So the saying goes: “What are little girls made of? sugar & spice & everything nice.”
That’s really just the start of the story isn’t it? Life is so much more interesting and variegated than that.
Despite being a fairly ungirly girl, I have had my strong moments of girly.
I bought shoes for my wedding that were a copy of a pair worn by Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw. I once did a glamorous pin up photoshoot to celebrate some significant weight loss. I take selfies like this one just because I have some very fabulous sunglasses… Oh wait, I guess I am a girly girl, and I also have moments like this where I helped build sets for my dear friend who was directing her show that she wrote and produced!
So it would be more accurate to say, I am a fairly girly girl and I have my moments of boyishness! But then again, who says that to work on sets and play in the mud is reserved for boys? Who said that?
More importantly, who said it so often and so loudly that we all as a society believed it? I for one, think the words we use matter. So I strive to use words like “and” rather than “but” when talking about myself since “but” negates what comes before it and I don’t want to promote limited thinking or living.
When I found out I was having a little girl, I had visions of pink and girly bows and all things sugar and spice running through my head. Then reality took over, as well as a healthy dose of “well that’s just boring.” Who says because she is a girl, she will automatically like pink? I tried to tell people, I don’t want an over abundance of pink (just because she is a girl) so let’s get all that out of the way with my shower. So we did a Paris themed baby shower - “Bonjour Bebe.” As you can see there is pink, and it’s not the only color or feature.
Let’s face it: for the first few years, we get to pick their clothes because it’s not as if they are going to say, Mother, I despise pink and wish you would not put it on my person. Thank you and good night.
No, they can’t, so we decorate their rooms with pink and green and decide that the theme for their room will be frogs, and we just have to wait for the day (she is two now, so maybe when she is 5?) she will say, “Mom, I don’t like frogs.” So at that point, maybe we will re-decorate with ducks and rockets….? Or something completely different?
It could happen, especially since I discovered this amazing company, Princess Awesome, that specializes in “And not But” – this company says she can be a tomboy and a princess all at once. She can like twirling in a skirt (WITH POCKETS) and playing in the dirt. Look at how happy she is!
In a world where society (not to mention most stores) are trying to tell little girls who grow into young women that they can ONLY like pink and only like playing with dolls and kitchen sets, Princess Awesome says, oh yeah, well, take a gander at this beaker or this rocket on my dress. I could be an electrical engineer or an astronaut. Or whatever I want! The possibilities are limitless.
I look forward to that day, because it will mean that my daughter is asserting her personality and likes and dislikes. Make no mistake, she is an opinionated little miss, and she definitely makes choices right now. I ask her to pick the book on the left or the right and she picks left or right. Or she makes this face which is a no to both and a temper tantrum in the making!
You never know what will happen, so I find it important to embrace the “AND” of it all.
I learned this as an improviser and I re-learn it again every day as I watch my little girl in the dress play and splash around in mud puddles with no concern about keeping her clothes “NICE.”
Too often, we are caught in the trap of “but” and forget it’s an “AND” world. Let me demonstrate.
“This little girl looks so cute in this dress but she also likes to stomp around in puddles."
Try it again, with “AND” rather than “BUT”:
“This little girl looks so cute in this dress, and she loves to stomp around in puddles and get dirty.”
You might be shocked how often you will change your mindset about something that previously seemed set in stone. The words we use matter, and no more so than the ones we use about our kids and ourselves.
by Eva St. Clair November 15, 2019
I love to watch and help my children create things, because it teaches them how to think logically. That’s why creative maker kits are such a great gift for kids. And I admit I feel a some schadenfreude every time my kids rip open a box thinking they’re about to get a fabulous new toy, only to discover 82 disparate pieces that they then have to figure out how to put together. It’s not just a gift for their amusement. It’s a gift for their mind. The picture on the box shows the completed project. They have the parts. And that’s where all the fun begins - they must use logic to figure out how those parts become the whole.
by Eva St. Clair November 15, 2019 13 Comments