LE is shuffling out of the pink froth of little-girlhood into the kaleidoscopic colors of kid-hood. So she doesn’t dress-up anymore, in flouncy pink skirts with clashing wrinkled leggings and a broken Barbie tiara. But she got a toy microphone for Christmas. Along with a Belinda Carlisle CD and…a Lady Gaga CD. I put them on her Amazon Wish List. I thought, “Hey, she’d like that.” And that’s all I thought. The second, “But is it a good idea?” thought never came.
The same thinking allowed me to put a Madonna concert on in the background while we were doing Mad Libs (“All you need is a big glass of spit to dunk your butts in! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!”) And I don’t know…I figured the woman is like 60 or something now, there’s only so much fornication you can simulate when your joints begin to get creaky.
But Madonna still has it, and the concert had tons of thrusts and cleavage and arachnid dancers wearing gas masks pretending to be post-apocalyptic cannibals. Quite a think-piece.
LE has spent the last year or so trying to wrap her head around “sexy.” Not sex, she doesn’t know sex from somersaults yet, but sex-y.
“So she’s trying to be too sexy?”
“Yeah. That’s Madonna. Her thing is being sexy while she sings. Sexy and crazy.”
We watched Madonna leap around in leather, shooting dancers while blood spattered on a large projection screen. “That’s fake blood. That blood is fake,” she tells me.
“Right,” I say. “They just to make it look scary and gross.”
More crotch-centered mixed-media art plays for awhile.Then LE shifted on the couch to face me, with a smile more rye than a freshly-minted 7 year old should have.
“So this is what you let your little kid watch, ehh?”
……Well, yes, obviously.
I want her to be able to interpret her world. There is no sheltering anymore, not in this age. So I seek to teach her to take the information coursing into her little mind, and categorize it, safely. Not to be scared or confused by it, and not to fetishize it. This doesn’t apply to everything…some things little kids shouldn’t know until they’re ready to ask on their own. But goofy well-orchestrated dance numbers with disturbing allusions, I want her to be able to handle that. This is the only way I know how. Lean into it.