Raising confident girls, one carefree moment after another

standard May 26, 2010 9 responses

A few months ago I attended an interesting session at C’s preschool about raising confident girls. The talk started with terrifying stories about how horrible girls can be to each other – the sorts of things they do and say that destroy self esteem and self confidence. And then, just as we were all about to despair of ever being able to keep our little girls safe and happy, the speaker, Simone Marean of the Girl’s Leadership Institute, threw us a bone.

We had begged her for a solution, an answer, a hint as to what we could do to prevent the destruction that was awaiting us. We had asked how we could make our princesses tough enough to withstand the verbal and emotional attacks they would be facing. She answered, (forgive me for summarizing) it’s simple, teach them not to care what others think.

Be silly around your kids. Be odd and different in public. Show them again and again and again that it doesn’t matter what people think about you, that what matters is to be true to yourself. Once you realize that people’s thoughts and words have no power over you, you can do anything, be anyone, and no one can make you feel bad about yourself.

The catch? The only way to teach that is by example.

My girls are lucky. I was already carefree before the talk. I shrug off spills that cover my shirt in coffee. I sing to the muzak in the grocery store. I chase them around looking for hugs, kisses, and tickles. I engage strangers in conversations. I never stop to worry about looking silly.

On Sunday I stood in a rainy plaza with C, Little L, and two little friends, waiting for the other grown-ups in our party. A nearby band was warming up and strains of Led Zeppelin curled around us. I started to bop my head in tune with the music, and, as the sound grew, I turned to my half-pint crowd and asked them to show me their best moves.

The girls looked at me quizzically, but I let my body start to move and one of the little boys joined me, busting into a totally cute and really groovy dance. His eyes were closed and he was just feeling the music. With a twitch of his head and a shake of his arm his older brother joined in, followed by Little L who can never resist a good song, and then, a little reluctantly C started to dance. We must have looked insane, grooving in the rain like that, but I didn’t stop to wonder. I let the music move me and let the rain wash over me, and thoroughly enjoyed the moment. Five carefree souls doing what feels good.

“Cool! Teaching her kids to dancing to Led Zeppelin! Now that’s a cool mom!”

I looked over to smile at the two guys watching us dance. They nodded appreciatively as we kept right on dancing. They thought I was cool because of my taste in music. They don’t know the half of it. I know I’m cool because one moment after another I’m teaching my girls to be fearless and I’m leading them by example.

The pink is… gone!

standard March 29, 2010 5 responses

Today we bought these.

Forget the fact that I bought Crocks. We use them as beach/pool shoes for the girls.

Focus instead on the color.

That’s right they’re red. Not pink. Not fuchsia. Not rose. Red. Plain old fireman red.

And C picked them from a sea of shades of pink. Because as she says “she’s not so happy with pink any more.” Nope. Now she likes red and blue.

It has been four years in coming. Four years of pink shoes, pink shirts, pink pants, pink, pink, pink, pink. And now, poof, it’s gone. Luckily Little L has always been a purple girl, so can fully rejoice.

The reign of pink is over. All hail the other colors of the rainbow.

Hurray!

Pink is GONE.

Fundamental difference between girls and boys

standard October 9, 2008 3 responses

I have two girls. Two little girls who pee. Of course they pee, duh. But they pee down. You know, down, not like little boys. Little boys somehow pee UP and then down. Don’t believe me? Go change a baby boy’s diaper.

The little boy pee trick has given me cause for chuckles over the years. There was that one time when my nephew let lose during a diaper change and peed into his own mouth. That was priceless. And then there was today. When, during a girly venting session this morning, my friend’s son let lose in the middle of a diaper change and peed into my diaper bag. Guess he got confused. Or, you know, decided that diaper bag/diaper all came down to semantics in the end.

The best part? I’m so not used to the little boy peeing UP thing that when the little arc started up, I didn’t realize what I was looking at first. In fact, I was taken with how pretty the droplets looked as they crossed a ray of sunshine. And I may even have thought to myself that it would be pretty neat to take a picture of the perfect arc reflecting the sun and that maybe I should have read Lotus’ droplets tutorial when I had the time.

It was all so beautiful. You know, before I realized that the arc of beautiful water droplets was landing in my bag. On my laptop case. And that it wasn’t water, it was pee. Which reminds me, I should probably go wash that case. And thank my daughters for peeing down.

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