On October 12, 2011 I found out I was having a little girl. It was one of the best days of my life so far. For a lot of moms, having a girl to do girly things with is an ultimate dream. Tea parties, ruffly dresses, princesses, and flowery headbands, but that’s not why I was so excited. I would have been thrilled with a boy, but having a girl meant a lot to both of our families. She would be the first granddaughter on my husband’s side and the first girl born into my family since…well…ME. So yes it was thrilling and I blubbered and cried like so much of an idiot that the ultrasound tech looked a little scared.
To each their own with the princess stuff, but that has never been my style. I preferred baseball cards and Matchbox cars to Barbie when I was little and today I would watch a football game over a chick flick any day of the week. We did try to do the flowery headband thing with Betty and she didn’t seem to mind them too much, but – and I mean this with all the love in the world – her head is enormous. Those flowers called a lot of extra attention to it, so I packed them away pretty quick. Luckily she has grown into her noggin a little more since then, though we still have practically the same hat size.
Outside of the headbands, her little baby days were relatively gender neutral. I could dress her in any amount of pastels and bows and strangers would still say “Oh he’s so cute!” so what was the point really? She has quite a few cupcake-y dresses in her closet with the tags still on. These were all purchased for her by other people and while I appreciate the thought, it’s not like we have a lot of fancy parties on our schedule and it seemed a bit silly to put her in something like that to wear to daycare. I sometimes wonder if the moms who go all extreme with projecting their over-the-top frilly pink dreams on their infant daughters will be upset if that little girl wants to play with trucks and action figures when she gets older. Or the parents of boys push so hard for sports and what if he hates baseball and would rather play with a doll?
They grow up fast and now that Betty is just about a month out from age 2, she knows what she likes and what she doesn’t. I let her choose her clothing from a few items that I pick out because if I let her go through her closet on her own we would be there all day. Some days she will want to wear her pink shirt with a pony on it and other days she would rather be Batman. When she has been really good, I’ll let her pick out a toy when we go shopping and sometimes it’s a doll and sometimes it’s a pirate ship (and sometimes she would rather have a book which is the best kind of day). She loves basketball and baking cupcakes for everyone in her kitchen. So far she has not really gravitated towards princesses, but if she does then she can dress up as Cinderella all she wants. I just hope she always knows that I support the choices she makes as long as they aren’t dangerous or totally illegal. And even then, making poor choices from time to time is part of growing up.
I am her mom though and of course I do have interests that I hope she will share with me when she gets older – like shopping, or going to a yoga class, or out for a run – but obviously it’s okay if she doesn’t. However, last night for the first time she chose to do one of my favorite things. Something traditionally “girly” that I’ve always kind of hoped that she would love too. It was such a special moment for me. We were cuddling on the couch watching Super Why and I was clipping her nails, which she has always let me do without complaint. When I got to her feet, I decided to throw it out there and asked her if she wanted color on her toes. Then I crossed my fingers because
I. LOVE. PEDICURES.
If she had said no, it would have been fine. We had never tried this before because she generally does not sit still for longer than 90 seconds at a time, but she seemed interested. I grabbed some polish and did my own toes first so she could see what a pedicure entails. She looked amazed with the biggest smile on her face and when I asked again if she wanted me to do hers I got a resounding “YES!” I’ve never seen her sit that patiently before as I carefully painted her toenails teal blue. I showed her how to blow on them get them to dry faster. After I was done she kept exclaiming “MOMMY!” and pointing at my feet and then “BETTY!” and pointing at her own. She loved that we matched.
At least one of us has adorable feet. The polish color is as far as the matching goes. Hers look like this and mine look like I run. A lot.