parenting

first day jitters

Bridget starts school on Tuesday. She’s thrilled about it. I know that she’ll do great. I’m not worried about her making friends, or riding the bus, or anything else. No, I’m worried about me having to meet other parents. This afternoon at lunch time we’ve got a playdate thing at the school where all the new kindergarteners are invited. 

I’m sitting here getting all nervous and worked up at the prospect of having to talk to another parent. I’m forcing myself to just do it. Because honestly, the thing that I am really afraid of is silly – I’m afraid of just standing there looking like an idiot having no one to talk to. 

It’s ironic really, because more often than not, I end up putting my foot into my (giant) mouth. It’s guaranteed that I’ll offend someone. It’s high time that I just embrace that, and look for the other mom who’s laughing at the offended person and be friends with HER. 

balance

Somehow it feels more complicated raising a daughter than a son. Maybe it’s just because Bridget is older, but there just seem to be variables.

I try to keep things relatively balanced and to let Bridget decide what it is she’s interested in. Soccer? Fine. Wearing dresses and skirts whenever, where ever? Also fine. Perhaps my biggest pet peeve is the dominance of pink in “girl” things. Pink on its own is just fine, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mind it in doses. But I do wonder if it has to be absolutely everywhere. (I’m annoyed too at “boy” stuff that has to have firetrucks and heroes and baseball on everything, but that’s for another time) When she was a baby I went out of my way to buy non-pink items. (Now there’s also a fight against the idea that everything has to look like a glitter factory exploded on everything. )

We’ve also got a wide variety of toys around: dolls, cars, blocks, Transformers, dressing up clothes, kitchen stuff… Both kids play with what strikes their fancy, but I find myself more concerned with being sure that Bridget isn’t consumed 100% by princesses and Barbie pink, than I am that Johnny plays with dolls as well as cars (he does). Maybe it’s just because I am a girl, too. Or that he’s still a baby. Who knows. Her interests are wide-ranging and I’d really like to keep it that way.

She and I talk about how perhaps Snow White should have at least said “Thank you” to the dwarfs for building her an awesome bed of gold and taking care of her, instead of just hopping on a horse and riding off with a prince she didn’t really know all that well. I’m pretty sure I don’t have a lot to worry about on the subject for now because Bridget has told me that, “if someone comes into my room who I don’t know and kisses me and wakes me up, I’ll punch them in the face!” Not quite the point I was trying to make, but I’ll take it for the moment.

Recently, I finished reading How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of all Time and it had me wishing I had some copies to have around in about 7-10 years. I wasn’t a subscriber to Sassy myself, but I did read quite a few of the articles (and JANE as an adult) and the idea of the magazine I think is a really great one. Next up on my list is Cinderella Ate my Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture (sidenote: subtitles might be out of control). I think the two will pretty much make the same point: that being “girly” is awesome, but so is anything else so why limit yourself.

She starts school soon, and I know that means giving up a bit of control over influences. I’m trying to pack them in there while I can! (I’m probably over-thinking it all anyway.)

Disclaimer.

Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

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