I promise we have not swayed our child any particular direction. She has dolls and stuffed toys. Jewelry and kitchen stuff. She wears dresses and pink is her favorite color (today) and she really doesn’t mind a hairbow.
But we also bought her building blocks. And a train set. And a tool box. And her room is decorated in red and blue. And on most major holidays, you’ll find her in a pair of jeans or sneakers… or both.
Yet somewhere along the way, our little princess who wore flowered headbands and pink-striped swimsuits as a baby, has fallen head over heels in love with Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
She likes Strawberry shortcake… especially the episode where they going hunting down the Blueberry Beast.
She loves Frozen… and we’re pretty sure her favorite character is the snow monster.
But her main squeeze, the one show whose theme song will wake her up from a nap and keep her occupied for as long as we will let it, is about pirates and ships and treasure hunts.
I can’t say it bothers me… I mean, what girl doesn’t love a good adventure! But I do often wonder if I’m doing something wrong.
There are times where I worry that I’m not being the “womanly” role model she is supposed to have in her life. I mean, she’s only seen me put on makeup a handful of times and even then it’s mascara. And… that’s it. The last time I wore a dress she came in the room and said, “Whoa, Mommy! What you wearing?” I pull out my curling iron (and dust it off) and she asks me what the heck it is. Same with the blowdryer. We paint our nails about once a month, and she tells me my nails are pretty for weeks… even after they’ve chipped and peeled and gotten downright horrid-looking because I’m too lazy to take the polish off.
I’m just not a very good girl for her.
And my poor Pickle is just never going to see all of the things that I feel “normal” little girls are seeing at home.
I grew up with my mom dressing up for work every day. Never leaving the house without her jewelry. Always painting her nails. And pining away in front of a mirror for every occasion. I played in her nail polish basket. I dressed up in her old gowns. I tried on her makeup and used her razor (when she wasn’t looking). My mom is an amazing, womanly role model who is beautiful inside and out.
So naturally I fear:
Will my sweet girl know if I’m beautiful on the inside even if she never sees me work at beauty on the outside?
Instead of dance and Barbies, I’ve enrolled her in soccer and taught her how to use a hammer. Instead of My Little Pony and playing dress-up, we build pirate ships and watch movies about dragons. She doesn’t pick flowers. She climbs rocks. She doesn’t have tea parties. She shoots me with squirt guns.
I tried girly girl a few times, but it just didn’t suit me… So I decided to just be me.
Which I guess is where my sigh of relief comes in.
Because no matter what I do or say or model, I see my girl becoming her own person. This amazing, well-rounded individual who loves so many different things that she wants to do them all at once! She can ride a boogie board in her red swimsuit with the tutu. She thinks her bright yellow soccer ball is “so pretty!” She wants to put on all of her play jewelry and watch the dragon episode of Jake. And when we go on pirate adventures, she still brings along her kitty, wears a pink pirate hat, and wants to sail “home” at the end of the journey.
She’s an incredible, unique little girl.
So I must be doing something right.