Being the mother of a girl is a tough, scary job. On top of general health, happiness, and welfare, you have to worry about plummeting self-esteem, body image issues, an overly sexualizing culture.
So when it comes to my little xx-chromosome bearer, I praise her athleticism in addition to her adorableness. I ban Bratz dolls and their skanky sisters. When, a few months ago, a classmate told Jo she had fat legs (!) (I know), we talked about strong muscles and how it's not kind to call anyone fat or skinny.
And today, I'm going to pat myself on the back just a little because I think some of this is sinking in. We stayed after school yesterday afternoon, hanging around at the playground as many kids and moms do. As we left, Jo told me that one of the girls had been telling her about the "secret pee places" (!) (?) (I know) in the schoolyard. "Like places you can go pee if you need to. When you are outside."
I reminded her that we most certainly do not pee in the yard. She replied that her friend said she had to or else they couldn't be friends.
My mind raced, trying to think of the best way to respond. Then Jo nonchalantly added that she didn't have to pee, so she just told the other girl that she didn't need to go right now, and they both carried on. Minor peer-pressure crisis averted.
On a roll, once in the car I reminded her of the birthday party invitation she'd received recently, for an "utimate hula girl party." And I quote: "Each girl comes in her swimsuit, gets a hula skirt to wear and is treated to a Hawaiian makeover with up-do, make-up, and nail polish. Then the whole group learns the hula!"
Win #2: She stands by her first instinct, to decline the invite. She'd said she wanted to go, but she did not want to "wear the bathing suit or do the part with the lipstick or the dancing." That's my little feminist! When I told her that she couldn't really avoid that stuff if she attended the party, she decided she wouldn't go at all.
Oh, and win #3? That would be the tractor pull she won this weekend. Oh yeah. At "family farm" day at the zoo (where, how lucky are we, we also got to meet two lovely residents of Binkytown), she pedaled a mini John Deere more than 8 feet -- the second-place finisher eked out 3.5 feet.
You go, girl. (Also, tell those guys to get out of my shot.)