Over the weekend, it dawned on me that my daughter could probably wear a hair clip. I got so bizarrely excited I actually squealed with delight at the thought. I immediately ran upstairs and started sifting through my makeup/hair bin for hair clips. Her hair is still a bit too thin and she kind of rips it out within 15 minutes, but for the first minute or so I cannot get over how cute she looks!
And yet, I am conflicted by this excitement. Unlike with my son, for whom clothes were somewhat boring– browns, blues and greens–Edith’s clothes are like miniature outfits that I’d love to wear. And now I get to do her hair and use accessories. This is just too much!
Being a mother has certainly caused me to examine myself and the ways I treat my son as compared to my daughter. As a feminist who holds a BA in Women’s Studies, I am very conscious of social constructs of masculinity and femininity. When Edith was first born, I was disappointed by the choice of baby clothes. It felt like everything was pastel and covered in butterflies and ballet slippers. But as I looked through the bin of my son’s baby clothes to see what I could put her in, I was struck by the amount of trucks and dogs that I dressed Don in and didn’t think twice about. As I watch both of my children grow, the assumptions I once held about things being nurture vs. nature have been challenged as well as the choices I make regarding toys and clothes for my children.
So, you can see that when I got unbelievably giddy over a hair clip, my head once again began spinning… Is it weird that I’m excited? Am I pushing her into one way of being that she might otherwise not have chosen? Then, 15 minutes later the hair clip fell out as I helped her march across the lawn in pursuit of a ball. My head started racing again…maybe she will be an athlete? One of those girls who like clothes and sports?
Or…maybe I should just relax and do my best to raise a happy and healthy young woman who can think for herself. At the end of the day, I don’t think my putting a hair clip in my daughter’s hair at age 1 will cause her any long term issues. Plus…it’s just so darn cute! If I’m this crazed now…I can only imagine what’s to come.