A while back, I wrote a post for Babble called "Maybe We Should Let Girls be Bakers and Ballerinas" about how Mazzy was gravitating towards Strawberry Shortcake and Abby Cadabby (through no prompting from me whatsoever) and I didn't want to discourage what came naturally to her.
Then, almost the second after I hit publish, Mazzy became obsessed with trucks, pants and the Giants, and I kind of wanted my little girl back.
Well, now we've come full circle and Mazzy is into dresses (the bigger the skirt, the better the twirl), tiaras (thank god the cardboard one she made in class seems to satisfy her just fine) and Pinkalicious (never introduce this series to your kid if you'd like to avoid "the princess phase").
But that doesn't mean Mazzy's given up on her love for toys with wheels, wearing Daddy's baseball hats or running wild with the boys.
The interesting thing about "mommy blogging" is that I tend to make bold statements about my child in the interest of telling a more focused story. She's a tomboy. She's a girlie girl. She hates the bath. She loves tomatoes. etc.
Except kids are constantly changing and we can't really label them at the ripe old age of TWO. (Mazzy is my first, so you must forgive me for not realizing this sooner.)
I have now come to understand that Mazzy is neither a tomboy or a girlie girl— she's just a kid. A kid that likes both dresses and firetrucks. Both dinosaurs and fairies. Both Dora and Diego equally. And she claims both pink and blue are her favorite colors depending on the day.
She'll demand to wear her Giants t-shirt to bed and the next morning, she'll cry because she can't find her pink polka-dot Minnie Mouse. She'll pack a sequined purse with her favorite items, including her mini-football. She'll insist on wearing a dress to the playground and then spend the whole time playing trucks with the boys. (That's her in the middle.)
None of this should be surprising, really. What is inherently more masculine about dumping sand from a truck or more feminine about enjoying the flair of a skirt while you twirl around? Both sound like they would be incredibly fascinating to a toddler.
I remember visiting friends who had a four-year-old son, back before Mike and I had kids. When we got there, the boy was wearing shorts and a basketball jersey. At some point during our two-hour stay, he changed into his soon-to-be Halloween costume which happened to be a ballerina— complete with pink leotard, tights and matching tutu. His mother explained that when they got to the store, that's what he picked out so that's what he got.
At the time, I applauded her open-mindedness but also assumed they were forcing him into basketball jerseys on every other occasion.
I now realize that probably wasn't true. That boy could easily have liked both basketball and ballet. Or maybe he just liked the shininess of the jersey— who the hell knows? Kids are complex, curious, constantly developing creatures.
If what I hear is true, somewhere along the way, Mazzy's "boyish" side will be stomped out by marketing, peer pressure and the way she is treated at school. I really hope that isn't so. I don't care who Mazzy turns out to be, as long as it is of her own making.