How a 10 year Old Plays Barbie

My daughter just turned 10, and is caught in that middle-place between childhood and teenager-dom. She likes boys, but thinks they’re way too yucky to kiss (phew). She also skipped a grade, so she’s heading for the delirium of middle school a full year early.
This means she still plays with Barbies, but wants to dye her hair black. She drew a picture of the hairstyle she wanted: full-on Emo with bangs hanging in her face on an perfect anime big-eyed face. She called it Goth. I explained how Goth is different than Emo, sort of. I don’t think she understood, quite.

I compromised: I’ll let her get the hair, sans dye for now. I explained that she might have to flat-iron it every morning. She is okay with that. I wonder if she’ll be okay with getting up an extra 45 minutes early.

And when she plays Barbies, the 3 year old usually gloms on and plays, too. But Elyse plays differently now. This is how she plays:

The Barbie Tattoo Parlor Menu
The Barbie Tattoo Parlor Menu

Barbie owns a Tattoo and Piercing Shop.

Kaiya proudly showed me Barbie’s new tat, on the back of Barbie’s neck, covering up the Made In stamp. I couldn’t tell what it was supposed to depict.

Such is the odd line between young girl-dom and young woman-hood.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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