The Likes and Dislikes of Gracie at 10 (TEN!!!!) years old.

Crazytown bananapants, Gracie-girl – you turned ten on Saturday. TEN! You’re…ten! (Sorry, I promise to get over the shock soon. Ish.) You are quite the beautiful little girl, wonderful, witty, smart, and (mostly) gracious. Not too afraid to be a “little” kid, and far too ready to grow-up into the phenomenal young lady I know you’ll be. You’re flawed, yes, but fantastically so. I really couldn’t love – or like –  you any more than I do. Why? Because of all this for starters:

10 Things Gracie Loves, Like, OHMYGODMOM!

1. Being busy. Gracie participates in just about every club and activity school offers. She’s in aftercare, runs the school gardens, was elected as a 4th-grade representative to Student Council, competes in academic olympics, sings in the chorus, joined the Optimists’ Club, entered the voluntary citywide science fair, and is still trying to convince the coach to start a track club. Nothing makes me smile more than when Gracie climbs into the jeep at the end of her day and sighs contentedly, telling me how busy she is and that she has a little homework to finish, but that’s okay because she likes her homework. She’s a weirdo, but she’s my weirdo. And as long as she stays stress-free, I’m happy to let her participate in as many (or as few) activities as she wants.

2.  Scary movies. Last year it was Jurassic Park. This year it’s the Jaws series. And Shark Week. And anything else she can convince me to let her watch. She got Dante’s Peak for her birthday and was more annoyed at everyone’s stupid decisions than she was creeped out by the scare factor. It kind of make me wonders if she’s my child. Disaster movies and scary books? Yes, please. But not when it’s dark out or I’ll get nightmares! Nothing phases Gracie, though.

3. Growing boobs. I heard it every day forever: “I think I’m getting boobs, Mom!” “Look!” “When will I get boobs?” “Can I have a bra?” Sheesh. I didn’t have to worry about any of that until 6th/7th grade, and I thought Gracie would follow suit. But look out – because I think be developing a little earlier than I did. Dude, I just got used to being a person who had kids; I don’t think I’m ready for a kid with boobs yet. (And all that entails.) Why, yes, Gracie did get Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret for her birthday, why do you ask?

4. Graphic novels. Gracie will read just about everything, but right now she’s on a graphic novel kick. Still. At least four of the five books she grabs from the library each visit are graphic novels – including Nancy Drew adaptations. I love that Gracie’s tastes are big and wide and refuse to be boxed nicely or neatly. She’ll try everything!

5. Science and math. They soooooothe her, dontcha know. Geek.

6. Sneakery, spying, and knowing things. Gracie hates being left out of the loop. She tries listening in on conversations (benignly, not in a stalky creeperton psycho sort of way), and being in on All Things Grown-up. She enjoys being a kid, but thinks she’s ready to join the Democracy of Grown-ups and likes to think she gets a say in things. And what better way to negotiate with your mama than if you have all the knowledge you need to argue better? Really, it’s a desire to be included and not miss out on ANYTHING. Can’t fault a kid for wanting to experience the whole entire world!

7. Jumping out and scaring the bejeezus out of everyone. This trick has been going on so long that it’s starting to get a bit old. Yes, it’s fun to hide around a corner and jump out and yell “BOO!” when your mom walks into a room. It’s also fun to see if you can crawl along the floor and sneak up behind her without her noticing. But not every single ever-lovin’ time. Sheesh. But it’s all the rage. So.

8. Music. This might be one of my very favoritest things about my daughter: she lives for music. How can you not enjoy someone who feels passion for music? To me, it’s as redeeming as loving dogs, having a ready laugh, and being empathetic and kind. Her taste is pretty good – she likes girly “power” songs like “Brave” and “Roar” and hasn’t gotten into the Bieber or 1Direction ridiculousness too much. She likes some classic rock, dance, catchy singles, and Will Smith. So really, I’m doing okay with this one.

9. The same food. She loves the same sorts of food, no big changes. Seafood, bacon, pizza, orange juice, fruits, chocolate raspberry yogurt, key lime flavored anything, pastrami, cheese, root beer floats… But also really loves the spicy foods that are not my thing – hot wings, Taqis, chili, and nearly every type of beans.

10. Putting her hair up after showers. This is a really new turn of events, born out of the fact that her hair is considerably longer than it has been in years, and the fact that wet shirts drive her bonkers now. So whenever she gets out of the shower, I show her again how to pile her hair into a bun and let it dry a little that way. It’s win/win – and she looks freakin’ adorable.

10 Things Gracie-girl Will Do ANYTHING To Avoid. No, really.

1. Veggies. Gracie used to be good at eating veggies, but the number of “acceptable” choices has dwindled to cold corn, roasted corn on the cob, salad, cucumber, and raw carrots. We like kale and cauliflower and asparagus and spinach and…why can’t you just add more garlic or lemon and be good with some variety?! Ahem.

2. Non-negotiables. One of Gracie’s basic personality traits is her need to negotiate. It doesn’t matter if it’s later bedtime, snack choices, playtime activity, division of chores… she wants to have a say in who and what she does. And I think that’s healthy! …to a point.  When Mama decides the conversation is done, Gracie needs to learn that means she’s stuck with things however they were left. Man, does that corkscrew her through the ceiling.

3. Clothes – any clothes – I’ve picked out. It doesn’t matter if I chose an outfit I know Gracie loves – she needs to control the clothing options. Mostly this is one I’ve learned to just let go. I rarely care what the girl wears, so I might as well let her win some battles and learn to fend for herself. Sure I miss the days of being able to pick up something cute if I see it on sale, but I’ve learned the hard way that I’m just wasting my money if I don’t get the thumbs-up first.

4. Her booster seat. Yes, I’m the mean mom who makes my 10-year-old use the bottom of the booster seat still. Gracie’s short for her age and average build. Her shoulder strap on the seat buckle doesn’t quite hit her shoulder yet. So I make her use her booster seat. If space is tight or we have a carload of kids, then I ease up. Technically, she weighs enough that the law doesn’t require her to use a booster. It’s just that this mama’s heart rests a little easier knowing she has some help staying alive if the car goes somewhere it shouldn’t.

5. This new species of friendship called “frenemies.” I’ve talked before about Gracie’s new frenemy and how she just doesn’t quite get what’s going on. She knows that this one girl is sometimes her friend, and sometimes goes way out of her way to make her life miserable. But she doesn’t know why or what to do with her new knowledge. And as I’ve mentioned before, nothing makes Gracie feel like she’s out of control more than not knowing things.

6. Drivers who don’t follow the rules of the road. Gracie’s started paying attention to road rules and other drives and she’s so self-righteous from her cush spot in the backseat that it’s hilarious. “HE DIDN’T USE HIS BLINKER!” she’ll intone. Or, “He’s going to get arrested because he didn’t stop at the line!” Or, with a little hint of scandal and desire: “Are there cameras at this intersection, Mom?” It’s enough to make me double-check my speedometer, lemme tell you. She’d narc on me to the cops for sure.

7. Messy beds. Gracie doesn’t seem to mind if the rest of her room is an utter disaster area, but woe is the child who tries to go to bed with one stuffed animal or blanket out of place. At least she understands now that I can’t stay for the entire 20-minute ceremony unless she’s willing to go to bed earlier.

8. Being told not to sniffle. Gracie’s a great, big sniffle-butt. She doesn’t hear herself doing it, and when she does notice, she’s usually too lazy to get a tissue. Even though her constant sniffling nearly always ends up with an upset stomach. Geez, sometimes it’s like she’s a kid with a brain that’s not finished developing or something.

9. That her sister is catching up. Gracie’s mostly pretty good about it, but she’s enjoyed being bigger and older and with more privileges than her sister for a long time. Now Bee is maturing and growing and catching on to a lot of the tricks that Gracie used to be able to get away with – and it bugs Gracie that things are evening out!

10. Letting the dog in or out. The single most frequent argument we have at our house is whose turn it is to let Fenway in or out of the house. Neither girl wants to put down their book or their crafts or whatever it is their doing and go let her in. And I’m sure not letting them off the hook!

So there you have it, Gracie-girl. There are so many other interesting tidbits about you that I’d never be able to list them all, but hopefully this will jog your memory later when you’ve forgotten how much you loved loop bracelets and decided overnight that you do NOT eat crinkle-cut carrots and butter any more. I can’t wait to discover all the new pieces of you as we edge towards 11. Hunh. I’m sure getting a Hogwart’s letter wouldn’t even be the most surprising thing we’d learn!

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2 Responses to “The Likes and Dislikes of Gracie at 10 (TEN!!!!) years old.”

  1. Agent Torklepants Says:

    #6 can we leave the window open for her to yell at ppl in boston?! Shes love/hate it! I love #7 because she gets that from me 🙂
    And “Mother of Boobs” is a great book/article/blog title!

  2. Kathy Says:

    I adore these lists and she is so amazing. Some day she will kill you for posting like #3 though.

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