Earlybird Special, Here I Come!

I remember the turning point.

It was easily 15 years ago, and I was watching Blossom. (Hold your laughter please.) Blossom broke curfew and her dad grounded her. My immediate reaction was, Good, your dad was worried sick about you!

Last week I caught a 9 year old boy in an Eminem shirt as he chowed down on a slice of pepperoni with his parents. Now I like Eminem. I appreciate the irony, this character he's created, the wit and rhythm of his rhyming schemes. But he does sing lyrics like I'll slit your motherfuckin throat worse than Ron Goldman.

Yesterday I saw a girl, about fifteen, checking out of my hotel with her parents. (Ah yes, I'm traveling again. But I figure I'm well over my quota of boohoohoo I'm traveling and miss the baby posts for the year, so I'm skipping right over that part.) She was adorable, clean-cut with pink capris grazing her narrow calves and her long straight hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was holding her dad's hand, but you could sense just a hint of that brazen teenage rebellion brewing up in her.

And then I noticed the tattoo around her ankle. A chain of green-black stars with the clean lines of new needlework. My first thought was: How old is that girl?

My second thought was: What the hell is that father thinking?

My third thought was: Oh my God. I'm going to start collecting Hummels and saying "cockadoodie" any moment now, aren't I.


Anonymous Melissa said...

HAHAHAHA... you're too funny. I think that it happens to all of us. But once you have kids it is worse, because you fear they will turn out like the kids you see.

5/2/06, 7:13 PM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Oh ya "cockadoodie" is right around the corner. Followed by "what's up with youngins these days".

I catch myself judging teens all the time giving them the looks that I deplored as at their age. Yikes

5/2/06, 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Motherhooduncensored said...

Oh don't me started. I'm turning off the Muppets because it's too violent. And the little girls running around with short skirts and make-up. Yes, they're college students, so what?!

5/2/06, 8:02 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

Are you sure that was his daughter? Just maybe it was his girlfriend and the older woman with them was his girlfriend's mother. Oh yuck, that gives me the eebie geebies and I didn't even witness it.

5/2/06, 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Christina, aka Kitty said...

Just wait until you get to the age where her friends play with Bratz---you know, the hooker dolls with the big lips. UGH! I would rather my kids turn into little punks with colored hair and safety pins and combat boots than hoochie mamas! Want to get all antsy about feminism? It's sad how so many girls are getting tarted up younger and younger.

5/2/06, 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Sometimes I am talking to my husband and I'll say something like "Those young people today... they just have no get up and go." And I'm overwhelmed with the sudden urge to take Dulcolax, put on knee socks with sandals, and complain about how my sciatica is acting up due to the sudden rain.

5/2/06, 8:56 PM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...


When I first started teaching ESL at the college level I thought to myself, "Hey, I look like these kids. We must have a lot in common." Oh, how I was mistaken. I may look young, but their world is in another universe! Pick me up a Hummel while you're at it!

5/2/06, 9:24 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yep. That's why I have rebuked the "Limited Too" as demonic and only allow Emily to wear clothes from Hannah Andersson and Gymboree. Which is sadly coming to an end.

And teh little 6 year olds walking around in Bikini tops? WTF? Are you advertising for the perv's?

And what is it with the music of today? It's so LOUD...

5/2/06, 9:41 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

It's childbirth that does it.

I'll be saying things like, "Hoodlums!" when I see a pack of teenagers walking by (notice I call them a 'pack' now, not a 'group') and my husband just says, "Who the hell ARE you?"

5/2/06, 10:03 PM  
Blogger Jozet said...

Yeeeaaaahhhh...I've turned into a bit of a prude when it comes to kids and clothing. I don't know how or when it happened. Maybe when my 4yo insisted that she wasn't going to wear underwear with her dresses.

I just went clothes shopping with my 7yo, and size 7 seems to be the point at which all the clothes turn to MTV video costumes, unless you want to drop biggish bucks for Lands End, Hannah Andersson, etc. I ended up buying my daughter boys' shorts because she could then wrestle and tumble around without her gotchies showing.

Pass the gravy, Mildred, and shut the window, I feel a draft.

5/2/06, 10:13 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Um, yeah. That was not her father.

5/2/06, 10:13 PM  
Blogger Jozet said...

Dawn, yes! It was sort of depressing when I walked into Children's Place - which has some very modest girl's clothing, but still funky, and some things a bit, uhm, short....

Anyway, on the sale rack all that was left were sizes 10-14. Lovely, hip-but-modest, funky clothes. I was just imagining all the pre-teens saying, "MMMoooOOOOOMMmmmm, how will I ever get a date at recess wearing this stuff?"

Now, back in my day....

5/2/06, 10:19 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah, my first thought was "That's not her father."

Help me into my craftomatic bed and pass the efferdent, will you?

5/2/06, 11:21 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

i hear you... i find myself morphing into my grandma by leaps and bounds.

5/3/06, 12:45 AM  
Blogger mommy on the verge said...

You can get hummels very cheap on eBay. But, before you bid, go listen to Eminem on your ipod and ROCK OUT!

5/3/06, 2:07 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Oh. My god. You just hit on anOTHer one of my hobbyhorses.
I went out shopping the other day for birthday stuff for myself and of course ended up trying to buy stuff for the girls, which, if the husband hadn't dragged me bodily over to the women's section I totally would have. (Rockin' the run-on sentences, yes I am.)
Anyway, when I got to looking at the styles of clothes for little girls, AKA Mini-Hooker Chic, I just about lost... my... shit.
Who are these people that buy this crap for their precious daughters?
My girls are always dressed in the height of (boys') fashion, and are always (boyishly) modest, and yet still manage to maintain popularity and status amongst their peer groups. Funny how that thing I like to call "personality" makes a bigger difference than dress, at least to the kind of kids I want my kids to be friends with.

5/3/06, 2:14 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

How jaded we are! Maybe is WAS her father! Okay, so maybe I am more naive than the average reader, but I reading these comments I couldn't help but imagine Liz, Nate and Thalia checking out of a hotel fifteen years down the road, and onlooker seeing Thalia and Nate being affectionate (in an innocent father/daughter way) and someone thinking, "Ewww! That's not her father!"

But then again, maybe I am naive and everyone else above me is right.

5/3/06, 2:27 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

um, how many typos can I fit into one comment?

5/3/06, 2:28 AM  
Blogger Aine said...

I actually turned to a friend the other day and said:

"When I was a kid, this was all fields..."

Arrghh! I'm only 27!

5/3/06, 6:46 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

Uhm .... I actually OWN a Hummel ... I am so doomed.

5/3/06, 7:57 AM  
Blogger So-Called Supermom said...

I turned 27 last month and declared that I was actually 26.2 because the sound of 27 made me feel old. Then.......I was at the mall this weekend and made a comment that "I remember back when this and that and this and that." My hubby just looked at me and my response....."I know, I birthed a baby and immediately started sounding like a grandma!!!". It happens to the best of us!!! :)

5/3/06, 7:57 AM  
Anonymous madge said...

My turning point was when I first saw a teenage boy wearing a visor, askew and upside-down(!). I think I actually shook my head said, "I don't understand kids these days. What's he trying to do, catch rain? Protect his ear from the sun?"

Now I'm all about the fake curses:
F*ck = Fudge
Sh*t = Sugar
Bullsh*t = Booger Snots
C*cksucker = Cockadoodle Doo

You'll see. When Thalia starts parroting you. There's nothing more hilarious/humiliating than a two-year-old hollering BULLSH*T out of her stroller.

5/3/06, 8:05 AM  
Blogger Carrcakes said...

You are in L.A. right? Maybe the girl is really 37 and has a great plastic surgeon.

5/3/06, 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

As the mom of a teen and a 'tween, I, like, totally, get it. It's the PICK YOUR BATTLES motto that all of us - who have half a brain - adopt at some point. If they look like your "average American family" and she has a tatoo, I hate to think what they said no to. I bet it was a biggie.

5/3/06, 9:01 AM  
Blogger Marcie said...

A post with Blossom, Eminem and Hummels? Good job. Maybe the tattoo has finally lost it's rebellion factor. Especially since everyone, including grandmas, have them.

5/3/06, 9:25 AM  
Blogger Jozet said...

kvetch, good point about "pick your battles". In all honesty - beyond the clothing issues - I allow my daughters to do some things that I'm sure other people shake their head at, and even I silently shake my head at. It's strange where I draw my own lines. Not always logical.

There are those knee-jerk reactions, though, that still make me feel like an old lady.

5/3/06, 9:56 AM  
Blogger Marriage-101 said...

On the flip side, my fiance's boss (a thirty-something mom of two between the ages of 5 and 8) just got her first tattoo across her back. And her kids went with her to watch. What's worse? A kid who's probably not old enough to know any better or a mom who's old enough to know better but doesn't? Not that there's anything wrong with having a tattoo, but I always thought that the time for stuff like that was called "college."

5/3/06, 10:13 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I'm going to stay firmly entrenched in denial. Oh yes, I have opinions on the matter, but I refuse to say them out loud because then I will be my mother/grandmother. Plus, I try not to think about this stuff too much now (except I can't help but get my hackles up when I see a Boys Suck t-shirt that's supposed to be funny while my 2 yr old son walks next to me oblivious that he apparently sucks for no reason) because in a few more years, it'll all be different. When my son starts caring about his look, I'll still be scratching my head in wonderment, but I will stay in ignorant bliss for a couple more years.

5/3/06, 10:51 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

The other day we were in a store to buy speakers and there was a Pussycat Dolls (!) video playing on one of the screens and Bad Father asked, 'what do you think of that?' and I said 'what I think is, WonderBaby is NEVER going to be allowed to watch music videos.' Then I clucked about the inappropriateness of such material being played in a store that children visit. Then we left, got in our car, popped in the Eminem CD, cranked the bass, and drove home.

5/3/06, 10:59 AM  
Blogger tracey said...

You think that's bad? What about me flirting with the 19-year-old waiter at the cafe, "Well, aren't you a handsome young man?" Hello, can you say old lady in a purple hat???

5/3/06, 11:19 AM  
Blogger zeldafitz said...

Yep, dust off the rocker, girl, and do a search for "Fishing Boy Hummel: Mint." Sigh. It's inevitable, this creaking into middle aged indignation...

5/3/06, 11:20 AM  
Anonymous aj said...

My sister bought my sons expensive "Diesel" t-shirts for Christmas this year.They opened them on Chistmas eve and put them on to go to the Christmas eve service where my husband is the minister.It wasn't until we were in the full lighting of the sanctuary that I noticed that my 11 year old sons shirt read "BIG LICK 69". How do you say BAAAD mother/ministers wife?

5/3/06, 11:29 AM  
Blogger Arwen said...

There are never enough emails about missing our wonderful children when traveling (sometimes I feel like have me posts have that theme).
I remember when I was a kid and my mom had a rule about what I could do to my body and when (earrings at 12, make up at 14, etc....). I think I may have to start collecting Hummels too since I now think she was quite liberal with what she let me do and when.

5/3/06, 12:12 PM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

Fuck. Now, I feel all guilty and shit about letting my 19-month old daughter get a tatoo and a cell phone. What could I do? She told me all of her friends had them already!

In all seriousness, I totally share your pain. Especially having the kids grow up in this city, I think you and I are going to be dealing with this teenage rebellion earlier than most parents. God help us! We're going to need all the alcohol we can get our hands on!

5/3/06, 12:32 PM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I'm all what the fuck, too.

5/3/06, 1:10 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

LOL. I'm with you. I was playing soccer outside with my daughter this morning and a car drove by with the bass thumpin'. My first thought was, "You fuckers had better turn that shit down before you wake up my sick, sleeping infant." My second thought was, "I used to be one of those fuckers."

5/3/06, 1:11 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

i have a boy, and who knows what i'm brewing up womb-wise right now, but i do know that each time i shop in the kids clothes section i become increasingly indignant about the hoochie-momma line of clothes for SIX year olds that aline the shelves. I've even seen preteen thongs.

i now know how my mother felt when i threw a fit over not being allowed to wear my "Frankie Says Relax" t-shirt and patent stilletoes to my grandparents retirement do (I was 13).

what a skank!

5/3/06, 1:16 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

P.S. I have, however, let my older daughter dye her hair... first it was purple, then it was blue, then it was red (a la Raggedy Ann), in two broad bands at the front of her hair.
Hey, it was actually really cute!
And, she got to feel like a rebel without flaunting her belly button! Or smoking! Or blasting our eardrums with the Black-Eyed Peas (verboten in our home)!
Who said pick your battles? So.... totally.... right.

5/3/06, 1:19 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I find myself looking at teenage girls in really tight clothes or their belly showing and thinking how did their moms let them out like that. Then, I look at my girl in mismatching clothes and shoes she picked out herself and I think how did I let my kid out like that!

5/3/06, 1:38 PM  
Blogger J said...

I'm right behind you...

The newest thing around here is Maya wearing her favorite shirts, no matter what condition they're in. She has a few with stains that WILL NOT come out, and she wears them to school anyway. I pick my battles, so if she wants to wear them, OK. But I hate it.

5/3/06, 1:42 PM  
Anonymous blackbeltmama said...

You're not old; they're just turning into hoochies way earlier these days! When I started teaching high school, I thought how great it would be because "I'll be able to relate to these kids". . . then, I walked in the classroom looked around and realized how VERY far removed I was from them. It only takes a year or two before you can't relate at all.

And, WHO is buying these BRATZ for their girls? Who, I ask you? They will not EVER be in our house and if I have to learn how to sew and make my girls clothes, I'll do it before I let them wear some of this slut wear in the stores today.

5/3/06, 1:43 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Oh no! Not Hummels! The only thing worse than that? Those Precious Moments figurines.

5/3/06, 2:10 PM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

and what about all the pre-teen cell phone use? I actually saw a 6 year-old with one perched on her ear!

5/3/06, 2:46 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

I'm with wordgirl. Precious Moments makes me want to hurl.

No Hummels, but I do have a Lladro figurine. It was a wedding present.

And I love Eminem, but most ADULTS don't understand the tongue-in-cheek nature of many of his lyrics, let alone kids.

Thank you for reminding me to enjoy these days where my biggest problem with Tacy's clothes is that she refuses to wear matching outfits and disdains her Stride Rite shoes for Old Navy flip flops.

5/3/06, 2:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yup. Soon you'll be collecting Precious Moments and showcasing Thomas Kinkade Artwork while wearing festive sweaters with rhinestones all over them. Gah.

If that happens to me, PLEASE SHOOT ME!

5/3/06, 3:21 PM  
Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

We have a route home that my husband objects to me taking. Because everytime I drive by the local university I find myself growling like a crotchety old woman, "Ya damn kids! Didn't your mother teach you to drive?"

So I understand. But what you've lost in the coolness of stupidity you've made up for in wisdom. It will comfort you someday, really.

5/3/06, 3:40 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Hilarious. Maybe it has something to do with having kids and getting protective of them, and then by extension, getting protective of other children. I dunno.

Anway, I've found that since I had my baby, I've started saying things that my mother used to say. Scary.

5/3/06, 4:05 PM  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Those darn kids and their Rock N Roll music!

5/3/06, 4:32 PM  
Anonymous neva said...

seriously, what was that dad thinking? i didn't get my ankle tattoo'd until i was in my 40's (and, no, my mom still doesn't know about it).

hey, you could also go the lladro route...i hear they're popular with your crowd! kidding! i kid. hummels are swell.

5/3/06, 4:55 PM  
Anonymous A Dad said...

there once was a 10 or 12 year old girl who only wanted to wear purple. Her friends even called her grape. And when she turned 14 she hated anything even remotely that color. And when she was in her late teens she wanted a tatoo and her dad reminded her about purple and changing tastes. And told her when she was 21 she could do anything she wanted. And now, many years later she still does not have a tatoo that I know of. That is why you reacted that way. That's what dads are for. Moms, too.

5/3/06, 5:12 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

A Dad: I am imprinting those words on my brain so I can repeat them to my daughter the next time she utters the words "Nose ring" in my presence.
The way you said it far outguns the "I let you dye your hair purple. Don't push it" she's been given in the past.

5/3/06, 5:38 PM  
Blogger a witt said...

The tattoo doesn't worry me as much. I just hope to god that man was her father.


5/3/06, 6:31 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

I just posted about another unfortunate "father/daughter" bad judgement call. The whole tattoo thing on a little girl is gross. I hope it was a rub-on kind. My story is even more disturbing.

5/3/06, 6:46 PM  
Blogger scarbie doll said...

I do it all the time now. It's the nakedness of the young girls that kills me, even though I know I used to be near-nude all the time too at that age. (see me in my hoochiest here http://scarbiedoll.blogspot.com/2005/10/tale-of-two-titties.html) I'd like to think I was somehow classier or smarter, but I wasn't. I was just plain ol' slutty. Trying to get the attention of boys to validate myself.

So who am I to judge? I'm somebody's momma dammit! Watchout!

If you're gonna be playin a little shuffleboard later, call me.

5/3/06, 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Tater and Tot said...

Well, my husband and I were all dressed and ready to go to Burger King for the Wednesday night senior special, he in is brown sandals, shorts, and white socks, and me with my pleated shorts, blouse with shoulder pads, nylons and orthopedics, when I stopped to read this blog. Well, we have decided that we will just eat at home because I don't think that either of us are up to seeing the tomfoolery of those heathens.

Now let me get my pills out of my fanny pack so we can eat. Dear, I'll heat up the leftovers while you put your teeth back in.

5/4/06, 12:27 AM  
Blogger Krisco said...

Maybe....maybe....could it possibly be one of those temporary tattoos?

I'm just hoping here.

Otherwise, that Dad stinks. (I was going to say "sucks" but then I thought I'd better act my age. : )

5/4/06, 12:50 AM  
Blogger Tori said...

Is it just me... or is the music getting louder these days...?

It's ok Granny... it's what we call rap....

I actually totally agree with you. I thought that you had to be 18 to get a tattoo! Perhaps it was a henna tattoo. These are very trendy with the youth...

Does your babe have on a Trio films hat in her pic? (She is, in fact quite adorable by the way?)

5/4/06, 3:32 AM  
Blogger Stephanie T. said...

Sheesh, I hope that was temporary ink. I don't mind dyed hair, crazy hair cuts or funky clothes on teenagers, but tats are so permanent.

I wrote about this on my blog recently, but I felt like quite the old fuddy the other day at a six year old girl's birthday party at a skating rink. That BEP's song "My Humps" came on the speakers and I wanted to run and cover all those sweet, innocent ears.

5/4/06, 10:23 AM  
Blogger macboudica said...

I have a thirteen year old daughter and lately she has been into the whole Goth (no wait-Punk, it's Punk now, so I have been informed) thing with the black clothes, skulls and crossbones, and dog collar chokers.I don't like it, but there are so many battles to be fought with teen age girls, you really have to pick them well. Of course, I think I would definately have to draw the line at a tatoo...

5/4/06, 12:13 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

There are 6th graders at my daughters' school that dress in skimpy tanks, with belly's showing and "I can see your WooNelly" skirts...

Umm, not cool...

5/4/06, 1:15 PM  
Blogger urban-mom said...

When my kids comment about various tattoos that pass by, I always ask them 'what do you think that will look like when its owner is 70 years old?' That always leaves them with a grimace on their face and a nasty thought to chew over.

5/4/06, 2:16 PM  
Blogger soleclaw said...

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean! I'm only 24 and already I feel like such an old lady compared to today's teens. I always think, "surely I wasn't that bad when I was that age!"

By the time my 8-month-old daughter is 13 it'll be socially acceptable for teenage girls to go topless in public! My daughter is going to live under a ROCK!

5/4/06, 9:14 PM  

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