My name is Mrs. Chicky and I am raising a girly girl.
(Hiii Mrs. Chiickyy)
I'm not intentionally making her this way, it's just how she's turning out so far. I don't know where she gets it from because I could never be mistaken for one. I prefer blue jeans to ballgowns, sneakers to stilletos, and you'll find me more often than not wearing a ball cap - even though I spent my mortgage on my highlights - which you could chalk up more to sheer laziness than a fashion statement. I've been this way for as long as I can remember, when way back in the day I was racing my Matchbox cars around Barbie's van. When I became pregnant most of my friends were confident that I would have a boy because, well, that's just the way it should have been. Surely the universe would see fit to give us a son. Bringing a daughter into our lives would be a cruel joke. But then I shot forth a baby girl from my loins and I knew instantly after one look at her pink cheeks that, no, it should be this way. I should be the mother of at least one daughter. I will show the world that a girl can be more than frippery and lace.
HoooBoy. Do I have my work cut out for me.
Though I don't normally allow much of it in my home or on my child, something tells me if given the chance Chicky would work the frippery to its fullest extent. She is turning out to be, despite my best efforts, quite girly.
It slays me.
Because, God help me, I love it.
Before she was born, Mr. C and I had many discussions about what types of activities (mainly sports related) were going to be appropriate for Chicky as she grew up. On the Yes list: T-ball (softball, baseball, the first female shortstop in Major League Baseball, I'm not asking for much), Soccer (though I loathe the sport. Loathe. It.), Basketball, Lacrosse, Field Hockey (again, loathe, but I can respect a tough bitch who'll take a wooden field hockey ball off of her naked shins), and pretty much any team sport that requires you to throw a few elbows from time to time. On the No list: Cheerleader...
Um, cheerleader and....
No, that's pretty much it.
(No offense to my former cheerleading friends, but we'd rather see our daughter participating in the sport, not cheering from the sidelines. And yes I know that cheerleaders are real athletes - It would be a cold day in hell before you see me at the top of a pyramid or performing a perfect liberty while being suspended in mid-air - but we don't want that lifestyle for our kid. Know what I mean? Don't make me go into it here 'cause that would make for one long post.)
Mr. C and I both knew early on that if given the choice we would much prefer a daughter who was like us, a child with a healthy distrust of all things peppy and anything that required pompoms, ribbons and ankle socks. We've even gone so far as to debate the purchase of traditionally gender-specific toys such as kitchens and toy vacuums but have never had a problem bringing toy trucks and soccer balls into the house. But why are we fighting it? We are raising a girl. So what if she prefers baby dolls and purses? Why has it become taboo to treat our daughters as feminine creatures?
Well, for one reason, in Chicky's case anyway, Mr. C's family seems to have a hard time with the extreme girly girl archetype. As a recent example, Chicky was given a plastic tea set for Christmas by my father. She loves it. She'll spend multiple minutes playing with it. That means more than one whole minute in a row! Can you imagine?! Anyhoo... Recently she went to visit my in-laws and brought it along. My mother-in-law took one look at Chicky pouring her make believe tea into her Daddy's cup and said "You better watch out, you've got a girly girl on your hands." This one comment wouldn't mean much if not for the fact that since she was born my MIL has been using Chicky's easy tears and crying jags to admonish the warning that we'll soon have a "twirling princess" as a daughter.
"So freakin' what?!" I scream. Loudly. In my head. One day I'll grow a set of balls and actually speak up for my kid instead of just grabbing her and walking away.
In my husband's family a child would have a better chance of being accepted if they were gay than if a girl was overtly feminine or a boy extremely masculine. A young jock needs to be in touch with his feminine side, and a girl can wear as much pink as she wants as long as she's tough enough to play rugby. Severely traditional roles are frowned upon. I do agree with them to an extent, so maybe this is my way of rebelling for rebellion's sake. I definitely want a daughter who is not afraid to have skinned knees, but knees that are peeking out from under her pink skirt. How cute would that be?
(Ooh, but look at her kick a soccer ball! And she's got a fantastic arm! And cat-like reflexes good enough to snatch falling pasta boxes in midair (true story)! There's hope for her yet in the eyes of my husband's family.)
You might be wondering where my family stands on this issue. You can be anything you want - and I do mean anything, you should see some of the yahoos in my family - as long as you love the Red Sox. We're simple folk.
I don't want to go backwards 50 or 60 years but have we started going overboard trying to de-sex our children? Why has it become a negative statement when someone says "Oh, she's such a girl, or, He's such a boy." Is it okay to dress your daughter in a shirt that proclaims I'm A Little Princess but only if she's dragging along a dump truck? Or what about a young boy whose favorite toy is a doll.? Not an action figure, a doll. Personally, I'm okay with both for either sex. Maybe not the princess shirt. But certainly the dump truck. And I'm becoming comfortable with the idea of tiaras and tutus. For the girls. If your son wants to wear a tiara after a certain age...
Let's leave that for another post.
Recently, while playing with some other children her own age, Chicky was roughhousing with the only boy in the group. His mother remarked, "Wow, I didn't expect her to be so tough. She seems like such a girly girl."
That's right, my girly girl is one tough chick. Don't mess with her tea set because I can't be held responsible for her actions. She just might try to cut you with her tiara.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
My name is Mrs. Chicky and I am raising a girly girl.