That said, she is still a kid, and I'm all for her taking as long as possible to grow up. This means that I enter the realm of being a Mean Mum by not letting her read Dolly just yet or watch 'Twilight', even though "everyone else gets to!".
After all, as my very wise mother told me during my teenage years, you are a grown up for most of your life, so enjoy being a child while you can. Among other things, this meant that I wasn't allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 18, something which drove me to despair. Especially when my younger sister managed to wrangle her way into having her ears pierced at 15, a turn of fate which I am only just forgiving them both for now (Mum tells me by the time my sister started her pleading for piercing, her resistance had been completely worn down). Miss Mucks is now on at me to let her have hers pierced now, but I've said she has to wait until she is at least 13, and I may even make her wait longer. I may be mean, but I'm not that mean.
Miss Mucks is still at an age where she thinks that I wear nice clothes - she gave me a big thumbs up for a dress I bought today (I must say that I can't blame her, because it is a very nice dress indeed, a bit silky with a black heavy lacy overlay, and I know I would have liked it when I was a teenager). I am sure, however, that I am this close to her deciding that I dress like an utter dag, and what on earth am I doing wearing black ankle boots with a kicky heel when I am over 40?
But we are getting to the stage where we're having disagreements about what is and isn't suitable for her to wear out in public. For example, I think it is completely unsuitable to wear leggings-as-pants unless it's under very specific circumstances, a subject which I have previously blogged about. She, however, thinks that a pair of black leggings-sans-skirt constitutes a perfectly suitable part of her school uniform. I have caught her on more than one occasion with her school skirt stuffed away in her bag when I've collected her at the end of a school day (my kids attend an inner city primary school, with a relatively relaxed uniform policy).
This isn't the first time she's asserted her firm opinion on what she wants to wear. When she was smaller, she went through a long stage of insisting that skirts that twirl were the only thing she could possibly wear. And she would frequently decide that she needed to change not twice, nor three times, but at least four times a day, stuffing her 'dirty' clothes at the back of the wardrobe where she thought I wouldn't notice. A habit that lives on. Unfortunately.
These days, her clothing interests lie towards skinny jeans, funky t-shirts, boots, scarves and knitwear, capped off with a very messy hairdo (some things haven't changed from the photo of her above).
Miss Mucks is also now at the stage that she wants to try before we buy, and she comes home from school sometimes with saying "Oh Mum, I've just heard of this great shop called Jay Jays ...". She wants to join me in shopping for her clothes, which I'm pleased to do because she's great company, and I enjoy seeing how much she enjoys it. And yes, I've stumbled my way through the nightclub that is Supre with her, and waited outside the change room while she's tried on eight different tops in eight different shades of blue.
I am just pleased that the awful early-noughties trend for low rise jeans has passed, so I'm not facing pleas for jeans with zips so tiny that only elves with very small fingers are able to sew them into place. And midriff tops seem to have disappeared too (for now); teenagers can now rejoice in their kidneys staying warm.
So far, so good. I'll exert my influence on her clothing choices for as long as I can. Because I seem to be losing the battle with my older son (who turns 14 next week), who will only wear his jeans very baggy, sliding down his bum.
At least he hasn't started begging for a pierced ear.