Last weekend, my parents came over for a visit with the kids. After hanging out and dining as a family unit, we (absentmindedly) split into gender groups, with the men-boys playing trucks downstairs while the ladies went through my daughter’s closet pulling out and modeling some of her clothes.
Because my 2-year-old makes the cutest and most enthusiastic model, the private showing ended with her trying on and posing in each piece of her swimsuit collection…it’s actually the Old Navy/H&M toddler girls swimsuit collection, but regardless, she loved every single costume change. She even accessoried each beachwear look with appropriately matched pieces, ie. the Hello Kitty sunglasses and flip-flops with the Hello Kitty rash guard and bikini bottoms; and the strawberry suit with strawberry sandals. Better watch out, Rachel Zoe, my little love is coming after your job.
Despite the fact that I LOVE FASHION so much, I swear I don’t think I intentionally did this to my daughter. I don’t think I made this child Super Girlie Girl…did I???
Yes, I supposed I picked out pink this and that before she was born and have dressed her more princess bride than total tomboy, but I also always make sure that her brother shares his trucks, cars and trains with her and my husband watches every single football game with her snuggled into his chest on the couch. I point out the baseball arena (auditorium? theater?…oh, yeah, it’s a stadium!) every morning as we drive past Wrigley Field on the way to school and yes, I know they play baseball there.
Furthermore, my little lady skateboards, owns her own Bears, Bulls and Cubs pajama pants, and when she wanted to pee standing up when we started potty training, I let her try (she soon learned that it’s better for those who actually have a penis instead of those just pretending to have one).
And still, despite all of my efforts to let her make her own choices, my daughter still gasps and says, “sooooo cuuuuute”, when I bring home new clothes for her, asked me this morning to make her hair like Rapunzel’s (whatever that means and NO, I didn’t add hair extensions!), and insists that she will someday drive a pink car.
I should add that I’m not complaining. I am 100% girlie girl. Well, at least 99.9%. While I do enjoy The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Glenlivet, it’s no comparison to my love of shoes, Girls on HBO, nail polish, flowers and florals, and almost anything that’s shiny (except my t-zone). So it’s crazy fun for me to have a little girl who enjoys a lot of the same.
On the other hand, I have to wonder if I subconsciously pushed her to be a certain way.
My friend writes a thought-provoking blog called Superhero Princess that I think is genius. It explores gender relationships during childhood-you know, boys only playing with boys because they play with superheroes, and girls only playing with girls because they play with princesses.
This girls-who-love-princesses topic seems to be following me everywhere and I can admit that I don’t know the right answer or the wrong answer.
Is it awful that my little girl mainly likes “girl” stuff? Is it ok for her to enjoying an occasional manicure date with mommy? Or am I creating a little girl who will eventually grow into a woman who believes that the only people who can hook a cable box up to a flat screen are her daddy or some poor guy in her freshman dorm that she flirts into doing anything she’s too delicate to do herself? Even I think that’s nuts and I’ll be the first one to tell her so.
So, I’d like to think that she’ll be ok. I come from the girliest of all girlie girls (which makes me the girlier of all girlie girls as her daughter) and although I typically did it with a perfect mani/pedi and in a mini skirt or heels, I was always the one who handled all of the television wiring in every apartment I shared in college.
So maybe you can be both. After all, I love to dress up, put on make-up, and can sometimes be found wearing high heels when I should be in gym shoes (just ask my husband!), but I’m no damsel in distress. And definitely don’t my little girl that she can’t do something her male friends can…I mean, if she’s willing to pee standing up, I’m going to guess there’s not much she won’t try.
Check out my favorite post from the Superhero Princess: Getting Schooled by my Preschooler.