I’ll be the first to admit to you that when I left the 20 wk ultrasound of my first pregnancy and found out that we were having a girl I was happy. Like so stupidly, gleefully happy that I wonder if I would have been disappointed if I found out I was having a boy. Which is ridiculous, of course, but if I was being truly honest, I’m glad that I didn’t find myself in the situation to see whether or not that would be true. When we found out that we were having another girl a few years later, I was almost as ecstatic as I was the first time around. I will even admit to you that we tried the shettles method for what it was worth to get that other girl. Sometimes I think back to the miscarriage in between the 2 pregnancies and wonder if that lost baby was a boy. Some things happen for a reason though. We were totally meant to have Claudine and I fear to think that if the cards were played out differently, she may not be here. Although we would have been happy with a boy, Mark admitted he wanted another girl too. Maybe it’s because I always wanted a sister. Maybe it’s because Mark didn’t have a male figure around for the later part of his life growing up and was more comfortable with girls. Seems funny to think that he’d feel more comfortable raising a girl than a boy, but it was true. It was probably true for me too. Or maybe it was because it just seemed easier to have another girl since we’d already been through it before and it was going to be more of the same. We knew what to expect.
So far, raising girls has been fairly “easy”. When they’re babies and toddlers it’s about cute dresses, pigtails, striped tights, patent leather mary jane shoes, maybe some dolls and maybe some dress up clothes. Mia was never particularly girly when she was little. She was more interested in puzzles, maps and letters than she was princesses, though she certainly got more into that sort of thing when she got older. I still pick out what she wears every morning and it’s usually met without protest. I wonder when she’ll start asserting her own opinions about the clothes I pick out for her. I wonder when she’ll want to go shopping with me and I wonder what she would choose if given the choice.
Now that she is in school, I see the influences of her peers around her. She wants to grow out her hair from the Louise Brooks bob that suit her so well so that she can wear barrettes and ponytails. She asks when she can get her ears pierced. She asks why she can’t wear makeup. She loves pretty dresses like any other girl, but so far, what she’s wearing to school doesn’t seem to matter to her too much. It’s really only a matter of time. She’s still not really a girly girl at age 6 in that regard, but she and Claudine do love putting on play makeup, lip gloss and painting their faces. I wonder where it comes from. I don’t wear much makeup so it doesn’t come from watching me. Is it just inherent in girls to like this stuff just like I hear from my friends who have boys that despite what they do or don’t do, most boys just flat out like trains and cars and shooting and swords? It’s so interesting, isn’t it?
The girls play this game sometimes that drive me a bit crazy. They’ll get dressed up and go all fancy and they’ll ask each other “do I look pretty?”. And the other will usually answer, “not so pretty” and they’ll go back and forth on this for a few rounds until one of us intervenes. They’ll also trade jabs at each other, sizing up the other and saying that she has a prettier dress on. I never had a sister so I don’t know if this is completely normal sisterly behavior. I suppose with girls so close in age it’s par for the course to have rivalry, competition and jealousy. Maybe it’s because Claudine has an older sister to look up to that Mia never had, but it worries me a little when she stares at the mirror at her reflection and whines that hair style is not “pretty enough”, that her fading, smeared face painting is “not pretty anymore”. It may be 3 year old talk, though Mia never went through this phase, but I see now how early the seeds are planted for body image and self esteem issues.