I now have a seven-year-old.
I don’t know about you, but my memories of being seven years old and the reality that is my daughter’s life couldn’t be further apart. Does the mind play tricks on us, making us forget huge important details in order to simplify the recollection of days gone by? Or have things really changed that much? Really, I am dying to know the answer.
For one thing, I don’t remember being so in tune with pop culture at the tender age of seven. I know I loved reruns of the Brady Bunch and listened to my dad’s vinyl collection on a stereo that looked like a casket in our living room. But was I up to date on the popular entertainers of the day? Hardly. And yet, my daughter is fascinated with all things Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga ( the latter requiring lots of filtering on my part!). She constantly listens to her iPod (a far cry from the coffin I used to hear my music), and constantly begs to watch music videos on You Tube (again, requiring work of Censor Mom). She’s way more in tune to what’s hip than I ever was.
For another thing, girl drama. Certainly, the idea of “Mean Girls” was part of my growing up, but the first memory I have of it is from about fifth grade. My daughter has experienced varying levels of girl fighting since *gulp* preschool. Sure, most of it is innocent; lots of “Why won’t she play with me?” and some of “Well fine, then, I’m not your friend!”
We’ve had one or two times where it’s delved into the pretty nasty, leaving me breathless, and bewildered as to how to address it. It used to be my daughter was mostly on the receiving end, but lately, I’ve become aware of her dishing some out, too. I can’t help but think if these girls were home watching the Brady Bunch instead of the more sophisticated fare marketed to their age group today we wouldn’t be dealing with this problem so soon.
Being the mother of a seven-year-old girl is certainly not for the faint-of-heart. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s like this now, what in the world awaits me during the teenage years?
You know what…I’ll just take my seven-year-old drama and thank my lucky stars for now!
Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.