It was pointed out to me recently that I am a girly girl. Now to those who know me this should come as no surprise, but it did to me. I felt self-consciously girly at the time, but was not aware how typically girly I really am. Sure I love pink, in fact I just bought a pink Peg Pereggo stroller for my little girl. (gently used) I really wanted this peg because it has the steps on the back for a preschooler to stand on, and this one my friend had just happened to be pink. Okay, I really wanted the pink one. I had 3 boys for Pete sake! There was no pink in my life for 10 years! I wanted the flippin' pink stroller, so sue me!
Okay, I am a bit defensive about the girly thing. I don't know why I thought it was a negative thing. I am a girl, well a woman now, that is the way God made me. I happen to be feminine and appreciate feminine things. There, I said it. I AM GIRLY!
I grew up in a time when it wasn't really PC to be girly. And when I started having children, 12 long years ago, there was a huge push to raise your children androgynously (sorry, not a real word, but ykwim). Buy trucks and swords for your girls, a dolly and apron for your boy. Don't push stereotypical roles on your children. Which is great! completely impossible, but great. My sons had dolls and dinosaurs. Never mind that they would make the dinos attack and eat the little baby dolls. Or use them for sword practice. I was not gonna be the mom that made her little boy grow up to be a macho man! He is gonna be sensitive to woman's needs and know how to change a diaper.
Oh, you may have noticed the sword reference in there. What, she bought her child toy weapons?!? cuz that is definitely not PC. Well no, I did not allow toy weapons of any sort in my home. I was raised in a home with girls and knew nothing of the world of boys. I may have fancied myself a tomboy growing up(which is complete and utter horse shite, btw, I was as girly as they come), I had male friends, but I was completely ignorant as to the inner workings of little boys. I fancied I could raise well-behaved, non violent little boys, who never played with guns or swords.
Boy was I wrong. Before he could talk, my eldest man-child could fashion a gun out of duplo or barbie or his hands and make shooting sounds. Just about anything could turn into a sword and many of mommy's things became targets for sword practice. Now I did not allow television for my preschooler, nor did he have older siblings or playmates to learn from. We did go to the playground occasionally, but I am pretty sure that along with that Y chromosome came the inborn ability to turn any innocent toy into a weapon. Boys will be boys goes the saying, and I swear that it is true. I have since done some reading on this, drudged through a lot of psycho-babble and have come to the conclusion that although the way we raise our kids has a ton to do with who they grow up to be, there are some things that are just there when we are born. And there is nothing wrong with being masculine or feminine as the case may be.
3 boys and a little girl later, I have relaxed my ideals quite a bit. My little boys play swords and wrestle and I try to restrain from yelling, "BE CAREFUL!!!!" and, "Put down those sticks!" at the top of my lungs 24/7 and let boys be boys. It goes everything in my Mommy/feminine nature to let them go and do what boys need to do, but I am learning. (thanks to my patient husband and an awesome girlfriend) And my little girl has pink, nurses her dolly's, pretends to be a dinosaur with her brothers, and lets her 3 year old brother borrow her pink princess stroller to push around a dolly and then they have crash-up stroller derby. I am loving the girlyness. Loving buying pink and dresses for my little girl who LOVES to dress up and when given the choice, picks the ruffliest dress in the closet to wear. I revel in this as much as I have revelled in my blue world of hockey and knights and rough-housing.
I have 4 beautiful kids who are themselves, irregardless of gender. The big boys are wonderful big brothers who treat their younger siblings with kindness and gentleness, and their elders with respect. When they wanted Polly Pockets for Christmas, their terrific Daddy had Santa bring Polly and her car and put it under the tree. By dinner, Polly had married Venom (from spiderman) and they were populating the earth with hideous monsters with cool rubber interchangeable clothing and accessories. And when they want to create a make believe world of knights and monsters and fighting, I listen carefully to learn what I can of the world of boys, that mysterious place I always wanted entry into.
My daughter will play sports and learn how to dance. She will go to university and be encouraged to have a career she loves and she will learn the joys of motherhood and being a wife. I would no more limit any of them in their choices than I would stifle who they are in any way. Boys will be boys and my girl may be girly. And so am I. And I like it.