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Grandma, My Daughter Is NOT Your Doll

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Guest Blogger Tracy: My mother is playing "dress up" with my daughter -- and it's not cool.

When my daughter was 10 months old, my mother came over to babysit while I ran some errands. I was grateful. She also came bearing gifts for Ruby, for which I was not grateful. A denim miniskirt with sequins and a glittery tank top emblazoned with "Princess in Training"? Not really my style. I'm not into the "Baby Bratz doll" look. Up until that point, Ruby's wardrobe had been simple, as if she were attending a perpetual yoga class: jersey pants and long-sleeved T-shirts. I wanted her to be comfortable. I figured she had enough to contend with without snaps and buttons gouging her when she crawled.

I politely told my mother that I appreciated the outfit but didn't think it was right for Ruby. Then I put it back in the box. (There's a little more to this story than meets the eye: All through my childhood, my mom forced me to wear things I hated and sometimes was even embarrassed to wear. It was a constant battle of will that, among many other things, wore down our relationship.) 

"Don't you want her to try it on?" pleaded my mother. 

 "No, Mom, I really don't," I replied firmly. "She's fine with what she's wearing." Thinking it was settled, I left the house.

The next week, I was at my parents' house when I noticed a picture of Ruby I had never seen. It was a photo of my baby girl in the "miniature streetwalker" outfit I had nixed the week before! My mother, so determined to get her way, had put my daughter in the outfit and snapped a photo. 

Wait: How many times does my mother get to be the mom?! I think just once. But I guess she thinks being a grandmother gives her the right to override my wishes.

Does it?

next: Are You Ready to Rumble? Your Kid's Not!
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