Got Swagger?

by Cate on November 19, 2012

me and my girl
“Mom, what does swagger mean? I see it on a bunch of my friend’s Instagram posts, Nick asked me the other day.

“If you have swagger, it means you have confidence,” I replied.

“Oh, I get it! Maddie totally has swagger.”

Why yes, yes she does.

*As an aside, I was curious and looked up the actual definition. Which is a slightly more negative way of saying what I said.

Last week, I had my parent/teacher conference with Madeline’s teacher. When she said, “Madeline is very mature…,” I laughed to myself.

Because the night before, she was taking a bath, and I left her for a moment to grab her pajamas and heard her say, “Um, guys, I need help.”

She had been “pretend shaving” and dropped the razor onto the floor.

(The razor still had the plastic cover on it, hence the ‘pretend,’ but was apparently not as out-of-reach as I thought.)

She is forever my four-year-old going on 16. She has never seen me, not once, shave my legs. But knew exactly what to do.

big eyes

When I was in 8th grade, and still naive to the whole shaving thing, a grade school classmate, Maribeth, who basically spent her days making mine miserable, taunted me about shaving. Or not shaving as the case may be. It was something that my Mom hadn’t yet covered with me, and although I didn’t always ask for permission to do things, I just hadn’t ventured into that territory on my own.

So after school that day, my best friend, Lauren, took me under her wing and I started shaving my legs. And Maribeth had to find another topic to tease me about.

Madeline is light years ahead of me it seems.


Luckily she really *was* just pretending, very clearly going through the motions and protecting her little legs. And the razor has, of course, been relocated.

She is so determined to be older. She “texts” her friends on her plastic pink princess phone. She plays with her “iPad,” which she has fashioned from a small notebook where she has drawn buttons and icons. The age-old quandary of kids wanting to grow up before their time, or keep up with older siblings is, of course, nothing new.

While it is all 90 levels of awesome cuteness, I so just want to keep her little. And enjoy this moment, each one, as much as possible. I’m not ready to have her grow up. Or be anything older than 4-3/4 years old right now. When she asks to be picked up, even though she’s over 40 lbs, I do it if I can, because I know there’s not much time left that I will be able to pick her up. Or that she’ll ask or want me to. When she asks to snuggle with me, we do. When she asks to sit on my lap, I let her more often than not. Because I know soon she’ll be too big for that. Or won’t want to anymore.

paging gene simmons

Now where is that time-freezing invention when we need it? Because time is moving way too fast. I’m not ready for a leg-shaving daughter yet.

But thankfully, if she encounters her very own Maribeth in 8th grade, Madeline will be quite ready for her. And knowing Madeline’s personality the way that I do, the Maribeths of the world won’t even be a blip on her radar. They don’t stand a chance.

And I do so love that.

Tonight, the kids and I watched the last thirty minutes of last night’s American Music Awards. The last 30 because I completely forgot it was on when I went to record something else.

“Mom, is Justin Bieber going to be on it?”
Well, he’s there, but I’m not sure if we missed him.

Luckily, we managed to catch him accepting an “entertainer of the year” award. I love that he brought his mom on stage with him.

Justin Beiber and his mom

“Mom, does Justin Bieber have a girlfriend?”
He was dating Selena Gomez, but they broke up.
“Oh that’s awesome!! Now YOU can date him.”

Um, yeah.

All during his acceptance speech, she was whispering, “I love Justin Bieber. I love Justin Bieber.” And making the heart shape with her hands.

And so it goes.

Bonus Photos
I put a few of these on Instagram, but had a few that I didn’t, so thought I’d share them here tonight.

Monday sunrise
The sun this morning as I dropped Madeline off at school.

diy project coming up
I made the mistake of going to Wal-Mart today. Mostly because it’s the closest place that sells fabric. And that was about an hour of our lives that we’ll never get back. I told Nick as we were leaving to remind me how much I hate that store next time I mention going.

heart fabric
I really love that mini heart fabric, naturally, but don’t have a project for it yet. I was closerthanthis to buying it just to have on hand, because I know I’ll regret leaving it there, but I restrained myself.

fading sun-001
The sun setting as we left the store.

Monday sunset-001
This weekend, a friend was saying that her husband wanted to get a “good” camera, but was lamenting the one thousand dollar price tag. I maintain, as many others do, that it’s not the camera that’s completely responsible for taking good photos. Just like having a top-of-the-line stove doesn’t mean you can cook any better. I have sold pictures to San Pellegrino and a pub in England, pictures that were taken with a $100 point-and-shoot. That sunset over the lake picture right above? Straight out of an iPhone 4S, completely unedited.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Justin Beiber poster to help Santa shop for …

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Caron November 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm

She’s too much! (But thank goodness the guard was on … I am not sure I even have one for mine –note to self, keep razor farrrrr away from the bath.)
Sarah Caron recently posted..Stress-Free Thanksgiving: Decadent Cheddar Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Apples


Joanne November 20, 2012 at 7:57 am

If there’s anyone I know who has swagger, Maddie is definitely IT. LOVE her confidence. Love it.
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Whole Wheat Carrot Gnocchi with Peas, Butternut Squash, and Ricotta {the food matters project}


paula November 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

On Sunday I bought Dan a Spongebob ‘shaving’ kit that had a fake razor in it. It will be a Christmas present.

He still wants me to carry him all of the time (which is odd considering he is so independent) and everytime he asks I get so conflicted – he’s getting too big to carry but I don’t want my child carrying days to completely end. I usually give in but then I can usually only manage to carry him a short distance and he’s perfectly fine to be put down. (In fact, I never really thought about it but he doesn’t still want to be carried – Mr. Control Freak just wants to make me pick him up lol – I never claimed I was smarter than him.) . Maybe we can keep that up until he’s 30.

It always bothered me that I don’t remember the last time I carried Nick, besides carrying him to bed, and I can barely manage that at this point.


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