So our toddler is going through a girly phase. A very girly phase. Everything needs to be pink. She will only wear dresses (referred to as Cinderella dresses) and prefers party type dresses (i.e. the most impractical ones for everyday life, especially when you live in the countryside). I can very occasionally persuade her to wear leggings but it is a battle and generally involves some kind of bribery. So we do have a fairly sizeable collection of non-dressy clothes (barely worn) which she is rapidly growing out of which is a bit of a pain. Every time there is any kind of option she goes for the pink one; the pink colouring pencils, the pink socks, the pink pants, the pink playmobil princess (even though she preferred the purple one, it wasn’t pink). As a result, pretty much all of Jessie’s toys are pink, her collar is pink, C’s shoes are pink. Now I have no idea where this phase has come from, it just seemed to appear from nowhere. I’ve not tried to make her girly on purpose; she has a good number of very unisex toys, she spends lots of time outside in wellies getting dirty, in fact both J and I imagined she would end up being quite tomboyish. But recently I’ve noticed her doing more playing with figures and trying to do dress up (with things that aren’t really dress up things but never mind). I’ve kept wondering whether I’ve done something to encourage her and worrying that she’s becoming too girly. There does seem to be a feeling out there (I’ve noticed a few stories in the media about it recently) that it is wrong to gender stereotype children, that all toys should be gender neutral, clothes for girls shouldn’t be too girly etc.
Then I had a bit of a moment. When I remembered that there is nothing wrong with my daughter being girly, she is a girl after all. That I shouldn’t be worried about what someone else thinks I should and shouldn’t do with bringing up my daughter. That I’m not a bad parent for letting my girl be girly. That I’m just a parent letting their child be themselves. And how that ever be a bad thing? And whilst I agree that we should encourage our children to be anything they want to be, there is something to be said for biology. Is it wrong that my girl wants to be a bit girly? According to my parents, I went through a very girly phase when I was younger too. It hasn’t made me obsessed with makeup and wearing pretty dresses for life (in fact when not at work I rarely wear makeup except for special occasions). Just because she likes wearing dresses and is obsessed with princesses (she refers to herself as C Scampy Pants B Princess) doesn’t mean she won’t grow up to be a doctor or a scientist. It just means she likes wearing dresses. So I for one have decided to embrace her just being a toddler and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks as long as she’s happy!