Our little girl is into a lot of things that people think of as “boy stuff” and I’ll admit that sometimes I haven’t known what to do about that. Two years ago my husband and I were buying Chelsea a tricycle and I cringed a bit that she wanted the red and blue one and not the purple and pink one. Even though we did end up buying her the one she wanted, we made her get a purple helmet because we didn’t want everyone thinking that she was a boy when she rode her “boy’s bike.”
Those were the kinds of parents we were two years ago, conflicted and capitulating to what they would think. Well, that didn’t last long … Chelsea has shaken us out of it, for the most part.
When your daughter loves all sports (as in, “Mom, I want to play soccer, hockey, basketball, football, skating, skiing, and volleyball. Oh, and I’d like a scooter and a skateboard, too!”), asks Santa for a soccer ball and a soccer shirt for Christmas, at preschool gravitates towards playing cars and trucks with the boys instead of painting with the girls, and can’t get enough of watching Diego the animal rescuer on TV, it’s actually quite cool. She doesn’t know that much of the world considers this “boy stuff”, even though she is cottoning onto the fact now that there are “boy colours” and “girl colours.” (I heard her talking about this to herself the other day.) Sigh.
So what do you do when you have a girl that loves all the things that are on the boys side of the store? Until someone figures out that there is a market for girls clothes in primary colours with monster trucks and superheroes on it, I will cross over sometimes and shop in the boys section for her. Believe me, you don’t want to see me shopping in the little girls section sometimes when all I see is pink and sequins as far as my eyes can see. No wonder Chelsea is unenthused sometimes about the options that are presented to her there. And don’t even get me started on t-shirts with some sort of crap slogan on them like “Born to Shop”! (Wait until Chelsea learns to read and I’m sure she’ll be right there with me in shared disgust.)
I bet I’m not the only mother that is looking for clothing in red instead of pink and green instead of lilac for her sports-oriented little girl. I bet I’m not the only mother with a daughter who loves Spiderman, soccer and wants to be a construction worker or a gardener when she grows up. And I’m sure there are fathers out there who have sons that love pink! (At least I hope so.)
These days when I’m shopping with Chelsea I buy what she likes. (It took Easter dress shopping this year to convince me that this is absolutely imperative with my strong-willed little girl – ask me about that some other time.) So that means that these days you’ll see me walking around town with a little red Spiderman baseball-capped preschooler by my side. (Her bobbed blond hair pokes out of it admirably on all sides as she refuses to have it in a ponytail!) And, yes, she’s wearing Spiderman running shoes too.
It may surprise you to learn, though, that this past weekend we went into our local big box store to purchase a new Disney Princesses bicycle for Chelsea. We’d seen that very “girly” pink, baby blue and white bike – complete with streamers on the handlebars – last week and Chelsea announced that that was the one that she wanted. I must admit that I was pretty surprised this time that she seemed adamant to get a girl’s bike, and part of me remained skeptical. Call it a mother’s intuition? Well in the end we walked out with the red and blue Spiderman bike after all. A girl and her superheroes are not to be separated just yet I suppose.
And I now wouldn’t have it any other way.