Blingetty, bling, bling

Rowan with Mom

Rowan with super cool Mom


I spent the better part of last week with our granddaughters. They are eight, almost nine-year-old fraternal twins, different as day and night. One is focused and reserved. Talking with her is like talking to an adult. The other is a whirling dervish of energy with the attention span of a flea.

As is tradition, we take them shopping for one school outfit and one toy.

This is a good place to put this disclaimer. I went to a parochial school for the first eight years and wore a navy blue jumper with a white blouse every day. Every. Single. Day. Coats were charcoal gray Melton wool that weighed almost as much as I did complete with a school bag that weighed more. My shoes were penny loafers. That’s penny loafers every single year. I blame my droopy shoulders on my schooling. Backpacks (and the internet) were still far off in the future along with microwaves, drive-through windows and (sigh!) Starbucks.

I didn’t expect to buy any solid jumpers or white blouses. The girls are fashion and color conscious. Very color conscious! The more color the better! However…I wasn’t expecting the results.

The first store we went to carried only young girls’ clothing. My eyes hurt from the colors and patterns but in a good way. We weren’t there too long and only one found something she wanted — really wanted. I would call it a knee-length prom gown.

Nonjudgmentally (or as nonjudgmentally as is possible when an eight year old picks out a purple prom gown for school) I asked her mother where she would wear it. “Everywhere” was the answer.


Maya in her new purple sparkly dress!

It has a purple satin top with broad straps and a chiffon skirt. Holy cow. The nuns would have excommunicated me! Anyhow, I am a good Grammy so that’s what she got. She can pair it with a bolero jacket or put a white tee-shirt underneath. She’s wearing it for her third grade pictures so I am anxious to see the results.

After recovering from this shock, the other granddaughter asked if she could get new shoes instead of an outfit. Sure! Whatever she needs. We went to another store where she picked out…wait for it…prom shoes. They have a small chunky heel and are made of fabric with a satin bow and rhinestones. They are for school.



Let me be clear here. These two girls are not beauty pageant kids. They don’t dress or act in any way other than normal eight-year-old girls — no makeup or anything like that. Their interests are gymnastics and soccer.

Thinking back, I loved to dress up in my Mom’s clothes with her high-heeled shoes. If I could have worn them to school (and walked without breaking my neck), I would have, even with the threat of excommunication hanging over my head.

When I sent them off to the amusement park with the beloved husband I picked up two tops that would be nun-approved. They are colorful but have longer sleeves and are warmer.

I need a do-over. I was definitely robbed. Not only did I get droopy shoulders from all that heavy stuff I had to carry but I was denied the gorgeous colors and fabrics that are available today. I would have loved a purple fleece jacket that weighs next to nothing. As for shoes…..a little sparkly would have worked for me too!

36 thoughts on “Blingetty, bling, bling

  1. You’re the best Grammy Kate (and Gramps)!!! The girls love all their bobbles and fashion acquired in PA… and I can assure you they will wear everything out, until it just can’t go any further…

    We had a great time seeing you both and will see you again soon (but not before your house and kitties recover…)…

    Love you much!

    Rowan, Maya and Essi 🙂


  2. I remember I was in grade three and their was a satin dress with ribbon! I wanted it desperately for school dress-up day. It was the most beautiful dress in the world and my shrewd mother said “no.” I wore an aqua cotton dress and hate it til this day.

    If I had girls there would be lots of sparkles and ribbons! Lol.


  3. I can totally relate to this ~ when I took the grandkids back to school shopping, wee MJ picked out one dress that was completely impractical but she wanted it for the “twirlability” — as a lover of twirly skirts I cannot argue with that logic 🙂

    Your grand-daughters are precious and their choices were perfect. What a neat Grandma you are 🙂

    PS you can still get sparkly shoes & a swirly dress you know — go for it 🙂 MJ


  4. Your granddaughters are so cute! Taking them shopping must have been fun. I didn’t go to parochial school, and I did have some interesting dresses (my mom sewed), but nothing to compare with that “prom” dress and those glittery shoes. My first formal was at about age 13. My friends and I joined the Rainbow Girls because they wore formals for some occasion that I don’t now recall.


    • We didn’t have Rainbow Girls here. We didn’t even have girl scouts. I lived outside of town but my mother would let me wear my Sunday best for an hour before bed after I took my bath sometimes. That was supercool!


  5. I always enjoy seeing the twins’ pictures. Or course a purple prom dress – and fancy smacy shoes – what else? And they definitely should be getting you a crown and fairy wings – never too old for sparkly ( and we have to catch up….)
    (6th grade we all couldn’t wait until the end of 6th grade and sort-of heels)


    • I was a junior bridesmaid at 13 and got my first real heels. I was over the moon! They were fabric dyed to match my dress. I wore them for church all summer no matter what color my dress was. These rights of passage were so important to us then. Now I can’t remember the last time I wore heels.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. They want to be princesses! We had no princess stuff as kids. Gee. I wanted penny loafers sooooooo bad, but my mother said they were bad for my feet. Eventually I earned a pair for myself–at age 9. hahaha You’re a wonderful Grammy, Kate!


  7. I’d like you to be my grand-ma! I never got to have pretty, useless things as a kid and as a result I’ve never left the sparkly stage! I don’t have grand-kids to spoil so my puppy got a blingy collar! [Sorry world!] 😀


  8. Our genes are heavy on the male side…thankfully we have two grand girls…beautiful and color conscious; they did well selecting wardrobes. They never wore uniforms, nor did I…whew! One of the schools nearby has absolutely the dorkiest uniforms I’ve ever seen. A friend of ours had an exchange student from China and the girl almost threw up when she saw her uniform. This was in high school, no less. Your two are beautiful and seem to have their heads on straight…a few weeks ago there was a mom w/her two daughters. Elementary school ages and the youngest one was distraught that mom wouldn’t allow her to have half of her head shaved. Aargh…ooh! Mom won but where did that come from? I love sparkles and colors…they rule!


    • No matter how much I complain about my uniform I liked it better than that green plaid they adopted 10 years later. Some people just don’t look so good in plaids! Hair, tattoos, piercings — all new things to be navigated these days. I was an adult when I had my ears pierced. Wish I had them done earlier when I wasn’t so worried about it. I am very lucky to have granddaughters. I don’t know what to do with boys.


  9. I’m not a grandmother but I think I’d be somewhat torn. On one hand, they look fabulous and I love the glamour. On the other hand, the feminist in me isn’t crazy about the inner princess so many young girls are embracing. The fun of being a grandmother (I suspect) is, with a nod of approval from mom, you can provide sparkles and glitz.


  10. I must admit these are beautiful clothing and shoes and here’s the big but. These are not school materials. Nowadays there is no school protocol for the chidden especially public schools. We had a big issue about dress code when girls come to school with short-shorts. Not to mention the top. I hope they won’t go that far when they grow uo.


  11. I was thinking Chingity Ching Ching as in the noise a cash register makes. lol
    What beautiful granddaughters you have and I am sure they are deserving of every penny!
    Wish I had some. ( pennies that is 🙂 )


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