In June 2010 we were blessed with our daughter. We had elected not to find out the gender although deep down I knew (yeah I know… 50 50 chance) that it was going to be a girl. When she was arrived I was excited by the fact I was going to have an offspring, a mini-me following me around but, looking back, I was also relieved. Relieved because at the time, I wasn’t sure that I was footy-playing-huntin’-and-fishin’ enough to cope with a boy but I was sure I was sports-loving-up-with-modern-music-and-trends enough to bring up a girl.
In my mind, I was going to raise the perfect girl, like a boy but with more cuddles and less mess. She’d be outgoing (tick), try anything (tick), tough enough to dust herself off when she fell (tick… mostly) and happy to watch all three original star wars movies in a row. In many ways I’ve succeeded. She loves a good wrestle, fearlessly scoots or runs everywhere at full throttle and climbs and slides down anything, fall at speed and shake it off and although we’re not quite at a full star wars episode (did I mention original episodes?) I’m happy that we can both sit and laugh at a few episodes of Peppa Pig together (it works on so many levels).
My boy-style child rearing also required minimal pink clothing, frilly skirts and dolls resulting in the positive side effect of not having to sit through toddler ballet classes all the while preparing my daughter for her high powered role as a CEO, Prime minister or front (wo)man of a guitar driven rock band.
However something unexpected has happened….
“Come here sweet and put some clothes on”… “Yes Daddy” …flutter flutter flutter
“Can you please stand still while I brush your hair”… twinkle twinkle twinkle
“Just stand $%&*@% still while I dry you” …twirling twirling twirling
You see somewhere, regardless of my illiterate infant tomboy style © of child rearing, somehow, a little girl is blossoming. A little girl who loves pretty skirts, dresses, dollies and dancing “…like a ballerina Daddy”. Dancing hasn’t been in my training schedule. Dancing hasn’t been part of my backyard wrestling and rumbles program or extreme scooter stunts practice. I find myself asking, Where did she learn it and why does it make her so happy?
I had been battling with these thoughts for the last few weeks when it came to a head on the weekend. On Sunday we started toilet training and my wife and I had assembled the arsenal of M&M’s, iPad games and stickers. Many of you know the drill, do a tinkle get a sticker, do a poo and you get more stickers and maybe a treat (or variations thereof). We had a few failures but in the afternoon we had our first success. Splashdown occurred in the potty and was met with applause, praise and cheers. We put stickers on the chart and talked about how amazing she was but you know the thing that brought the biggest smile to her face? The wee-wee dance that we made up together,
“We’ve done a wee-wee, We’ve done a wee-wee”
Spinning and twirling and singing and laughing, she was having a ball, celebrating and dancing with her Mum and Dad. For 20 minutes I forgot about my hang ups and enjoyed being a little bit crazy, dancing with her and getting a little bit of an idea about why she loves prancing around.
On the bus this morning, thinking about tonight’s post I remembered a Dad in Germany who dressed in a skirt to support his little boy who wanted to wear girls clothes. I’m in no way comparing myself to this awesome display of love and support but I do get how cool it is to just be there supporting your child, regardless of your own hang-ups.
So, how about you? What hang-ups have your kids gotten rid of? What’s the silliest thing you’ve done? Did your child turn into a boy or girl regardless of your techniques?
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If you opened the envelope, you’d know whether you need to prepare to be a footy-playing-huntin’-and-fishin’ type of dad! Go on, go on, go on…..!
clever – well done you baby making machine!
Having an older sister, my 3 year old Oscar LOVES dressing up in tutus and fairy dresses – and watching the joy he gets from it, well, how can I stop his fun?
Going back to the article about the dad in a dress, I was aware at how quickly I thought “don’t worry, he’ll get over it” when really, there’s nothing wrong with it. Good mumming!
hahah, ya gotta love Peppa Pig!
I have 4 boys, sometimes I yearn for twirling (oh wait.. number 2 does that), sometimes I yearn for twinkling (well let count doing wee’s ALL over the place by number 4), Hmm.. I don’t get any fluttering. I want fluttering!
… Or prancing, or twittering or floating (“like a fairy daddy”)
It’s so funny. Much the same thing happened with our daughter. Part of her is very active and wild. She keeps up with all the boys. But when dressing herself she always chooses the prettiest of dresses and insists on wearing ballet slippers. I guess kids just are who they are. Great post!
Dancing is not girlie – dancing is FUN!
My grand toddlers get to ring the pee pee bell and sing the traditional “Peeing in the potty” song…it involves holding and shaking so it is pretty much for boy toddlers.
“holding and shaking” – great description!
monkey bars – can’t do the monkey bars can’t remember if I could ever do the monkey bars. But every day at then park with kids I try, as an example for them to try stuff out… feel like a moron but kinda don’t care. That and the tearing around like a deranged wiggle outcast playing chasey.
My son is only 10 weeks old, but I’ve found that I have no shame anymore when it comes to singing. Singing (with silly voices and dance moves) will cheer him up even when I’m changing him or drying him after a bath. Now I just need to extend my repertoire beyond Alice the Camel . . .
You’ve touched on a goos point about “doing what you need to do” however (and this may be much more about my level of intellect) I’m reall interested in Alice the Camel!
She had 5 humps . . . then 4, 3, 2, 1, and none (because she was a horse). It’s one of our favourites from our library rhyme time 🙂
Googling now. Cheers.
My girls have taken to dropping their pants and singing Kc and the Sunshine Bands “Shake Your Booty”. I am ashamed to say that I laugh but I haven’t joined in and dont plan on it. Time to put on your B-b-b-b-b- Boogie Shoes Kevin and in the words of Lady Ga Ga – Just Dance! Its gonna be Ok.
hilarious! …and your right, it is going to be ok
bah ha ha the wee-wee dance, sounds very interesting indeed! I find it so beautiful the things parents do for their kids… melts me every.time.
No way, we had the exact same Wee wee song in our house 🙂 Just wait till she does a poo in the pot, you’ll be dancing for days trust me 🙂
I really thought I was having a boy and so when a girl arrived, I was like “Are you sure ? Check again because I know I am having a boy” – but she is a girl and I love her to bits. She is now 20 yo and we have lots of fun together – shopping and going to movies etc. Dad used to be the most favoured parent but as she has got older, I became the favourite parent !!!!!
She never did the ballet lessons or frilly dresses – she was more of a sporty girl. That has slowly changed over the last couple of years but she has turned into a lovely young lady even without having the ballet lessons and frilly clothes !
Have the best day !
hi there and thanks for popping by. My wife will love hearing your story. She sometimes struggles with everything being about daddy.
I wish someone gave me m&m’s and stickers each time I splashdown, Love it Kevin!
I love this post!! Sums up how we just can’t influence everything. I’ve got 2 boys (3 and 18months), and a amazed at how physical, rough-and-tumble they are, because it certainly isn’t something I do with them. Likewise, Mr 3 never misses out on an opportunity to get his toenails painted if I happen to be doing mine.
good perspective – that we are 80% passengers in what they are in to and how they turn out!
Thanks for popping in.
We had a dance and a song here. I totally get what you mean about not being sure about whether you had the right stuff to raise a boy, I have wondered about that myself. Thankfully I have been blessed with girls so not to much of an issue.
Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses #TeamIBOT
I had to get over cheese. I know it has nothing to do with gender, but I really hate cheese. The way it smells, tastes, looks etc. It’s only ok on pizza or a really good chicken Parmy.
All my kids love cheese though. And they love to eat it with their hands and get the cheese smell everywhere. It’s not cool
so the whole cheese thing threw me for a moment but I’m with you now 😉
We’re about to embark on toilet training with my 2.25 year old…. Maybe we should learn the wee wee dance!
two boys here, and yes we have one box of princess dresses, one box of nail polish, one box of dora, lots of dolls and teddy bears – not sure what that says about our parenting style – and at the moment we all dance around the house gangham style every morning!
a little bit of crazy here
Loved this Kevin. My Grace is a tom boy, she always picks trucks or trains or diggers, but she also loves to dance. No problem for me – I love to dance too – but I do genuinely worry about her taste in music!
Splashdown made me laugh out loud.
Having two very active toddler boys we do a lot of dancing around here.
Thanks for some great tips on the toilet training, by the way. We haven’t ventured in that direction just yet (still too scared) but looks like I’m going to have to think of a wee wee dance soon 🙂
I could write book: “Dance you way to toilet training”
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Haha! That’s hilarious! One of the hang-ups I’ve had to dump is my penchant for having clean, fingerprint free clothing when I go to work. Not gonna happen. I must look like a giant serviette to my girls. Little fingers sticky with breakfasty goodness are always ready to poke and prod me as I leave for work in the mornings. Rather than stopping my kids from cuddling me in the morning, I’ve just stopped wearing white shirts. We adjust!
Oh and yes, the twirling and the dancing – i have two girls and I can so relate.
After two big boys, I’ve now got a 2 year old dancing, prancing butterfly too. To be honest I am enjoying the change from smelly socks and jocks and them trying to kick each other in the boy bits. I want to see you vlog the wee-wee-dance 🙂
I don’t think I’ve meant a toddler yet who doesn’t like to get down and boogie to a little music. Dave isn’t too keen on the whole dancing thing either, but when he sees Mia jigging her little bottom when any music comes on he can’t help himself and does a little dance with her. It’s so cute to watch.
My mum treated me like her personal doll. My opinion was squashed (unless it areed with hers). I’m so concious to allow my child to form her own opinions now. But of course, she’ll have her own hang ups about me. I wonder if it will be that I didn’t direct her opinions enough, or something else entirely….
Hilarious! And love meeting another fab Dad Blogger – its always great to hear what the view is like from the other side.
as for me after 3 boys i finally gave up on the idea of a little girl, but it didnt stop me from sitting my youngest boy on my lap facing away from me and putting his hair up in a pony tail and then staring at the back of his head and pretending he was a girl. Crap – did I just admit that in public…on the Interwebs! 😉
no, I can’t see how that would play with his mind at all 😉