Crime and punishment, or the lass turns seven.

My daughter turned seven a couple of weeks ago. Seven years old. It’s like a new page in the book of her childhood. She seems rather more grown up, a medium-sized child now, no longer so much a “little girl”. I’m not going to go so far as to call her a tween, because she’s still so much a kid. I know that tween stands for “in- between”, no longer a child, not yet a teenager, but my girl is not a tween, she is a child. She’s mysterious and private and flighty, messy, creative, a dreamer and kinda into that girly stuff that I’m into critiquing, but she’s still very definitely a kid. Tween almost seems to mean mini-teen, as far as the marketers and manufacturers are concerned and I am reminded that I may have to write to the clothing manufacturers and let them know that my daughter and many like her are not Tweens. They are kids and would like to dress as such. I’ve noticed already as I went to buy some summer clothes, that now that I can no longer shop for her for in the little girl section of the shop (sizes 2 – 6), but am consigned to the tween section (sizes 7 – 14) it is increasingly hard to find appropriate clothing. You know, stuff that looks as though it was made for the playground and not the dance floor.

As she gets older I notice how different she is to me as a child. Which of course is to be expected, as she is her own person. But our differences in temperament are so stark I wonder whether my parenting style clashes with her personality. We’ve had our moments, shall we say, and there has been times when I question myself.

She was sent to her room, punished for some misdemeanor – probably she was accused of doing wrong by her sibling. In her mind the punishment was entirely undeserved, this was a travesty of justice. She sat in her room seething with the injustice of it all, it was so unfair. The time in confinement was spent devising suitable punishments for her horrible mother who had so unfairly treated her. The perfect vengeance was imagined – her mother was a witch. She would like to lock the witch in a cage and feed her poison for two weeks, not enough poison to kill her, but enough to make her suffer for a while. I don’t know why, but the vengeance fantasy took the sting out of the punishment, and so calmed her that when she was called from her room, having been there for what was considered to be an appropriate amount of time, she not only apologised to mother but confessed the fantasy. She said that she was so angry that she’d wanted to punish her mother and had imagined what she’d like to do. She honestly explained to her mother about wanting to lock her in a cage and feed her poison, but she’d changed her mind, was sorry for whatever it was that had gotten her sent to her room and wanted to be friends with Mum again. A nice reconciliation took place.

That was me many years ago, plotting to lock up my mother. I can no longer remember what it was I was in trouble for, but I do remember telling mum exactly what I’d wanted to do and how angry I’d been. I think she was shocked at my honesty. We forgave each other and I don’t remember ever having such strong vengeful desires towards my mother after that. I also grew out of believing in fairy tale type punishments.

When I recently remembered that incident from my childhood I figured that I’m probably doing ok with my daughter. As far as I know she’s never harbored a desire to poison me, or lock me up in a cage.

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3 comments on “Crime and punishment, or the lass turns seven.

  1. mimbles says:

    Caitlin was 10 before she made it out of the size 2-6 section, which was the same problem in reverse.

    Love the revenge fantasy, what an inventive child you were :-)

    Happy belated birthday to your daughter!

  2. Ariane says:

    Having an 7-nearly-8yr old boy – I have no problems with dance floor wear, just can’t find anything without violent images on it. The nicest jacket I could find last year had a slightly whimsical motif of skulls on an aquamarine background, striped with black. That was the pleasant stuff.

    But marketing departments aside, 7 is a good year. Sensible seven. There is self-insight, there are playground dramas (one of Ben’s friends suggested a “trial separation” to see “how they reacted”) and there is flowering social awareness.

    Happy 7 to your daughter, and to you!

  3. rayedish says:

    Thank you for your lovely wishes, Ariane and mimbles. I think we are going to enjoy seven, every age has it’s charms and I do think seven will be fun, (minor quibbles with having to be a discerning clothes shopper aside). Her reading has come along and she likes to read after bed time now, so being a fellow book worm I think that she’s opened up many whole new worlds to enjoy.

    Ariane, I know what you mean about boys clothes. The lad is four and it is hard to find stuff without skulls, nasty looking dinosaurs and army motifs. Mimbles, I can see that would be equally tricky trying to find suitable big girl clothes in the little girl section. Some of my friends sew gorgeous dresses for their girls, but im not that clever, nor that organized. For me it’s the everyday stuff that hardest to source. Stuff that offers sun protection and that can withstand trees climbing and stuff.

    Anyway I’ve whinged enough, thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

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