My Daughter Doesn't Want Me to Look Pretty

Catherine Crawford

astronomical kid videoA few days ago, I stumbled upon this rather adorable video by a young aspiring rapper, The Astronomical Kid. Although Astro, whose real name is Brian Bradley, is now 14, he looks like a third grader in the video.

After I stopped gushing for his mom, I got to thinking about kids (specifically my kids) and the difficult time they often have accepting their mothers as anything other than their mothers.

Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

“Don’t ask for her number cuz you can’t have it
and if you ever do, then we’ll be going at it
that’s my mother, that’s my mother
she looks so young, you would think I was her brother”

To me, it seems like little Astro is caught between pride and possession of his hot mama. When I decided to have kids, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t become one of those moms, often sighted at the playground, who look like they’ve been run over by a truck while their precious little offspring are decked in style from top to bottom. In fact, I’ve convinced myself that it would be in everyone’s interests if my fashion needs were attended to before those of my children. A 4-year-old probably won’t mind the wool socks with sandals look, but if mom has to go out feeling busted, no one wins.  

In short, I kind of like to dress up if at all possible. Lord knows I can’t pull it together much of the time, but I try.

Not so long ago, my daughters used to revel in my fancy streak, but lately it’s become a point of contention with my older girl. I am frequently subjected to gripes like, “Why do you always have to wear lipstick?” and “Do you always have to be pretty?”  

“Pretty” is usually a compliment, but my 6-year-old delivered it with some serious venom in her tone. Now that she’s over her princess phase, dress-up takes on weightier implications, and they are making my little girl mad and uncomfortable.

But why?

I am sure that old S. Freud would have a field day answering this question. As much as I hate to admit it, I think that Freudian wisdom might apply. From somewhere out in the ether (school-ground or television), my baby has been tuned in to the laws of attraction, and she doesn’t want her mother to be a part of it in any way. In fact, at her insistence I recently gave my daughter a book about the Facts of Life (and I’m not talking Tootie, Blair ,and Mrs. Garrett). Is she putting it all together so soon?

I really thought I had until the teen years to face this kind of thing. Oh well, maybe she’ll write a hit song about it!

Does your kid get annoyed when you look pretty?

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