Little G was supposed to be a tomboy.
Why? Because I willed it. She was supposed to be a boy (’cause that’s what I expected), she has an older half-brother, her dad coaches rugby and her mum never wears make up. She’s been playing living room football since before she could walk herself to the ball, she’s a rough ‘n’ tumble kid and she’s no wuss. But, she’s not a tomboy either.
Little G loves pink. She has blonde ringlets which bounce behind her and she casually flicks them over her shoulder. She’s a total flirt with her uncles and Grandpa (yes, at 2 years old). She is very happy to make make pretend cups of tea or coffee. She wraps up ‘baby’ to sleep in the laundry basket most nights. She loves brooms and washing dishes. She is who she is.
I thought I had made my peace with it. Then came The Pink Fairy Dress.
Aunt J arrived to babysit on a Saturday morning a few weeks back so I could go to the gym (Yay, Aunt J!). When I arrived home, half-assed sweaty (a little exercise is better that none, right?), Little G was wearing The Pink Fairy Dress, complete with ruffles, sequins and wings. And she was happy with this gift. Very happy. (Yay, Aunt J!)
All was good until I wanted to go to the grocery store…
Little G did not want to take off The Pink Fairy Dress. Little G refused to take off The Pink Fairy Dress. Mummy was not happy.
I know she is 2. I know it is superficial for me to want to control how my daughter dresses. I know pink and sequins and wings make her happy. I know that me trying to force her not to wear The Pink Fairy Dress was comparable to my mother forcing me to wear itchy, scratchy lace tights as a kid. I still didn’t like it.
I just didn’t want to go out in public and have other people to think I was trying to push the princess thing on her.
See what’s wrong there? Other people. What other people think of my parenting, is not the same as how I’m parenting.
Luckily, my husband is a sensible man who’s not half as caught up with idealistic rebellion against gender stereotypes or what other people think. So, Little G spends a lot of time wearing The Pink Fairy Dress – until it impedes her climbing at the park.
The cool thing is when she’s dressed in The Pink Fairy Dress, she’s usually whacking a balloon around with an mini ice hockey stick.
Clearly, I’m totally OK with cultural stereotypes!