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The Barefoot family live an easy, relaxed life together playing, pottering and doing whatever feels right at the time!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

What little girls are made of...

I didn't go to any extremes raising my daughter. Though we told people that she was a girl (unlike one family in Europe recently who withheld this information from family and friends) I was careful not to assume pink, girly was immediately her thing. From birth her room with her things in was bright green and jungle themed. There were monkeys and parrots rather than bunnies and bears. She had pyjamas with planets and rockets on, she always got muddy at every opportunity and used to let herself in and out of the garden via the catflap (good for keeping us all on our toes). Despite having white blonde ringlets I always viewed this more as a Darwinian trait so as to help me spot her as she disappeared into bushes and through holes in the fence more easily, not as angelic, dolly material. For about two years she never allowed us to brush it. That was ok with us, after all it is her hair as I pointed out to anyone who felt the need to comment. I never corrected others but through gentle example tried to encourage questions about books she liked and avoid good girl/pretty hair blah blah type comments aimed at her (not to or with her). She adopted a baby doll that had belonged to my niece, but rather randomly named him Luke. Luke did come places with us and got introduced to everyone who cared enough to glance in her direction at festivals, beaches and campsites. That was it for dolls though really.
Now at five the always 'too much', passionate and extreme loving side of her personality has directed its attention to pinkness. Any merch with Hello Kitty is an object of need and desire. At first I thought this was largely fuelled by some base need to fit in with other girls that she had become friends with. If she liked it herself that would be cool for me but I was worried it was only because of she felt on some level it was what she was supposed to like. But the Radical Unschooler in me cannot judge or control this. I can guide and support but not lead or judge. It wouldn't be fair and wouldn't feel right to me. Instead I have just enjoyed her enjoying. This is the result....
A hideously over the top pink frilly giant cat! It even has purple eyeliner on ha! But hey, who cares? Check out the smile behind that polyester pink cuddly!

On a similar note it turns out pretty much since about five months old the Mancub is obsessed with balls, any kind but especially anything resembling the colours and print of a football. As for trains, rockets or planes.....excited is an understatement. The throwing himself around, launching toys like missiles and general roughness is far more intense too than it was with Newt. She was always precise, testing herself in her efforts, pushing herself that bit further, pleasure thrill seeking and life loving. He just lobs himself off the arm of the sofa and hits the floor. Distinctly different.

Its all quite fascinating for me really. As a behaviourist by education it just further backs up my belief that the sexes really are different. And they should be. They had different purposes genetically. Not better or worse. Not inferior just wildly different switches that flick. Surely as long as we accept individuality as well as accepting natural differences its ok to not get too bogged down in you can't have that as its too pink, you must have a doll and pram even though your a boy etc? Hmmmm. And whilst we are discussing gender differences has anyone else noticed that men more often than women seem to pull out all the tea and coffee canisters etc when making hot drinks rather than taking the cup to the can? Is it just me that has noticed this?!! Am I stereotyping myself now?


  1. Newt is just all kinds of awesomeness... Intense awesomeness! And the Mancub is such a funny little dude. Love them and Love these descriptions of your beautiful children. Can't wait to meet number 3! xxx

  2. Ha thanks Laura...Its so wonderful that we both have the opportunity and most importantly the awareness to know and enjoy our children so fully! And yes, I would list intense in the top five words to describe her to he he!
    Maybe number three will be really quiet and restrained...well you never know