Since my daughter is an official teenager - she turned ten last January - she likes to go shopping. Allthough she would much prefer to go alone, she grudgingly lets me tag along. That way at least I can pay.
It is Saturday morning, five to eight and I am barely awake, when my daughter tells me to hurry up (!). She has obviously decided to reverse rolls. She is allready fully dressed and ready to go into Zurich. The long awaited day that she and I go shopping together has finally dawned and there is not a moment to loose.
She is wearing her much loved two sizes too small jeans jacket, silver shimmering eye shadow, lip gloss and a shoulder bag containing her i-pod and pocket money.
My daughter knows exactly what she wants: ,,A pair of really short jeans with fraying edges and one of those tops that leave one of your shoulders bare." Oh dear. I have finally gotten used to her wearing black zip off hiking trousers and hiking boots seven days a week and now she all of a sudden wants to look 'cool'.
Clothing has always been a subject of fierce disagreement between my daughter and me. I like her to wear little cardigans and pretty skirts, retro dresses and well cut trousers, whereas she likes anything but the afore mentioned items of clothing. Ever since she could speak in whole sentences she vetoed skirts and dresses in any shape or form. Instead she would always try and wear jogging bottoms and hooded sweatshirts, or t-shirts with ghastly prints on them. She does not like anything frilly, or remotely pretty. She considers wearing clothing made out of flowery fabric a mortal sin.
And now that I have finally grown to like my daughter in het ubiquitous jeans, trainers and t-shirts and have started to like the fact that she does not dress like any of the other girls in school, she wants to look, well, like all the other girls in the school. How interesting.
I honestly can not remember ever having had a discussion about clothes with my own mother. Largely because there was not so much choice in childrens clothes 35 years ago. And I do not think we went shopping for clothes all that often. When I was ten, my mum made most of my clothes herself. Instead of clothes shopping we went to the market to buy fabric. More often than not, we would wear the same skirt, or blouse. I was - in fact - a mini me for a long time.
Not my daughter however. As soon as I hold something up for her to see, she can not tell me quickly enough, how ugly she finds it. The feeling is quite mutual, allthough I do not tell her that.
Zara, for my daughter, provides a rich hunting ground. She finds a tiny (but still expensive) pair of jeans shorts and a couple of neon coloured t-shirts adorned with flamingo's, palm trees and tiny gemstones spelling the words 'Miami', or 'beach babe'. Clothes that I should wear too, according to her. The jeans, she thinks, would look lovely on me. I do not thinks so, but I do not tell her that either.
I make her try on one dress for good measure. It looks hideous on her. Mainly because she pulls such a miserable face. Later on, when we scour the grown up section of Zara to see if there is something that I would like, she makes me try on a maxi dress with batwing sleeves in a fake silk. Good on her. Needless to say I do not buy it.
In short we have a whale of a time. It is so wonderful to see her grow up. I try to savour every moment of the trip, now that I still get to go with her. If all it takes is to buy her a neon coloured too flimsy too see through sleeveless top, so be it. It is a small price to pay for a few precious hours of her confiding in me. Now I just to need to hide this treasure at the bottom of our laundry bin for as long as I possibly can.