Heading to the Prom at age 4??!

Maria and Mario heading to school

At age 4, she had decided to go to the prom with Logan, a tough lookin’ little guy.  Who asked who to the prom is an unknown question.  She refuses to divulge the details.  I do know from Maria’s teacher that Logan asked Maria if she wanted to go to the Japanese Steakhouse with him some time because it had really good food.   Yeah, Logan asked my girl out to the Japanese Steakhouse.  The first offers I got to eat out were to UDF for a turtle sundae and to Burger King for a Whopper and I was 13.  Times have changed or else I just attracted some cheap guys (actually, I would take a turtle sundae over a steak anyway). 

But wait… am I actually talking about my daughter being asked out on a date and going to a prom at age 4 and not being appalled and wondering about what is happening to this world?  Yeah, I am.  First of all, I am way too tired to try to contemplate whether this is some type of anti-feminist movement at the school and all the little girls are being primed for a life of superficiality.  Second of all, I would guess that half of Maria’s girl friends have asked her if she wanted to go to some restaurant or place with them.  Third of all, Maria and Logan could have cared less that they “went to the prom together.”  They certainly were not standing in the corner holding hands or making out. 

To the contrary, Maria pushed him around most of the time.  

Now, would I have been happier with a dance party themed around loving unconditionally and a discussion about how there are all kinds of people in this world and we need to embrace everyone all the same.  But, that is the trade-off of deciding to work.  I take what I can get at the daycare. 

And the dance was a blast. 

The kids laughed and ran around and gave hugs and got pictures.  They exchanged valentine cards, candy, cookies, bracelets.  Of course, my girl was ready go after 20 minutes or so.  She can only handle so much partying when there is no food.  She kept pulling at my leg and demanding When is lunch coming?  I am so hungry!” 

Now, I say that I am not bothered by the fact that they had this prom at age 4, but I am a little concerned about Maria’s concern in the morning about whether she looked pretty.  This occurs every day – not just prom day – and it is increasingly concerning to me.  Did I ever care about that at age 4?  She is discovering herself and her body, and hopefully, this “do I look pretty” stage is just a part of this discovery.  I have tried to reinforce her entire life that she is a gorgeous, strong, funny, intelligent girl and that being gorgeous is not about having big beautiful eyes or blond hair or wearing makeup, it is about being funny and smart and genuine.  I continue to enforce it with the princess books we read.  “Why did the prince fall in love with that princess?” she asks.  “He loved how she made him laugh and how smart she was.  She had gone to college and become a veterinarian and was so good with animals….” 

She typically responds to my counseling with “I know, mom.  I know…”  Hopefully, that sigh and that response gets embedded in her and she will continue “to know” as she gets older and older. 

And for Mario…. He is way too young to understand that he had a “prom.”  He could have cared less about any of the gals in the dance room.  He ran around with his “guy friends” the entire time, tackling them and yelling at them.  When teachers tried to get his picture, he refused.  When a teacher asked him to be her valentine, he responded “NO!”  He steered clear of anyone from the opposite sex.  He decorated a shoe box to have it to store valentines.  He read valentine’s books.  He got to eat treats, especially Skittles, his all-time favorite.

Overall, a great day.  Their excitement in the morning continued throughout the entire day, and that is a great day for me, too.

Making cookies and valentines for the big day

6 thoughts on “Heading to the Prom at age 4??!

  1. Laura says:

    I can’t even get my husband to take me to a Japanese steakhouse–she better snap that boy up! lol

    Prom-eh? I guess that’s a different take on getting around the “not a holiday party” celebration on the holiday rule that all the schools follow. But I agree, I think a simple love/friendship dance would have been appropriate. Still really cute to see all those little ones dancing, I bet.

  2. Sarah says:

    Keep that veterinarian princess association alive! I can see Maria going through a “I’m going to be a veterinarian in Lincoln Nebraska” phase in middle school. Every solid young feminist should go through that stage (we’ll forget about my Sandra Bullock-obsessed stage in high school…)

    • marymenkedick says:

      And you forgot to add the Julia Roberts-obsession as well, girlie! Don’t sell yourself short. Maria still tells the kids at daycare about “her day with Aunt Sarah.” My favorite is when someone talks about COSI and Maria chimes in immediately with “I got to go to COSI with Aunt Sarah and not come to school” (she rubs it in everyone’s faces)! You are her idol, thank god!

  3. August says:

    Hey Mary,

    Sarah just passed on your blog to Nat and I. I must say this post sort of blew my mind. Good to know what will be in store for us in the next couple of years.


    • marymenkedick says:

      Hey there! So good to hear from you. Are you and Natalie ready for the big day? I know Sarah is excited. Yeah, your life will change more than you could ever imagine and there will be a whole new host of fears and anxieties that come along with those little munchos but in the end you look back and think “how did I ever live without these bambinos?” Tell Natalie I said hi!

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