Sunday 19 February 2012

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The Oh Oh Moments

This weekend we celebrated my oldest daughter's birthday. It's hard for me to believe that my baby girl is almost a teenager as it seems so recently that I was carrying her around on my shoulders everywhere. That's probably the way I still see her in my mind. When my daughter is at home with the family, she seems like the same little girl that I've known and loved all my life. When there's a group of pre-teens though, little things start to show up that concern me. I don't mean anything that anyone other than me would need to worry about, but as her father, these are things that terrify me. I had a series of these "Oh Oh" moments this weekend, and so far I've managed to resist the urge to send her to her room until she's 25 (although if she's reading this, it's still under consideration), but I'm seriously thinking I may be under-reacting. Here's why:

Stupid "Can't bring a gun across the border" rules!
Cute Boys -  Ummm...what happened to "Boys are icky"? That really wasn't that long ago, so apparently the boys in my daughter's class have really cleaned up their act in the last year or so. Either that or the net has been widened, as the name I heard tossed around most last night was Daniel Radcliffe (who is way too old for my daughter). It's not all Hollywood and models though. About the only advantage to being the driver who has to take a van load of pre-teen girls home is that I get to eavesdrop on the conversations. You'd figure it would be pretty hard for them to forget that there's an adult in the vehicle since none of them are legal age to drive, but apparently I'm invisible in the drivers seat as the names of the "cute boys" were tossed around liberally on the trip. While I'm not thrilled to know that there are cute boys, I'm at least glad to know their names so I can keep an eye on them.

Oh yeah...I embarrass you....
I Embarrass You? - We took the girls to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and it seems that my daughter is now too old to sit near her father. Not too old for me to buy the tickets, but definitely old enough to be as far away from her parents as possible. Actually the negotiations didn't start there, as originally Lori and I weren't deemed cool enough to even see the same movie as the girls, but since we were the responsible adults for this outing (or as Lori says, she was the responsible adult) that wasn't happening. We settled on same theater, different rows and sections, and once I delivered the popcorn and drinks, I wasn't to hang around them, speak to them, or do anything that might embarrass them. Of course they then proceeded to laugh, giggle, and generally draw more attention to themselves than I ever could have. I don't really understand the logic, but I suspect that there may have been some of those "cute boys" in the theater.

Ok, maybe not too much fashion sense...
The Clothes - This isn't a rant about short skirts and low cut tops. I'm very grateful that my daughter has very moderate tastes when it comes to clothes, and so do her friends. What does amaze me though is the depth of knowledge that these girls have when it comes to clothes, particularly accessories. Comments like "Oh this is perfect for your skin tone" or "This matches your eyes just right" served to do nothing but confuse me (Who matches things to their eyes anyways?).  When I was in middle school, I was completely oblivious to what the girls were wearing, so now I wonder if the girls back then actually spent time planning their wardrobe every day. If they did, I probably owe them an apology for not noticing, although I'm pretty sure they were all out to impress that Glen Trainor guy and not me.

This should solve our issue....
Perfume? - I was watching my daughter open one of her gifts and I saw her pull out a bottle of perfume. I kind of winced and hoped that she would have the grace to smile and say thank you for a gift that she didn't really have any use for, only to find out that it was the exact perfume that my daughter had requested, and in fact was very near the top of her list of things she wanted. Really? I've never noticed my daughter wearing perfume before (of course, I've never noticed Lori wearing perfume before either, and I know she does). More importantly though, who is noticing my daughter's perfume? It better not be any of those cute boys, or we're going to have an issue.

The Language - Not bad language. My daughter knows better than to use any of that, but I found myself getting constantly corrected for using improper adjectives. Apparently you don't say "awesome" anymore, it's "epic" and actually epic might have been dated too. I was only catching snippets of the conversation while paying a modicum of attention to the other cars on the road, but what I was hearing didn't make it an easy conversation to follow. When it takes more than a few seconds to decide if the word was meant as a positive or a negative modifier, then teen English has probably passed you by. Fortunately some of the words have stayed the same over time. Words like allowance, shopping money, and Daddy's credit card. As long as we have those words, there's still a basis for Father/Daughter communication.