Nora is nine, she’ll be 10 in September. This is probably my favorite age. They are out of the horrific 7-8’s where they decide that lying is super fun and try on all different personality traits (most of them annoying) trying to figure out who they are since they aren’t babies anymore, but not quite grown enough to have their own ideas yet. It is a frustrating age for both of us.
Once they are nine, especially going on ten, they really start to become their own person. They are more comfortable with themselves and develop a sense of humor that’s actually funny instead of just repeating the word, “poop” over and over again. However. The hormones! Holy crap on a stick, if we thought she was dramatic before, now she adds aggression to that drama. Everything used to be the end of the world, but now everything is the end of the world and it’s MY FAULT.
She flits around singing songs and makes videos with her tablet in her room about DIY with her makeup and barbies and stuff, totally reminds me of myself at her age (minus the electronics). She wants to be cool with her brother and his friends, again just like me. However, she’s extremely generous and helpful to the point of me telling her that, “no, she can’t help me do ___” insert menial task in the blank, and “please can I just get it done myself?”. Though she is more submissive than my other two strong-willed children, *cough* Noah *cough* Lorelei, she has a feistiness to her that helps keep up with them. She is a classic middle child, though we have four children.
One thing we can agree on, is makeup. My mom made me wait until I was a teenager to wear makeup. Though, I respect her decision (I totally stole her makeup before school, since she had already gone to work) seeing the result of Nora putting on GODAWFUL burgundy and fuchsia lipstick at friend’s houses encouraged me to begin her with flattering (practically translucent) pale, pink/brown shades almost a year ago. She’s done well with these colors. I taught her how to apply them, she also got a sweet shade of pink lipstick and light blush. Skincare was also part of the lesson, though that’s a harder lesson learned.
yesterday we continued her journey with light brown eyeliner and brown/black Great Lash mascara. Had to start with the classics! (I think I started with teal eyeliner…) We sat at my vanity and I showed her how to apply them. She used to freak out over mascara when we had to use it for her dance recitals a couple of years ago, but playing with it at friend’s houses has gotten her more comfortable with it. I stressed that less is more and we are not Bratz or Monster High Dolls, we are merely enhancing our beauty. No need to start with a bold line. I also get Birchbox and recently started an ipsy subscription which is makeup and skincare samples mailed to you once a month. If it’s a color I don’t like or something I already have, I pass it along to Nora. She’s as excited about them as I am when they come in the mail.
I know that 9 years old is young for makeup, but it has gone over well in our house. It’s a fun thing, not a self-esteem thing and I want her to learn how to wear makeup well because it’s definitely something she is interested in learning about. She is turning into a beautiful, young lady. Seeing her in mascara was a little sad and happy at the same time. She is growing up.
The last week of school I went with Nora on a field trip to Wonderworks. It was my first field trip with one of the kids. We had a good time and I got to hang out with three of her best friends. It was interesting to see her in a different environment.
Nora struggled a bit in school this year. 3rd grade is a more serious year, less fun more learning, but Nora basically refused. Some days she would do horrible on tests (30%) and given the same test the next day she’d pass with flying colors. It wasn’t until about two months before school was over that it all added up. We thought she was spiteful, but she just couldn’t focus. She was on the cusp of failing 3rd grade, but I thought what if it is a medical issue? We tried some medication and it was night and day. She busted her butt the last few weeks of school and managed to pass. She still has some work to do to catch up to her peers, but we have hope and she is no longer frustrated with school. I was worried that the medicine would make her feel gross, but it has improved over the years and she doesn’t even notice that she has taken it. She also says it helps with her anger (lots of drama at school with 3rd grade girls!) I think it just allows her to focus more on the problem than on her feelings at that moment. Though the year was difficult, she still maintained her generosity. She recieved awards for community service, best helper, and the Terrific Kid award for being a Super Citizen. We are just beginning the crazy that is the tween years and it is sure to be different, but equally as exhausting as it was with Noah. Though thankless, it has its own rewards as they gradually heed our advice and show signs of the adult they will soon become.