Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Mimic


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Liv: I am shopping. I am looking at American Girl's stuff. 
Me: You are shopping? You didn't get enough stuff for your Christmas.
Liv: Well, I was looking for Sammie. Its her birthday next week ya know. 
Me: You want to buy Sammie an American Girl doll for her birthday?
(Sammie is my about to be three year old niece.) 
Liv: Well, I am just making a list of stuff I may want too. My birthday is coming up in July. 

When you are Olivia,  you are constantly trying to feed your shopping hunger. (oh wait,  is that me?). It is such a rush to get new things. You have this high and then when it is taken away, you can't help but to want it back. Your old supply of stuff has mixed in with the new stuff you have gotten and soon you begin to take stock of it all and yearn for a bit more. You see stuff in ads or on TV and think "I should have asked for that".  I was looking at my clothes today and thinking the same thing. New shoes are barely out of the boxes, and already I am planning my spring wardrobe. ...or trying to resist all the amazing sales going on around me. Olivia has barely gotten her new toys out of the box and she is already planning on what she is getting for her birthday. I watch her makes lists and plan for an event that is now seven months away and wonder if I a creating a little shopping monster. She confessed to me that she wanted to do everything I do. I was getting ready to go out and she put on a dress...and a mess of lip gloss. I asked her why she was putting a dress on and she said "because you are getting dressed up Mommy".  When I do the posts I like to sit on my couch with my legs stretched out and my ankles crossed on the ottoman. This is my hobby, and I like to be as relaxed as possible when I write. I looked over at Liv and she was sitting next to me with her ankles crossed dangling her big toe in the air.  She looked at me and smiled..."See,I even like to cross my legs like you." She says.

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, what do you do when your child wants to be exactly like you? I am ,of course, elated that she thinks I am so amazing and notices every detail of what I do and copies it. I also get worried she will pick up on my bad habits. My mom has this habit of twirling her hair around her finger. She has very short hair, and when she thinks she tilts her head to the side to get a good chunk of hair to twirl between the thumb, index and middle finger. Like the way your jaw moves rapidly when you are chomping on bubble gum, that's how my mom's fingers move when she is twirling her hair. I notice when I am thinking or nervous. She always notices when we both do it at the same time and says.."we really need to quit that". The little habits are ok, but it is the big things I do that I fear Olivia will pick up on. (Don't even get me started on my potty mouth). As parents, we spend so much time trying to teach our kids good habits....brush your teeth, clean your room, eat your vegetables. We forget to look at our habits and make sure we are setting good examples. I yelled at Olivia once (or every day) because her room was a mess. She put her hand on her hip and with a little more sass than needed she said "Is yours clean?".

Today, I introduced her to Pinterest. For anyone who hasn't discovered Pinterest, it is basically Facebook for shopaholics and image junkies. You can organize your online shopping or web browsing, etc. (Angels chime font). I have started to get into it lately, and Olivia keeps looking at my Pintrest  with interest. (Dr. Seuss font). So I gave her her own page and told her she can pin the stuff she shops for into an album but she has to type a reason why she wants it. Somehow today, I found a good parenting balance. Some days, I would have freaked out that she wants to be exactly like me. I am really not perfect (or even close). My flaws are epic at times and I obsess over them. I want her to do as I say and not as I do. I guess we really don't get to choose what our children do..we have to just lead by good (and fashionable) example. Olivia's love of dresses comes from me...she dresses up because I love to dress up. She puts on make up so we can have that time together in the bathroom giggling over which eye shadow color looks the best. We paint our nails together and she usually picks the same color as me. She wants a pair of "nerd" glasses. Today, no pants Thursday, she looked at my outfit with overwhelming approval. If I want to know if an outfit looks good or what shoes I need, Liv is usually who I turn to. I owe it to my kids to dress the best I possibly can. Having girls, it will be detrimental to instill in their heads the right confidence. I have always gotten confidence from my style...which is a habit I am happy to pass on to my girls.

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Dress: Modcloth
Boots: Cole Haan (TJ Maxx)
Belt: Vintage 
Necklace: Charlotte Russe
Hat: Forever21



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