It's a funny thing about branding, isn't it?
The first time that Q saw the Sephora logo - that big stylized "s" on a slick black background, she loved it. Same with the Target bullseye.
I won't lie, that kind of early-onset branding scares me.
I was raised on the earth-mother end of the spectrum (though you could never take my mother for a hippie), no refined sugars, no junk food, no Barbies, no pink clothes, no toys that weren't wooden, handmade, or Steiff. And yes, I am a product of that upbringing to an extent. For instance, I loath the whole Disney Princess cartel and everything that goes with it. I abhor the mass-merchandising that goes along with every film made for children (how can you make your fortune by unscrupulously manipulating toddlers, and still sleep at night?). And yet, I harbor a curious lifelong fascination with Barbie dolls and suburbia (bred of complete and deliberate isolation from these things in childhood), and I eat an entire 3.5 oz chocolate bar every morning for breakfast. Every single morning. So much for no refined sugar.
So when my husband advised me that denying her things like pink clothes, potato chips and princess paraphenalia would only make her crave them more, I decided to give his viewpoint a chance.
Why not? After all, I'm still me. Q knows exactly how I feel about things ("Oh, Mommy doesn't like Barney!" she'll say. "No, mommy doesn't like Chuck E Cheese!"), and she will be influenced by me in whatever ways she chooses. My husband has as much of a chance of being right as I do. We're both smart, well-read, well-educated people.
So when Q entered her pink phase, I counted myself lucky that she didn't want Disney Princess dresses, and let her have the pink rollerskates, pink soccer ball, pink briefcase, pink bike, pink crash helmet, etc etc etc...
And when, upon passing by a Sephora shop, a sales rep (mistaking her, as so many do, for a much older child) offered to apply a flavored lipgloss sample for her, I vacillated, hummed and hawed, and then shrugged, sighed, and said, "Sure, why not. If she so chooses."
I have to say that the look on Q's face was priceless.
She was so entranced that she stood absolutely still, and I swear that she did not move her lips for the next half an hour for fear of messing up her "makeover".
Here she is looking in the mirror. Oh, the gravity of it all! She felt so grown-up.
Since it was my birthday, she also got a free Birthday Cake scented bubble bath when we left, courtesy of Philosophy. All wrapped up in a big, shiny black bag with that oh-so-seductive "S" on it.
My girl. My half-grown, half-baby. My basketball-wielding, pink briefcase-carrying, torch song-belting, rock-climbing, satin bow-wearing girl. If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she will say "A writer", or "a doctor", depending on the day. She could as easily grow up to play pro ice hockey or join the circus. That's my kid. We're both winging it.