My little Peter Pan.

It’s funny because the nickname doesn’t even fit that well; Gracie is – for the most part – racing towards Growing Up, not resisting it. Never resisting it! And yet…

My super-prepared little squishyface (don’t ask how that nick started) has been slightly more scatterbrained than usual lately. She Who Always Has Her Key has forgotten it a few times. She’s been late out to the car or getting out of the car when we’ve arrived at her dad’s, simply because she can’t find her key. It’s sitting on the bed or her desk, or the couch. I’ve found it in odd places and given to her more than a few times. It’s not always, it’s not most days, but it’s often enough.

So there was that. And then there was the matter of a planner that she wasn’t sure if she was going to have to buy. That planner really started it all. I found $20 in cash (a miracle) and offered it to her. “Here. Put this in your purse and keep it for emergency money. If you need a planner, you can use it for that. If you don’t, you should always have $20 on you for emergencies. I trust you to know what those are. But if you ever have to use it, let me know what you spent it on.” I trusted Gracie, but that would serve as a check and balance that the “emergency” wasn’t mascara or something someone had talked her into. Although if she had the money to replace it…

I thought I had solved our problem neatly. She needed to carry a key and money and who knew what else; I told her to put it in her purse. I’m a problem solver!

Except.

“Mom! I don’t want a purse!” is what I heard.

“Too bad,” was my reply, I think. I told her to just do it and put her purse (which is the size of a wallet, seriously) in her backpack. I didn’t care if she carried it everywhere, I just wanted to know she had a safe spot for those items, and that she had something she could carry, should she need to.

It worked. Gracie complied and then stuffed her purse in her backpack. Her backpack that she mostly leaves at her dad’s house. The purse comes out when she leaves her dad’s to come home and, I imagine, goes right back in when she gets to her dad’s in the morning to wait for her carpool.

You’d think that’d be it, but my brain has been swirling. Should I have forced the purse? I started carrying one during junior high so I’d have gum and lip gloss and my bus pass and pens and such. But Gracie isn’t me. She wanted to just keep things in her backpack. If she carried her backpack everywhere – I did in college – that might be an alternative. But she doesn’t, and for good reason. Was I gendering my daughter by making her have a purse? Yes, it’s a real concern. When the X-man reaches this stage, I’m not going to suggest a purse (unless it seems appropriate; I’d fight for his right to carry one if he wanted to). So was I right to force it on Gracie? Perhaps a wallet would suffice and she could keep her key in her pocket? Except that solution didn’t work this summer. And there have been purses she’s spent her marble jar reward money on in the past; it’s not like she’s been staunchly anti-purse.

You guys. I’m drowning in worry over what to do here. I think in my mind A Purse For Now is the plan, but hit me with some better suggestions if you have some. Even if it’s only to tell me my kid is just wanting to walk around unencumbered for one more year.

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One Response to “My little Peter Pan.”

  1. Samantha Says:

    If she wants an alternative what about a wallet with a zippered pocket for the key?

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