Steamboat Springs Fifth-grader Tari "Taritots" Weekslynn wanted to know why she won't be allowed to wear spaghetti-strap shirts to middle school this fall.
The answer: Because they distract the boys.
Tari's inquiry was one of many questions local girls asked a panel of middle school students during a session at the Mother Daughter Day event Saturday at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.
Amaris Duryea, 10, asked whether students really get shoved in lockers in middle school. She learned they don't - the lockers aren't big enough.
Mother Daughter Day is an event held each May for girls making the transition from elementary to middle school and their mothers.
"This is the first year we've been able to have it the day before Mother's Day, which is awesome," event coordinator Jen Fritz said.
Fritz said the purpose of Mother Daughter Day is to strengthen the bond between mother and daughter before the transition to middle school.
"We do it so that when tough stuff comes up, you have a female in your life you can go to," she said.
While the daughters grilled the middle school girls about anything and everything they could think of, the mothers attended a panel with Fritz, event founder Diane Stoyko, nutritionist Karen Massey and Kim Boyce from the Visiting Nurse Association. Other sessions included "Changing bodies and healthy behaviors" and one about nutrition and exercise. Local Olympian Caroline Lalive opened the event with a keynote speech.
This year's turnout was the largest yet, with 30 Steamboat Springs mother-daughter pairs attending. The Women's Foundation of Northwest Colorado funds the free event.
Among Fritz's fellow organizers is her mother, Jan Fritz. Jan Fritz said the event teaches mothers and daughters how to nurture their relationship and make it life-lasting.
"It's neat to see people coming with the good intention of, 'How can I do this better?'" she said.
Massey's nutrition and exercise session defied the audience's expectations. Instead of pushing broccoli and Brussels sprouts - as some of the girls in the audience expected - Massey focused on creating and nurturing family experiences around food.
"There is a lot of mental nurturing that occurs over meal time," Massey said. "In this busy lifestyle, people don't always take the time to make these experiences."
Massey's point rang true when she asked the mothers when they take five minutes out of the day to talk about their children's day at school. The first response was: "While driving."
The event closed with a letter-writing activity that had each mother-daughter pair write letters to one another identifying three things they like about each other and three things they would like to do together. Jen Fritz holds onto the letters for six months before sending them to the mothers and daughters.
One daughter's letter began, "Dear Mommie, You rock! Anytime I need anything, you're there."
Lianne Pyle-Mosser said it was hard to write a letter to her daughter, Myrissa Pyle, and mention only three things she likes about her.
"I need 100 things," Pyle-Mosser said.