The Adventures and Tribulations of Raising a Teenager (Or Why Is Bra Shopping a Bit of a Nightmare?)

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The Adventures and Tribulations of Raising a Teenager (Or Why Is Bra Shopping a Bit of a Nightmare?)

So tonight I brought my daughter to Target to buy a new bra. She insists her old ones are way too small and it is very urgent that she buy a new one. Now. Tonight. Like a bra emergency or something. Did I mention she is already surpassing her mother in voluptuousness? And did I also mention she is only thirteen? That is just not fair by the way. There should be a complaint department about that one.

Anyway, we are in the bra department and Skylar is tossing bras my way looking out to make sure that no one from her school sees her in the bra department. How uncool and weird would that be? She is quite chagrined that there are no fancier, more colorful bras for her to wear. I ask her why is it necessary to have a fancy bra. It’s not like anyone is going to see it (right?!!!).She insists SHE will see it and she would like a pretty lacy bra and not some boring white or black bra that I am encouraging her to try on.

So, off to the co-ed dressing room. (Who thought of that anyway? Seriously, I would prefer my young teenage daughter not have to dress next to the dressing room with the guy who eyes her like some kind of wolf as she enters the dressing room with her fifteen bras to try on.) Yeah, I told the lady who hands out the number sips that eight of them were mine. She didn’t fall for it, but pretended not to notice that all fifteen bras went into the dressing room with Skylar while I perused the 30 percent off jewelry rack nearby.

I told Skye that she had to show me how everything fit. She is more than a little chagrined that I want to be in the same dressing room with her while she changes, although she changes in front of all her girlfriends when they sleep over with no qualms. I consider reminding her that I changed her diaper for over two years and think it is silly at this point to force me to wait outside the changing room door, but I know that argument would fail, so I promise instead to keep my eyes closed while she changes and only look when she is fully clothed. Surprisingly, she relents and lets me enter the inner sanctum of the target co-ed dressing room.

Skylar determines that most of the bras that I have chosen make her look either pointy or flat and then proceeds to describe to me how “everyone” she knows wears push-up bras. Her best friend (who quite coincidentally is also named Skylar) wears one and her grandmother bought if for her, so why did I have to be such a dud and not let her wear a push up bra??? “EVERYONE wears one mom, but meeeee!” she laments. I reply that I doubt her figures for these statistics are true and demand a recount. This response makes her see a little red. Then she drops a bomb on me and says, “Mom, I bet when you were my age you wore saggy, baggy bras anyway!”

Well! Little Missy. I did not wear saggy or baggy bras. (At first I thought she meant “sexy bras,” but she cleared up that misconception right away.)
I felt that recent and still unfamiliar feeling of hurt and indignation mixed in with suppressed laughter as I told her I was NOT saggy, nor was I baggy, when I was her age. IN FACT, I was quite attractive thank you, and did NOT need to push my bosoms up to my chin, or wear a push-up bra, to be attractive. She looked so chagrined and apologized so profusely, I had to relent and forgive her. She said she was sorry to make “a mean” comment like that and didn’t know why she said such things. But I know why my little sweet baby of just last year said such a stinging thing- Hormones! The stuff that steals your baby away and replaces it with a moody, eye-rolling stranger who has stolen your darling child who doted on you just yesterday (it seems), but now thinks you are a Neanderthal. Sigh.

Skye then insisted allll of her friends wore push-up bras so why wouldn’t I at least let her “try one on to convince me? Pleeeeease?” “Hmmm. Is arguing with a teenager ever really fruitful?” I asked myself. Really, whenever you try to reason with a teen, it is just an opportunity in their eyes to keep on coming up with arguments why you should see things their way, and they are really not interested in your side of the story. Trust me. They are like salesmen who have their foot in the door and they are not about to let you push that door shut with something as annoying as reason! What were you thinking mom?

So, suffice it to say, that my darling thirteen-year-old daughter went home with a sensible, well-fitting white bra (with the promise we would look for a pretty, colorful one in the near future!) and I told her that one day she would be having the same conversation with her own daughter and she would have the same response to her beloved girl as I had—no push up bras for you young lady! You are beautiful the way you are and you don’t need cleavage at this age! Also, it will attract the “wrong element,” I added to immense eye-rolls and “Oh, mom, seriously?” from my daughter.

As I kissed my daughter goodnight tonight, and kissed her on her forehead, I whispered that I loved her and loved spending time with her, even bra shopping. Because she may not understand this now, but she will one day; that she will always be my girl, no matter what her age.

And one day, when she has a daughter of her own, she will understand why I wasn’t always the cool mom that said OK to push-up bras and the like. And it warms my heart to know she will be having the same conversations with her own daughter one day, and grandma is going to laugh and laugh and laugh when that happens, but of course also be dignified and humble enough not to say “I told you so!”

Well, I might say it just once, in a moment of weakness! I am a mother, but I am also human, after all!