Thursday, February 7, 2008

Girl Power

Though I've known my daughter was female since she was 20 weeks in utero, it still comes as a shock and delightful surprise to me that she is so...female. Her love of babies, jewelery, kitties and all things glittery amazes me at every turn. What shocks me most is that it seems almost innate in her, like she was born with a sparkly pink gene. While I am not a tomboy by any means, I don't think anyone would describe me as a girly girl. I only started carrying a purse when I was in college. I only recently (and this is honestly true) started to actually buy makeup, having previously relied on whatever free gift with purchase makeup my mom would toss my way. Parker would carry a purse everytime she left the house if I let her. One of her favorite games is to put her Cinderella purse on her arm, cellphone in the other hand and roll around the kitchen on her ladybug rolly, casually talking to Dada while commuting to the kitchen table and back. Other favorite pastimes are making brother's pirate action figures dance together (and kiss on occasion), and softly rocking and shushing her baby back to sleep. Her most potent female trait, however is her flirt. This is a girl who blows kisses to the cashier at Target, the doting elderly at the grocery store, the trashman, and the park. Trick or treating with her this year was about three times longer than it needed to be, because with every house there was the ten minute goodbye - "Say thank you Parker!" "Dahnk uhh! Buhbye! Mmmmmm-mwah! Mmmmm-mwah! Buh-bye!" etc, etc. But I think why I love her girly girlness so much is because it is countered by this attitude and bravado that is traditionally thought of as thoroughly unfemale. Where brother was timid and reticent on the playground Parker makes up for it with an unabashed love of the thrill of flying down a slide twenty times her size. I've been on the receiving end of more than one dirty look from playground Moms as Parker climbs to the very top of a slide by herself, sits, counts to three, throws her hands in the air and squeals down a slide (how could I let someone so small and fragile do that?!). When I push her in the swing she either leans all the way forward or all the way back for maximum danger. If she does fall, she picks herself up, growls a bit, and moves on. There's nothing she likes more than for Daddy to throw her up as high as he can and catch at the very last second. She will jump off anything, no matter the height, and you better be ready to catch her cause she won't wait for you. She uses her Sit'n'spin as a stepping stool (the top of which is a disc six inches in diameter) to climb on top of the table to dance on. She will more than likely be the one to jump off the roof in pursuit of flight. And while her fearlessness may shave twenty years off my life, it also makes me secretly proud. Because when it comes down to it, all I want her to be is strong, confident, assured in who she is. Well that, and to stop kissing strangers.