My daughter had a massive, soul-wrenching tantrum this morning because she did not want to wear jeans to school.

Yup. Full on messy-cry, with dramatic wailing and arm-folding. I wanted to give in, and let her wear shorts, but I had already said no (because it was cold out and if she wore shorts she would be freezing her tiny tookus off) and parents have to stand their ground, don’t they? I mean what kind of message am I sending if I give in every time she cries her little heart out at some perceived slight?

I felt like an incomprehensible bitch for standing firm. Yes. I am a terrible parent for making my child dress in really cute  flower-embroidered jeans and an appropriately branded Frozen T-shirt. Horrible.

To make matters worse, her brother waltzed out of his room in shorts. *facepalm*

She proceeded to make it known that she could not change into shorts at school if she got hot because her teacher would not let her unless she had an accident, which she does not have. “ButmomIwillhavetoweartheseallday” was the hiccuped response as both her father and I attempted to get her dressed because we had to leave for school soon.

She was beside herself with incalculable woe that it would be too hot for jeans. So I put a skort in her bag and said “I’ll send a note to the teacher”. For the next fifteen minutes, my child badgered me if I had, in between bites of breakfast.

I had no intention of sending a note. I intended to ask the teacher’s assistant if she could be allowed to do that, when I saw her at the school. Yes. Terrible. Lieing to my child so she would Stop. Freaking.Out. Parent of the year, right here. *points*

I didn’t need to even bother, because the first thing my little girl did upon seeing one of her teachers this morning, was ask to change into the shorts in her bag. She stood, dejected, her massive backpack drooping, her lower lip stuck out a mile, and with the largest puppy-dog eyes I have ever seen on her, said “I am going to be too hot later, I want to change into my shorts.”

Yep. I am like a mean step-mother (which is what she said to me the other day when I wouldn’t let her do something. Thank you Cinderella).

Increasingly, I am discovering that I have a girly-girl who is so independent in her thoughts, I am not going to be able to make a single decision for her soon. She dictates what she likes in clothing already, and let’s not even talk about nails and hair and all things glittery and pink. I will hold up three outfits in a store and she picks the one she likes. Which is never the same one I like. Even though I try to engage her in talk about how strong and smart and amazing Disney princesses’ actions are, it is all about the massive glittering ballgown and the idea of being pretty, right now. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be pretty, but that ain’t all it is cracked up to be in the real world. I want her to equate value with actions and knowledge and all those other noble concepts… Not her physical appearance.

Yes, I know… She’s only in JK. *deep breath*

Sometimes, my attempts at levelling out the horrific messages that the princess culture elicits works, and she pretends to be this strong, smart and kick-butt princess who rescues people (or drives trucks, flies, makes forts, works in a restaurant to bake things etc etc), and she does consider Wonder Woman to be a superhero princess (I’ll take it), but I swear I am losing the battle against the pink and purple tulle frocks. I am just hoping, as she gets older, some of what I am trying to shepherd her towards will stick. I don’t mind if she plays with Barbie, as long as her dolls don’t become helpless girls who need Ken dolls to rescue them.

She is headstrong, and she is powerful in her opinions. She is loud, expressive, and she already has the ability to wrap her father around her finger (in some things only, he’ll deny he’s fully suckered). She is artistic beyond measure and I think she’s going to find her interests in some form of creative outlet. I don’t think she’s going to be horsey. We’ll see… I am hoping at least one of my kids wants to take part in Mommy’s expensive habit. It will make it miles easier to eventually own another horse if they like it too.

No matter what, she is magnificent already, and at four years old I am in awe that this child came from me. I simultaneously see too much of myself, and nothing of myself, in her (read: I am so screwed when she is a tween). If she wants to exert her own views over jeans, which means we have a battle of wills, so be it. We’ll figure it out together. It is why I accept the frilly and frou-frou and girly stuff.  I don’t want to become like my own mother, who eschewed femininity in so many ways that handicapped me later on in life. I want her to have balance. Be a girl, with all the intricacies and layers it requires to go from girl to woman with confidence.

And in reality, maybe I’ll just have to find jeans with a tulle tutu attached to them to save us from another morning like this one. ♥


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