Monday, November 01, 2010

The Dawn of Influence

Last year, The Rooster was a fierce pirate girl for Halloween.

This year, she asked to do this look again.

She was all set until it was time to get dressed.

Then she started crying hysterically.

She was afraid that her very best friend, who is tom boyish, would laugh at her.

In the end, she wore purple sweatpants, a red t-shirt with a batman emblem, a batman cape and a batman mask.

Though I have heard The Rooster's friend say she doesn't like to wear dresses herself, I have never heard her criticize anything Roo has worn.

I found myself distressed and alarmed by the amount of influence my daughter already allows a friend to have over her.

As we left the house to meet her friend, Roo looked depressed.

"What's wrong, Roo?" I asked.

She flipped a corner of the batman cape in the air and rolled her eyes.

"It's not your best costume ever," I said.

"I know," she said and sighed.

She is only five.


Trotsky said...

I can't remember a time in my childhood when I wasn't concerned with the opinions of others.
As opposed to now, when I spend most of my free time criticizing children so they'll be as insecure as I was. (But I'm totally not insecure now. At all. Really.)

I think it's great that she's able to articulate all this to you, that she's not afraid to tell you why she changed her mind. I think it's a very good thing, even if the early onset of peer pressure (or just the threat of peer pressure) isn't so great.

Jenifer said...

I hope the rest of the evening went well despite the rocky evening. Poor Roo to be so upset on such a fun night.

Katybeth said...

The best part of this story, in my opinion, is you did not try and convince her it was her a "great costume." The influence of others, real or perceived, hard at any age.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

That breaks my heart. I think it's good you let her roll with those feelings; maybe she'll question her allegiance to her friend next time.

Not that it makes it any less painful to watch.

Jonathan said...

She's too cute :) The worst part for us (we have three girls) was knowing that one of them looked way better than the others, but still trying to not let the others know that :)

JoeinVegas said...

Still, it was a good looking pirate

Kyla said...

Yeah, it happens so early.

Sayre said...

We usually go all out in constructing a costume for my son. Not in the buying a costume sense, but making something out of nothing. This year, he wanted to get some elf ears, so we did. But with those ears, he wore some make up, eyebrow pencil, a raggedy shirt I bought for MY costume last year and his brown school pants. And you know? He made a great elf. Roo knows what she likes and after this experience, she might be more forceful in expressing herself rather than bending to another person's expectation.

Virtualsprite said...

My stepdaughter was always like that. She was always very concerned about what her friends thought and what her friends were doing. It's been strange for me to deal with because I'm not like that. I just don't care what other people are doing. She's gotten a little better over the years. Our boys, though, have never cared what other people thought. My 15-year-old cares a little now, but he does his best to find a way to care without sacrificing himself. They seem to muddle, through, though. It seems to be an unfortunate side effect of living in a social culture.

Lora said...

poor thing. My son was really self conscious about his costume too. I think he had a bit of "help" from the other kids in choosing what to be, and then he was a bit scared of his own costume. He was a vampire, btw. The costume came from Target, no makeup, no teeth. So, it's not like it was terrifying.

He ended up getting over himself and having a good time, but I couldn't help but wonder what he would've been if he chose his costume 6 months ago before the kids started talking