Our youngest little Nerdling has been selected to be “Queen of the Class” at school this week. Needless to say, she is really excited. It was really a last minute thing.
On Friday her teacher (who I absolutely adore) asked Bella if she had been “Queen” yet.
Bella made what we call the “Bella Face” and shook her head no.
Her teacher then asked if she would like to be “Queen” next week. My littlest Nerdling nodded slowly but you could see the excitement in her eyes.
Allow me to explain what being Queen of the week entails:
We were given a piece of poster board with instructions to decorate it with whatever Bella likes. We are to add pictures and a few things about herself that she wants her class to know.
The poster board will be displayed in the classroom for the entire week.
I was really surprised with the amount of enthusiasm my little Nerdling displayed. She usually isn’t too keen on being the center of attention, but sure enough as soon as we got in the car she was bombarding me with requests.
None of the requests were demanding. Every one of them was politely requested and easy enough to give in to.
When we arrived at home she asked if I would help her look for pictures that we could use for our project. I readily agreed. After looking through a few pictures on my compter she stopped and said: “Mom? I like this one.” She pointed at a picture we took last year. “But, can we take new pictures? ”
I hesitated a little bit before agreeing, but as soon as I agreed she bolted off my lap, down the hall and straight to her bedroom. She came back in moments later frustrated because she didn’t have any “Queen clothes”.
I wiped her little tears away, took her hand and walked her back into her room to investigate for myself. Knowing she had just gone through a growth spurt I pulled out one of my oldest nerdling’s dresses that my mom bought her at the beginning of the summer and held it out for Bella to inspect.
She was worried that sister would be upset with her, but I assured her that the dress was too small for sister and if she was upset I would take all the blame.
She put the dress on, paired with her favorite pair of boots and she was in heaven. I though about arguing with the shoe selection then thought better of it. The color of the boots went together with the dress ok. The boots are obviously well “loved” and most importantly; these pictures are for a project that is quite literally all about her.
We had just enough time to go to the playground next to the bus stop where we pick up her sister and take a few photos before it got too dark.
I asked Bella where in the playground she wanted to take pictures and she shrugged her shoulders. Her brother suggested that since she was to be “Queen of the class” we should take “Queen of the playground” pictures.
Nodding enthusiastically she took her first pose with her favorite stuffed bunny in hand. Wrapping herself with the confidence of a 5 year old “queen” who knew what she wanted, we took off on a photography adventure. Which we wrapped up in a record time of 30 minutes with pictures that she was thrilled about.
I try to not be picky about the things my kids wear. We have our standard rules:
Your clothes must cover your body appropriately.
They must be clean (no obvious scents or stains)
Thankfully I don’t have to worry about them coming home with new clothes they bought for themselves yet, so they are all mom approved.
I let them be creative with how they put their clothes together. If something doesn’t match the way I think it should I will give them my opinion and an alternative suggestion. However, they know that the decision is theirs to make.
If they like what they are wearing, and they feel good about themselves while they are wearing it, I am happy.
I want my nerdlings to feel confident about themselves. I want their individual personalities to shine through in all they do. I want them to know that they are loved and that love isn’t dependent on how they look or act. I want them to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Granted, their classmates may not always be kind. They may be teased, more so as they get older, but I want them to come to a place where they know that it’s alright to be different.
It is, in my experience, more important to let kids develop their own sense of self than to satisfy my pride. (I hope I remember that as my oldest Nerdling transcends into teenagehood next month.)