the older one threw her fit over the unfairness of it all, she went to her own tub to shave her own legs. But somehow, her common sense button turned off and she wound up sitting on the razor, causing it to slide a couple of nice cuts into her precious baby skin. She bled for hours and left stains around the tub - stains that I need to clean. In the end, life isn't going to be fair, and in the end, Mom's the one cleaning around the tub.


Amy said...

I (the oldest) begged to have my ears pierced and was told I had to wait until I was 9 years old. So on my 9th birthday, we went to jeweler's where I got my wish. And then...on the same day...MY little sister who was only 6 got her ears pierced too. Obviously, nearly 30 years later, I harbor resentment about it!

Jen P said...

As I tell my kids, the younger ones get earlier privileges but also earlier responsibilities. When our oldest was four, he had no chores. Our current four year old washes mirrors, puts away silverware (no knives), and empties trash. It is a tradeoff...

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