Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chitchat in girl world

Been meaning to note this post, via the Huffington Post, about how to talk to little girls. I find it pretty interesting, and precisely dead on in that it's all about how cute/precious/adorably pretty a girl is and not much else. Because it's still largely that way for grown-up girls too. How an actress/singer/politician-who-probably-ought-to-be-treated-with-more-respect-than-this performs in public, what she says, how she says it, is nowhere near as important as how she looks and what designer she is/isn't wearing. And then DH wonders why I obsess about my hair.

Hey, I know I'm judged on my looks more often than I'm even aware of. I'm not especially cool with that, even though I'm more or less happy with my looks. (Except in a bathing suit. Curse bathing suits.) But I am absolutely sure there have been times I've been dismissed as a lightweight because I'm under 50, and moderately attractive.

There's this one earlyish episode of "Scrubs" that I love. Elliot shows up for her hospital shifts in full hair and makeup, looking fabulous, and a bunch of her colleagues rip her for it, suggesting she's vain, saying no one takes her seriously, etc. So she shows up for work one day, hair a mess, no makeup, and those same people make fun of her for looking bad. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Very rarely have I seen that point made so succinctly. 

So occasionally I worry about how to raise kiddette in this sort of screwed-up "Girls Gone Wild"/kiddie beauty pageants/high heels for babies world. And one starting point, per top link, is to say something to her besides "you're so cute!" Even though she is of course the cutest kiddette who ever was. But she's also smart and tough and crazily enthusiastic about, you know, everything.

She had her first bounce house experience today. I was holding off on that since I wasn't sure she was old enough, and also because I've heard about freak accidents involving these things when older kids crash-land onto younger ones, and when the house isn't properly secured to the ground and it gets windy (don't believe me? Here). Hey, even when kiddo is in one I'm right outside, watching, just in case. But this was a rare occasion, in that I knew personally nearly every kid inside, and was reasonably sure they could be trusted. (And no wind.) So I let her in.

Other small ones were terrified to even get inside this thing. Kiddette crawled right in. She had some difficulty standing, and she did get knocked into once or twice. And then she got right back up again and imitated the older kids, going "Yaaaaahhh!" and waving her arms as she ran across the floor. She had a blast.

I love this fearlessness about her. I love that she loves books so much that she will walk up to you, crawl into your lap and give you a book, curling each of your hands around it, and say "Read book." I love that she thinks it's the height of hilarity to run screeching around the house after her equally screeching brother, even though my eardrums do not so much love it.

So occasionally I'll tell her something besides "you're my cutie girl." Occasionally I'll tell her how smart she is and how brave and how wonderfully crazy. I hope I always remember to do that.

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