It’s awesome because it gives me something to do with all the clothes she and Sage have outgrown that I love and refuse to part with.
Seriously, the definition of insanity has to be when you start feeling bad for a onesie.
It took me a while to figure out what she was talking about when she first demanded to go see Dora and Diego and then retreated to her room to play with dolls. Especially considering how pasty white these particular dolls are. They definitely do not have the world-weary look of children who have spent their youth traipsing unaccompanied across the Mexican countryside in the blazing sun.
Recently Thalia has decided Dora and Diego need to be dressed. And undressed. And dressed. And undressed. And dressed. And undressed. And once again, I found myself defaulting to stereotypical gender roles (Bad feminist! Bad! Bad!) when I opened Thalia’s dresser and held out a football jersey for Diego and a frilly something or other for Dora.
Thalia, ever the free-thinker, politely declined.
And then she walked around the house in nothing but the jersey and a pair of plastic pink princess “heels” trimmed in marabou and probably dripping with unimaginable levels of lead paint. But Thalia likes them. So I like them. Enough.
She is going to defy all expectations, this girl of mine. I just know it. She’s not a girlie girl. She’s not a tomboy. She’s just a cool little kid who wiggles when she gets excited and loves kicking a soccer ball and wants to try on my makeup and knows the Redskins fight song and thinks a princess is someone who dances in a special skirt and gets to save a prince.
All of this gender role stuff can be so impossible to get exactly right. It’s hard for me to let her walk out of the house in a football jersey. It’s hard to remember to buy her trucks along with the dolls. It’s hard to when I try to describe what makes boys different than girls. It’s hard to say “Sure, why not put Diego in a pink ribbed tank top . He looks fabulous, and hey, let’s put on some early Madonna while we’re at it and we can play West Village hairdresser. I’ll bring the Prosecco.”
I was raised to know better. So this really must be a bitch for other parents too.
I want so very much to allow Thalia to be who she is. Something tells me she won’t have it any other way.