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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lost in the World of Glitter

Growing up, no one ever called me a "girly girl." At best, I earned the nickname tomboy, at worst others simply called me a bookworm or nerd. I never paid attention to my hair; couldn't put on make-up to save my life; secretly preferred to decapitate Barbies instead of play with them; and loved to read books over and over again. Wait -- I'm still like that!

As a child, my one concession to the world of girls involved countless hours playing dress-up on my friend HAD's porch with her, my sister KK and my best friend Otter. Typically our foursome reenacted "Little House on the Prairie," although on rare occasions we deviated from that time-honored story (Star Wars every once in awhile, or perhaps some variation of Swiss Family Robinson).

While Husband and I waited to adopt the Tongginator, I -- of course -- dreamed about my impending parenthood. I planned to read to my daughter; ooh and ahh over her artistic creations; and take her to the park on lazy afternoons. I even hoped that she, too, would fall in love with Laura Ingalls Wilder, or at least a few of the American Girls, and prance around in gingham and braids for hours on end. I dreamed of an eight-year-old with Asian features sitting next to me on the couch, curled up with a book while I worked on the crossword puzzle.

Alas, so far it hasn't happened that way.

Her preschool classmates recently introduced the Tongginator to the Disney Princesses and Barbie. A whole new world opened up for her ... and she loves it! The Tongginator now obsesses about glitter ... and sparkles ... and froo-froo dresses with tights. She loves to wear tiaras, pink feather boas and her "pretty black shoes." Husband is sure that the Tongginator will be at the top of a cheerleading pyramid someday.

While our home is a "No Barbie Zone," I can't quite stop the Disney Princess infiltration. Frankly, while it's not my cup of tea, and I worry about the values they impart, I don't know how to force the Tongginator to love the things I love. And I don't even think I should.

She is who she is, and that is why I love her so much. This is my first year expanding my vision and definition of who my daughter should be. Because, frankly, she should be no one but herself. And right now, at least, that is someone who loves the world of glitter.


Janet said...

HOORAY! Another person who hates Barbie!

So far we have escaped the "princesses". I'm not so fond of them either, and thankfully my oldest (who influences my youngest....) is a tomboy through and through.

JujuBoo said...

I am not a fan of barbies either. I did not play with them when I was younger, and I did not encourage my girls to play with them either. However, last year for X-Mas, the ONLY thing my 6-year-old wanted was Barbies. And I do mean the ONLY thing. So we conceeded and bought her a few along with a bunch of clothes. She played a whole 3 days and has not touched them since. Dang kids!

Rachel Marie said...

Sounds like she would love the Gigi books by Sheila Walsh. If you don't have them already, check them out! Gigi is "God's little princess" and has a beloved pink feather boa.