Monday, June 01, 2009

The little girl in the pink dress.

For many years, since my own childhood, really, I have had a saying. "Beware the little girl in the pink dress." Where I grew up, it was always the little girl in the pink dress who spoke up in class, who gave the class bully a bloody nose, who was fearless and took life by the horns. They wear little pink dresses while laying cement and doing carpentry and helping their daddies rebuild engines. They grow up into kickass women who wear little pink tee shirts while bloody well doing whatever they want.

I preferred patchwork calico for my own little pink dress, but it was the seventies and kindergartners aren't known for their fashion sense. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Years later, my best friend had her own little girl in the pink dress, and I remember her sticking up for herself on more than one occasion: "Who are you to tell me what to do? You're not my mommy!"

When we lived in Hawaii, we went to a party where they'd hung a pinata in a tree for the kids. About five kids back in line to take a whack at it was a little girl in a pink ruffled dress, with her hair in pig-tails. I pointed and told the husbeast "There. She's the one. She'll beat the crap outta that pinata." And she did.

I am pleased to report I've got my own little girl in the pink dress.

(I know, I know, she's not supposed to sit that way. I'm working on it.) Today she's 'building'. The hammer? It's from Little Tikes. There is a motion sensor in it, so when you tap it on something, it makes sound effects. It was one of the first toys we ever bought for our little girl, and used to bonk her on the head with it and laugh uproariously at the boinging noises.

Now she's an almost big girl, using it to build a house with her blocks.

One of the main reasons I was thrilled to find out I was having a girl (besides the genetic reasons) was because I knew as a mom it would be easier to relate to a girl, because I'd BEEN a girl. I'm thrilled to report that not only do I have a little girl, I have a little girl in a pink dress.

This I can work with. I'm going to enjoy watching her kick ass.


Barbara said...

My daughter's pink dress was purchased for twenty-five cents at a neighborhood rummage sale and she wore it until it became too small. She was born knowing her own mind and now she's a kickass woman.

amy said...

I'm not sure on my abilities to relate to any kids at the moment, but I am SO. FREAKING. GLAD that there is another person without a penis in this house. Finally. (Who'd've guessed?)

Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't she sit that way?


Amy Lane said...

Dude, I'm with you. I've had a "Little girl in her brother's handmedowns", and I love her, because she takes shit from no one, and I have a "Little girl in a pink dress" and I love her, because she takes shit from no one. Little girls who take shit from no one are my favorite playmates. (I used to sit that way... until I was 21. Bad shit ensued. Correct it if you can--my knees are sushi and my spider-veins started at 16.)

Emily said...

Genetic reasons for being glad you were having a girl? Some chromosonal wierdness passed only to males? Color blindness, perhaps? That's all I can think of. But, yes, having BEEN a girl means a lot when you're raising one. I have one of each, and, boy, males are almost a different species. You need a man around sometimes to translate about the porn magazines I found in my son's room.

I was divorced by then , so had to go looking for input. All the women said, "Eee-yew! No son of MINE would ever be allowed to read that filth!" and all the guys said, "Ahhh, it's nothing, just a phase. Don't worry about it."

In the end I told him: what's in your drawers is your own business, unless you don't clean your room, in which case I will periodically go on a rampage & then everything in your room is fair game. But since you live in a house full of women, you can not keep girlie posters on your walls. On your closet walls only, if you must.

Suited him fine. He never cleaned his room, so I got to observe his private world whenever I felt like it. He's now an elementary school teacher with a degree in administration, should he ever choose to use it. (Parenting has its terrifying moments, I should warn you.)

Donna Lee said...

I raised my girls to be that woman, the one who kicks ass because my mother raised me to be the quiet one who let others take charge. My Wood Women are strong, capable and can beat the pants off anyone who gets in their way. They usually don't need to because they inherited a goodly dose of their father's charm.

Mandy said...

I wish I had been that little girl in the pink dress, but I was too busy making the pink dresses for my little sister, who never took shit from anyone. (My mom used to call me the "peanut butter in her sandwich", being the middle child in a house full of women, so it is no surprise that I have a hard time making waves when my role all my life was to smooth out everyone else's!)

Emily - I'm going to remember that when my son starts hiding stuff like that in his room (he's only 8 now)!

Goober will be a strong woman because that is what she will have been taught to be, and more power to her! The world needs more strong, compassionate people of both genders.

Galad said...

My little girl in the pink dress is certainly a kick ass kind of woman. The only real downside I've ever found is when it is my ass she's kicking :-)

Anonymous said...

*Sniff*...tearing up a little reading this post and all the amazing comments...

After more than 5 years of raising my son, (who is...what's the male equivalent of the girl in the pink dress? The boy with the charming smile and backwards Spiderman ballcap?) who most definitely takes no crap from anyone, I recently found out that I'll be having a little girl in a few more months. I have already knit her a wee pink dress. And I hope she grows up to be just as feisty and fearless and curious as her big brother (though I wouldn't complain if her common sense grew in a little earlier than his). From the way she's already kicking bladder, I have high hopes for her future ability to kick ass.


Roxie said...

She will become a strong woman because she has an excellent role model. So - where's YOUR pink dress?

Show her how to sit "crisscross applesauce" and tell her that Big Girls sit that way. Might work.

shadowbat said...

This post and discussion is really interesting for me; where I grew up (Hungary, Europe) girls in pink dresses were/are the girly-girly, giggly, often even priggish and haughty ones. They get their ways too, but definitely not in the sticking up for themselves and being strong women way described by you, rather by being sweety and cutesey and throwing tantrums and such.
Bit of an enlightment for me about the popularity of the colour pink. Never thought before that it means "being strong woman" -for me/us it means "being girly". Cultural diversity rules :)

Alwen said...

We took the child in to a pediatric what's-its-name earlier this year because his dad was worried about him toeing in.

I asked about the W seat or sitting on his feet because I still sit that way myself.

The doc said it has little to do with it, that firstborns (all three of my husband, our kid and me) often toe-in, and it usually self-corrects starting around age 8.

I said people (including a doctor) told me not to let him sit like that, and he said the only way it was going to hurt was if I strapped him that way so he couldn't move around, like Chinese foot-binding. Otherwise he would naturally shift around for his own comfort, and it wouldn't make any difference.

So how 'bout that!

I had a pink dress - a pink satin fairy princess dress my mom made me for Halloween when I was 9. I wore it until I couldn't get into it any more.

ellen in indy said...

my daughter's very first dress -- bought by my mil as soon as she found out i was expecting a girl was pink, with matching panties. it was a baby dior (with a price that blew me away even knowing the mil got it for half off.

when i told my mil, who'd raised 3 boys (the first two adopted as infants), that i was having a girl, she said, "40 years i've been waiting to buy little-girl clothes. i'm gonna enjoy this." and she did.

today, 26 years later, my dd is a kickass young woman who has a 7-year-old daughter (who also wore the dress in babyhood), a nursing degree, and the knowledge that she is a survivor -- bad marriage, worthless ex, migraines, car totaled in a snowstorm, unfair school rule that cost her an extra year in college, bosses who tried to cheat her out of pay. (the first got by with it; the others haven't.)

i'm proud of her, and i've made a point of telling her so.