Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reconciling the Princess to the Tomboy

Carmella has always been the quinessential girly girl.

You know, as in: tiaras, all things pink, princess, Barbie, shoes, purses, make up and fancy dresses etc. And it is not that I am not a girly girl but well, I'm not. Well, I am a little bit. A teeny tiny bit but that is more because of my penchant for stripper chic than for true girliness.
And my girliness is something I grew into. Like I said, I'm still embracing the feminine.

I was always very much a tomboy as a child. From early on I did not like to play girl things. I had other tomboys as my friends or boys and we spent our time playing in the creek, swimming in the lake, doing back handsprings on the lawn, making teepees, having races on our bikes or on foot around the neighborhood. We were a ruckus and definitely were not ever playing princess or with Barbies.

So I was shocked when the Barbie switch went off early in Carmella. She went from loving Clifford the day before she was 2 to being all about Barbies and princesses on her second birthday. And since that day I have been inundated with all things pink, tiara like and flowery. As a girl who never played with Barbie or dolls this has been a bit of foreign territory for me to traverse. I mean for the past 7 years I've been raising a little girl who if she knew me when I was little would not have played with me. Girls like Carmella thought I was weird.

Okay, so last week at Brownies when the girls were to pick labels to describe their mother Carmella picked "weird." Some of the other choices were: perfect, kind, beautiful, thoughtful, loving, smart, and awesome.

Carmella picked for me: weird, creative, happy and runner.

Carmella use to ask me to play Barbies and I just really didn't know what to do so she quit asking. What can I say; I am more the type of mom who plays outside or maybe does a craft. (But not with a glue gun. Certainly not with a glue gun ever again.)

I've noticed that ever since Carmella turned six there has been seismic shift away from all things fluffy and princess.

This has been perplexing but definitely some what of relief. Let's face it, no offense to anyone but girlie girls can be a tad high maintainence and bit of a pain in the ass.

The first to go was the hair accessories. Now I am at her school and I see lots of first grade girls with hair bows or even braids and pony tails so I know that bows are not totally passe or god forbid "babyish". But Carmella refuses any hair accessory except a headband. She won't even let me fix her hair and certianly there are a lot of things I can't do but fixing hair? I'm good at that! Sigh. To me this is just a crime because I would totally be wearing bows, french braids and other fancy coifs if I thought for one second I could pull it off. Sometimes I can convince her to wear a barrette but most days that is pushing it. Certainly, no bow. Of course, if I insist she will wear one-- as she is still my compliance girl, but will take it off as soon as she gets out of the car.

I've seen her do it.

At least she is getting into hats now. I love hats.

Next to go was the color pink. She pretty much refuses to wear pink even though it does look really good on her. Secretly, I know she still likes pink. But nevertheless, she proclaims her favorite colors to be black, silver, white and light blue. Not surprisingly these are the colors of Lola. She is a girl that adores her dog.

Then it was the clothes. Dresses began to go out when she was 5 and while she does still like skirts she always perfers to wear jeans or even workout clothes. Now this is probably my fault as all I wear most days is workout clothes or jeans. But truth be told though I love dresses and skirts. Problem is that I like really short dresses and skirts. And most days of the week that just isn't practical. Especially when I have to chase after Beau. Not to mention when all the other moms are wearing sweat pants you just look a little ridiculous in your mini skirt and heels. They always ask so, where you are going and when you say "no where" they look at you like you are freak. So, you know, when in Rome. . . I will not, though. Will not concede to the tragedy of the leg: capris. shudder

I will say though that Carmella's shoe obession remains. She has to wear tennis shoes to school 3 days a week for P.E. but the other days she is often hard put deciding between clogs, sparkly flats or furry tall boots.

So for her 7th birthday it was quite refreshing to hear her gift requests: a skate board, art classes and supplies, an art bag, workout clothes and yes, still with the doll stuff-- clothes, Barbies, and Hannah Montana. Which is fine. I'm just glad to see her branching out.

Ryan and I decided that we would give her an archery set. A long bow with a 9lb pull. She didn't ask for it so I was worried that she was going to hate her gift but she is a natural and loves it.

I am so excited about this seven year old Carmella! She's a girl I can relate to! One who likes the girly and the sporty.


  1. I think its great that moms teach their kids that being an athlete is part of what it means to be a woman.

    Happy Birthday, Carmella!

  2. I am SO happy with her new interests. Frankly she had me a little worried with all that princess junk. I think she's going down a better road now. " Blow em away Carmella!" Love, Lala