Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Unfit mother of a little girl

Before having Charlotte, I had hoped that our first child would be a girl. I myself am one of 5 sisters, and I was pretty comfortable with how little girls behave and dress and act and grow. I would see little boys making guns and swords out of everything, playing intently at war or cops and robbers, and giving their primal roars on the playgrounds, and I knew that I would be way out of my element. Now my daughter is not quite two, and I'm already unsure that I really know how to raise a girl either. There are just so many things that she might aske me about that I just won't know how to do.

For example, Charlotte comes home from daycare quite often with the most darling hair-dos. The workers like to put her hair up in pigtails and pony tails, and apparently she's happy to sit still for her little beauty appointments. I, on the other hand, am a disaster at fixing hair (my own or anyone else's). I have bought an assortment of little girl hair things (bitty barretts, tiny elastics, little clips). I keep trying to style her hair but my attempts look messy and don't stay put for more than 5 minutes. My own hair routine goes something like this: wash, condition, rinse, comb. That's it. No hair dryers, hot round instruments of torture, no nasty smelling chemicals in aerosol bottles. I do the occaisional pony tail, but that's more for exercise than for show. *Sigh* If Charlotte wants fancy up-dos and braids and curls later in life, she will have to find someone else to show her how.

Besides hair styles, I also don't do nails (on feet or hands). I've had one manicure in my life, and that was on my wedding day. I don't wear nail polish, and nail files make me cringe (for my short, plain nails, a pair of clippers is sufficient). I've never gotten a pedicure. Maybe I should just so that I know what on earth they do to you. I shave my legs with a men's electric razor--I never mastered the technique of doing it in the shower without bleeding or missing large strips, and most of the "shave gel" products made me break out in a rash. I tried a home wax job once (on my legs) and barely made it through the first leg before deciding that it was just too painful. Maybe I should try it drunk. I won't even contemplate waxing other body parts.

I am ok at shopping--maybe my only saving grace in this list. I can wander malls for hours. I am also very undecided, so I tend to lap stores multiple times trying to figure out what (if anything) I actually want. If I'm actually looking for a specific item, I have really bad luck in finding them--it's like someone calls ahead and tells every store to pull their white shirts (or whatever I'm looking for) off the racks, except for a select few in a XS or with $500 price tags.

For now I guess I just enjoy the perfect pigtails that Charlotte comes home from school in, and leave the nail polish remover in my husband's bowling bag (he cleans the ball with it...he goes through more for bowling in a year than I do for nails in 5).


Amanda said...

I'm with you on all that. It helps when their hair gets a little longer with the pig tails and pony tails. I've tried to make more of an effort to do "girly" things. If I get a pedicure, it's usually with someone and it stays that way for months. Oh, real rubberbands are usually the only ones that stay in when they are little. They're cheap so you can always cut them out if they get tangled.

Sarahlynn said...

You could send M along with Paul when he goes for his refresher braiding course at St. Louis Community College. Seriously, Paul loved taking that class. And I love having my hair braided, so I was thrilled to go along as his model. Everyone else just had a plastic head to work with!

the squeaky mouse gets the cheese said...

If you're wondering if you're doing a good job, and you want to do better, I think you're far ahead of a lot the parents out there--just my 2 cents.
You're right on about the little boys making swords and guns out of everything and roaring and attacking stuff... I wanted a girl for the 2nd child, but I really wouldn't know what I'm doing with things like hair or shopping, or heck, anything... I'd have ended up with a tom-boy I'm sure.
Don't worry at all about her being cute, you guys already took care of that. Think of other areas-- she'll be the only kid in her kindergarten class who knows how many hit dice an elder dragon has, or what object inheritance is...