I’m the proud mother of two wonderful boys, three if you count my husband. There’s always a bounty of testosterone wafting through the halls of our home. On some days, when pictures on the walls are shaking from the latest wrestling match, I feel outnumbered and in some serious need for girl time.
My wish for some girl time was granted by my good friends, Janine and Alan when they called on me to watch their 4-year-old daughter while they were out of town. This assignment would last for several days. I would finally get the chance to play dress up with dolls, coordinate big grosgrain bows with each frilly outfit and of course, get mani/pedi’s with my new little buddy.
I am one of six children; four girls and two boys. Being one of four girls, one might think I would be well prepared for all things girlie but you’d be wrong. Because of my lack of experience, I carefully observed my friends who had daughters. I made mental notes on how to paint tiny fingernails, selecting Mary Jane’s with just the right amount of glitter on the buckle and how a crown and scepter can brighten even the cloudiest day.
The first day it was clear I should have done more research.
We started our playtime with dolls.
“What do we do with the dolls?” I asked
“We change their clothes and change their diapers,” she said with a “duh!” tone.
After a few minutes of playing pretend I almost asked, “When do the dolls blow up?” But, quickly realized we weren’t playing army…like I’m used to.
The following night we had a tea party. Only the little cups didn’t have anything in them. When I asked about the tea she insisted it was in there. I went with it and continued to feast on invisible pastries and make believe hot tea.
Soon it was time to play with Barbie. Something I was neither prepared for nor experienced with. Without going into detail I have never owned a Barbie. Because of this, I never really cared for that stick-thin little twit. Her tall, thin, perfect body and blonde hair seemed to contradict my short, stocky, not so perfect body (I know, I have issues). We pulled out “Doctor Barbie” first where I explained that I have never seen a Doctor wear a skirt that short or heels that high while practicing medicine. I then went on to tell my 4-year-old buddy how she would never see Ken dressed up like that. Unless of course, it was cross dressing Ken. I think she ignored me while I tried to give a lesson on equality.
My visions of this little darling wearing bows were quickly dashed, too. She doesn’t like them. And no amount of begging or sugar and spice will convince her otherwise. She is a girl but would rather rough house with my boys than get a pedicure with some 35-year-old woman with a thing for hair bows and a grudge against Barbie.
I’ve enjoyed the hormonal balance in my house. But what I have REALLY enjoyed watching was a little girl wearing a pink tutu, a camouflage T-shirt that’s three sizes too big, an army helmet and carrying a toy machine gun looking to ambush the enemy who happens to be my 6-year-old son.
You can reach Becky Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org.