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The Purple Club

Do you remember those girls when you were growing up that the other kids (particularly boys) always seemed to like and they were just cute unassuming girls that couldn't be bothered by any of the attention? Maybe you were one of those girls. I always seemed to be friends with them. I also spent a LOT of time in my youth observing such girls and trying to figure out just what made them so special. To others, that is. I didn't necessarily pine for the attention, but I was intrigued that their very existence got that kind of attention.

I remember when I was in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade there was a girl in a grade higher than me that just seemed to have it. I stared at her endlessly. I just couldn't figure it out, but I stared nonetheless. Yeah, I was one of those kids. At least I outgrew it...

Anyway, I guess I decided it was the way she walked that made her cool. What I was unaware of at the time was that she had back problems and walked with a very straight stiff back. At the same time she was naturally endowed with a, how shall I say it, notable booty. So, my solution, walk with my back stiff and stick my butt out as much as I could. I was certain that was the key to her success and popularity. Internets, I will have you know I have NEVER confessed this to ANYONE. Not even those who know my deepest darkest secrets know this about my clearly, very bright elementary years.

Later, when I was in sixth grade and we ruled the roost, or so we thought---my closest friends started a "Purple Club". I think it was outlined in Sweet Valley High books, but my brilliant friend Amy applied it to us. I was sure that the inclusion in the purple club (even though I never cared for the color) was the ticket to being noticed. I was wrong.

In high school and later in college, I didn't ever necessarily stand out. I always had a lot of friends and with guys, I could interest one or two with witty banter, but I never had the straight back, big butt look that I was certain caught the men's attention. As much as I wanted to unwittingly be the object of many's affection---I wasn't.

Fast forward 20 years later and I have an offspring that is the very thing I desired to be. People are constantly fawning and she couldn't care less. I guess this is where I get fulfilled because I definitely don't mind being the vicarious recipient of fawning. Call me desperate, I am who I am.

Well, Sketchy did a post with a little bit on Burger King, which made me laugh, and reminded me also of a recent incident at my local Playland of choice.

Since Aves was about 15 months old she has been navigating the tunnels and slides and walls of the Mickey D's play structures, with ease. At first, in the summer, I had my cute little skinny niece to retrieve her if I got nervous that she was stuck---but soon even Erica determined her job was useless with Avee's climbing and navigating prowess. So now, I sit back with my super-size fries and let my kids run wild. It has never been a problem, Avee has always returned back to me whole and happy.

So, you can imagine my alarm when a couple of weeks ago, shortly after she darted from my safe arms, I heard her wailing from the top of the structure. I admit, I panicked. I went to a tunnel and pretended for a second that even my head would fit through and yelled, "Avee, come to mama!" She was really wailing and clearly distraught. I felt sick. Why do I always have to push it, she's just a baby!

Then I hear an older girl kind of talking baby and saying, "Come on, it's okay, I'll take you to mommy, let's go." I was relieved as I knew she was talking to Avee and was at least in capable enough hands to get her down to me, where I could assess the damage.

The girl holding her came down with Avee writhing on her lap, and about 4 or 5 other 10-11 year old girls right behind them. Avee lunged for me and whimpered pitifully. "What happened Aves, did you get stuck, did you get hurt?" Notice I didn't say scared? Because I know my child. The older girl offered to me, "She just got scared being so high up, so we were trying to help her get down."

Ding ding ding ding! The reason for the screams. She wasn't hurt or stuck, and for pete's sake, not scared. She was TICKED. I thanked the "helpful" girls for bringing her down and a couple of them thought they'd reward themselves with a little more one-on-one with Avee and tried to take her from my arms to coo over her and baby her. She scowled and swatted at each of the offending hands. I feebly offered, "She may just need some time to recover" and went back to the uncomfortable, slippery, pleather couch where I had previously been pretending to watch my children, over the Pac-man game on my phone.

Avee made herself busy on the coffee table, swinging from video game controllers (by the way, what idiot thought it was a good idea to put video games at a fast food restaurant playland---isn't it bad enough that we've conceded to feed our kids crap in the first place?)

Whether she meant to or not, Avee waited long enough to "lose" the older chics, before she returned to the play structure. It was a good 15 minutes. Even I thought the older girls were gone. She trotted off to the structure and I watched for her in between rounds of Collapse on my phone.

3 minutes later, I hear the same desperate, heart-wrenching screams and I leapt from the couch. I quickly go to the place where my head sort of fits and yell again for Avee to go toward the light---that I was blocking, with my slight frame. Sure enough, she came down on the lap of older helpful girl and was glaring and wishing desperately she knew karate. I had to laugh. My little princess had a following, people just waiting to dote and follow her every whim and all she wanted was to climb through the rope tunnel without someone helping her and down the slide BY HER SELF!!!!!! Again the older girl offered that Avee was scared. Again, I let that explanation sit, and let Avee do her thing to try and shake them.

The third time it happened I realized I was one of those people who wasn't dealing with my screaming child, and annoying the heck out of the other moms so I finally told the girls, "She really just wants to be left alone." Being one of those people who used to love fawning over little kids (becoming a mother cured me of that tendency but GOOD) I felt really bad breaking the news to these girls. But I also felt that it was important that they know not all things in small packages are cute and nice. Sometimes they spit and glare if you get in their way.

I suspect in 10 years or so, some pathetic little red-haired girl will be painting a red strawberry birth mark on her back, certain that that is the reason Avee is the "it girl" of her school. Or heaven forbid, spraying her hair up in a cowlick, if Ave's isn't so lucky to escape her dad's contribution to the gene pool.

For certain, I'll be teaching her to notice the little staring people. And to be nice. They just might grow up to be bloggers and phenomenal phone Pac-man players. I'm just saying.

Sheer delight! That is what I feel right now at being the first to blog! Sheer delight!

So stiff back and boot E licious and you still didnt' get their attention, huh? I wonder why?

Pssst. It's the NOT CARING that does it for people. Seriously. I woulda told you that a long time ago but I didn't know until now why you just stare at me!

That being said, I do have space available on my calendar to give butt sticking out lessons.

I'm really glad this post wasn't about those red-hat purple feather ladies (aka really-bored-just-older -than-baby-boomers). I don't understand THAT club at ALL.

And I think it's really cool that Avee has such a yearning for independence and that you recognize it and make room for it. That's good momming in my book. :)

Poor avee how frustrating to have "leave me the hecka alone" for "being scared" but I'll tell you right now she better not pull that on me this weekend. I am so going to cling to her, you had better give her a heads up:) ps IF by chance you ever do climb in for a SAVE please switch ol pac man to video:)

Im just saying.

Now wait - you have Pac-Man on your phone?

I agree with CYM - when I'm an old lady, I'm going to join that "investing grannies" group instead and make millions.

I have a really hard time with child "fawners". I can totally feel my kid's frustration at being picked up and dragged around by strangers at a play area. I've had to be tough with them a few times (fortunately my "slapping hand" hasn't had to make an appearance).

Amen on people who just seem to get all the attention. I used to watch them too, and feel jealous. Now I AM one.

ITA with CYM, glad you didn't join the red-hat purple people.
I love how you came to the conclusion that the key to success and popularity was the stiff back and the outie-booty.
Smart redheads!

Avee, such a cute girl. Of course people are going to fawn all over her.
Fawn, what a weird word. I always thought it was fan, see, because it makes sense to me.

thanks for this thoroughly entertaining post. you ought to publish, i mean in the "real" world, that is.
btw, back in 5th grade, i'm pretty sure it was the girls with the boobies who got the attention. at least in my class.

Breit Mama--That's TWO--woohoo!

CYM---I laffed and laffed ALL night at "but I didn't know until now why you just stare at me" So dang funny. Way to make it all about you. Sadly, in my post-baby making days, I have no problem getting any part of my body to stick out excessively. But thanks for the offer.

S--No chance. She loves her aunt. And attention. Just not when she's climbing. :)

Millie--I do have Pac-Man on my phone. And Collapse. Very sad.
You know, I keept thinking about adults who totally just make kids do things because they are little and can be picked up and forced and never really think about whether the kid wants it or not. It's weird. I mean, aside from tying your kid down to finish his pork chop. That's totally appropriate.
I would totally stare at you if I lived near you.

NCS--In my defense, I was 10 when I came to that conclusion. :) I think you should write a book of "how it should really be said and why" or at least a post on it. That would be VERY enjoyable. I still get a giggle out of "bunnies"---mostly your explanation for it. TOTALLY logical. Only in the English language does Fawn mean, baby deer, to gain favor by giving attention, a color, AND the name of a girl I grew up with.

Leslie--you made my day! Thanks. I would love to publish, but I really doubt there's much of a market for my musings on purple, poop, and playdates. But who knows!? And you are absolutely right, it was the girls who had real reasons to wear a bra at 11. But I didn't figure out THAT until 8th grade when I hounded the cute boy next to me as to WHY one particular girl was so popular with the boys when she had bad hair and wasn't that pretty. He finally told me. That was my first introduction into how simple it really is.

back to the original thought.. I will gladly tell you a stiff back and a big butt get you very little in this world. Or what you get isn't what you want!! :) My poor girls have inherited the dominate big butt jean and hopefully they will pull it off more gracefully that I try to!! So slouch away and supersize those fries.. some of us want to be like the tall redheads of the world!!

Don't believe Millie, she has always been one of the ones people naturally flock to. How nice of her to pretend to be like the rest of us.

Poor Avee, but I gotta say this doesn't beat my son who would find his way to the topmost tower, mock me and the proceed to strip. Nope, doesn't beat that at all! Of course being the brilliant Mommy I am I started making him wear overalls to playlands and that cured that. Take that little man!

There is a girl in my class who is EXACTLY like that. She's beautifull, has gorgeuos hair, says all the right things, doesn't neccesarily crave attention AND she walks funny!!!! I tried to walk like her too (sad I know) but it just didn't work for me. She sort of takes big strides out to the side instead of walking compltely forward.

Sometimes she just sits on her own contemplating life and soon she has a crowd around her (mainly boys) dancing around her or being stupid etc. I just think that's freaky that your blog is about that :-)

I think you have created quite a following of your own with your clever, witty, insightful, interesting and fun to read blog!

It cracked me up thinking about how ticked Avee probably was at being "helped" out. The same thing has happened with Sophie many many times except that it's usually other moms trying to help her out. She'll be playing happily at the park while I watch, and inevitably some other mother there will freak out about whatever Sophie's climbing on, shoot me a dirty look, and go help the poor little neglected girl. It never takes long for the lady to figure out that 1) Sophie is capable of scaling ANYTHING by herself and 2) she resents nothing more than being offered help.

The stiff back/butt out story is priceless. Thanks so much for sharing your deep, dark secret with us!

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