Friday, February 16, 2007

Growing up

My youngest daughter, Ciara, is a Brownie. My eldest daughter, Rhiannon, used to be a Brownie, but left at nine and a half and didn't want to be a Guide, so she isn't. Ciara, on the other hand, is an extremely sociable child and loves the interaction, so she won't leave before she's ten and will probably want to be a Guide.

I was a Brownie, (they didn't have Rainbows when I was a child, but these to were both Rainbows) and I was a Guide until I was about fifteen I suppose, but I can also boast Girls Brigade, Sea Cadets and the local Youth Orchestra (the windband and the recorder orchestra sections). In my day, Brownies was about being a little girl and learning useful things, like polishing shoes, making fairy cakes, plaiting newspapers to make a packaway seat, all sorts of stuff.

We had a Brownie parent meeting the other evening, to decide on the future of the pack, how to support the current leaders and collect ideas for activities. One mother suggested a pamper evening. For the Brownies. You know, make-up, nail varnish that sort of thing. There sat the other mothers nodding approval and "Ooo"s and "Ahhh"s from all corners.

Me, I'm silently screaming "NOOOOOO!".

Call me old fashioned or a prude, but I don't want to encourage my daughter to wear make-up, short skirts and cropped tops, to make herself appear older than her tender eight years and available. To make her vulnerable.

At first I thought I will just make Ciara 'busy' that night, so that I don't have to confess my austerity in public. Then I decided I will have a private word with Brown Owl and explain why I am unhappy for my daughter to take part in this activity. If other parents don't have a problem it's entirely up to them obviously, I don't want to make an issue of it, but it's just not for me and my daughter.

Although Ciara probably won't agree. She would probably love it.



Anonymous said...

... and totem poles. Don't you remember that winning totem pole we made on Brownie camp once? You must remember that Brownie camp - it marked my first ever stay away from home - and, boy, was I home-sick! Still, it helped - by the time I left home at 18 I was not at all home-sick (just sick of home)!

Oh, it's me, by the way!

Anonymous said...

And I wanted to comment on the nail varnish etc. I'm with you. 100 percent. I wonder whether other mum's will be with you once you voice your concerns....?

Anne said...

Me too - I'm 100% with you and your "anonymous" commenter - hi Ruth! I don't think you're old-fashioned or prudish - I respect you for standing up and being counted on this issue.

Louise said...

Giggling and smug, thanks gals!

You remember sooo much and remind me,oh wow, yes, that totem pole! That Brownie camp!

And I think we did it without me cheating. That's something!

(Yes, I did cheat at some things...)