Like Mother, Like Daughter: Arm Candy

I’ve created a monster.

Mini Me is an artist. She attacks every new project with a vigor I sometimes wish she’d use for cleaning her room. Her artistic endeavors can last for a few hours, or they can drag on for days. While she is in the midst of these spells, homework, chores and occasionally dinner, fall by the wayside.

Sound familiar? (See post on the fallout from my writing challenge.)

Her latest obsession is jewelry making. Sparkle and shine are close to my eight-year-old’s heart. So when I came with a bag full of colorful beads, I was prepared for her to be lost for a few days.

One weekend afternoon, we each made three bracelets. Then I left Mini Me to her own devices. Over the next week, she made 10 more. I doubt she’s done.

In addition to being prolific, my eight year old is also proud. She has no problem wearing her entire collection at once and explaining the placement of each and every bead. I’ve had to remind her on several school mornings that “less is more.” I said this, of course, as I piled on my own array of arm candy.

What I was not prepared for was the note I received from Mini Me’s teacher, Mrs. J.

“[The jewelry] is quite a distraction to her, her classmates, and me. She is constantly playing with the jewelry. Peers have told her it is a distraction. I have taken jewelry from her, but nothing seems to be working.”

I looked down at my arm after I read the note. I had on this:


And this:


I couldn’t help but laugh. That night, I had to put the chuckles aside and talk with Mini Me about the note.

“Why are you playing with your bracelets in class?” I pointed to the pile of rainbow and sparkle on the kitchen table.

“I’m not playing,” she said. “I’m arranging them.”

“Arranging them how? And why?”

“They’re so pretty, and you can wear them in different patterns.” She picked up a few and started to demonstrate her point.

I thought back to a conference call I took earlier that day. While a group disagreed about a deadline, I twirled blue beads around my wrist. Perhaps maintaing focus was something we could both improve.

I explained that while fashion and jewelry are fun, there is a time and and place for it. That place is not the middle of class or on a conference call.

Mini Me nodded, but I don’t think she was convinced. For now, though, we’ll reserve arm candy for the weekend.

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