Well, first of all my husband and I both belong to families where girls are a minority. And secondly, from my first inkling of ever wanting to be a Mom I was gripped with the fear of having a baby girl. What would I do with her?
I, myself, am not very girlie. When I look side to side and compare myself to other women I can feel like I fail miserably at the whole being a girl thing. There are days I don't even brush my hair, my attempt at the messy look. I'd rather talk sports with the guys than discuss makeup and clothes with the girls. My fingernails are rarely ever painted, and my toenails are, well, let's just say it is a good thing our feet are so far away from our eyes. (And remember, I am a runner.) I am probably the only female who really does not enjoy a nice pedicure. I endure them now occasionally for my daughter. She loves them and so many things girlie.
My baby girl came into my life to help me conquer my fear of being a Mom to a girl. I have lots of nicknames for her. I call her sis, sook, sookie, and Annie. Her Poppa sometimes calls her "Blondie". And to Mammaw she is her Miss Lilac. She is so many things to so many people. When we discussed what her blog name was to be our sitter suggested "3B" for Blonde, Bold and Beautiful. It summed baby girl up perfectly.
Her blondeness makes her unique in a family of dark headed people. I have been asked countless times, "where does she get her blonde hair? Were you blonde as a child?" No. It is all her own. And she embraces it completely with stereotypes and all. She lives life to have fun. Just the other day she was showing me something silly she was doing to make her friends laugh. She said, "they wanted me to do it again and again". To her life is be enjoyed at all times. 3B is beyond smart. She has a head full of common sense at times, but there are other times that her "blondeness" will shine through. For example, she was loving stealing some onion rings from a family member's plate one day. She was chomping away while being so pleased with her sneakiness. When the family member caught her he asked, "so you like onion rings?" And she replied," oh no! I don't eat onions. I don't like them. " He was quick to inform her that onion was what she was eating. Her look said it all.... oblivious! She just shrugged her shoulders and kept eating. She is notorious for mispronouncing, misspelling, and really just making up her own words. There could be the 3B dictionary. Her creative words can make any audience erupt in laughter as she sits staring like, "what? what is so funny?" The verdict is still out on whether this is for real or just part of her blonde charm.
3B is bold. She is not the child that will ask permission. She came into this world independent. She is my "I can do it myself" child. And most of the time she can do whatever it is by herself. Like her brother there are many stories I could tell to exemplify her best qualities. The following is probably my favorite and I hope I can write it in such a way to do it justice.
When you have three children in the span of four years and a few months you do things to be more efficient and save time. My husband and I gave baths tag team style when our children were small. We would throw all kids in the bath together, one night I would wash and he would dry and the next night it was vice versa. It has been said about me, "give her a book and she can learn anything." So when I was pregnant with my first I read the book on parenting. Of course it covered all topics. On the topic of introducing body parts to your child it said to teach them to use the correct terms for their parts. Okay. Done. I had no problem teaching my son the correct term. Penis. See I can even type it! But when it came to my daughter and her parts I could not say that word. You know the other V word that should not be said?!? And I didn't, but I did not make up some little "cute" name for it either. I just avoided it all together. A mom moment at its finest!! Since we bathed them together she heard the boy parts word and started referring to her body parts using that word. I would tell her not to say that. It was not the right word. Of course she would ask what hers was called and I would ignore the question. Again, fine moment. This went on for a while until I realized I had to address her question and correct the misunderstanding. I readied myself for the moment. I put just her in the bathtub and waited for her to use the wrong word yet again. When she said it I told her it was not the right word and on cue she asked about the right word. I took a deep breath and I said it. Time slowed to slow motion as the word drug from my mouth. I heard it loud in my head not believing I was able to get it out. It seemed like such a long word with so many syllables! She repeated it several times and looked at me so happy to finally know the word. I told her to stop saying it and cautioned her that no one really liked to hear it said. She nodded her sweet little head like she understood. Days went by and baths happened with no mention of the V word. All the body parts talk had clued me in to the fact it was time to bathe them all separately. One morning I had finished bathing my least one and I left the bathroom for a minute to grab his clothes. The next thing I knew I had a streaker on the loose!!! I chased after him until I caught him in the living room. I was wrestling with him and trying to get him in his pull-up. It was a struggle. He did not want to be still and I was loosing the battle. 3B walked through about the time things were getting ugly. She heard me threatening him through gritted teeth and thought she could help. So real sweet like she said, "You better put on your pull-up. You don't want anyone seeing your Cha-china." Her best creative word to date! In the moment, I felt defeated. I remembered hanging my head and feeling like even my best efforts were unsuccessful. As 3B has grown and more moments similar to this one have followed, defeat is not what I feel as I look back. She is bold and so willing to help. She is comfortable even with the uncomfortable. She approaches life with such ease and has such assurance in who she is. She had it all wrong that day but it didn't matter. She convinced her brother to stand still and get dressed. She bee bopped away triumphant! And I got a glimpse of the person she continues to be, joyful,helpful, thoughtful and so care free.
3B is beautiful. To her surprising blonde hair, to her movie star full lips she has such pretty features. Her blue eyes with their long lashes dance when she smiles. During the summer months when her complexion darkens and her hair lightens I tell her she looks just like my Malibu Barbie I had when I was a kid. A living doll!
When 3B was about seven she had her first experience with wearing make up. It was her first recital. Before we even got to the performance she wanted to wash her face. I told her we had to wait. She replied grumpily, "beauty hurts!" And all of woman kind said, "Amen!" Who hasn't squeezed into a pair of Spanx or stepped out of some torturous shoes and thought, "beauty hurts"?
Remember, an old crow.... Again, what kind of mother would I be if I did not think my baby girl is the prettiest little girl ever?? But her outward appearance is not what I find most beautiful about her. She is most beautiful on the inside. She was only "the baby" for a very short time. Her little brother came along when she was only 22 months old. She thought he was her living doll! I tell people all the time she thought she was his momma and still thinks that now most days. The best way to illustrate just how motherly she was is to share about one Sunday in church. She was maybe three and her little brother was just a little over one. I'll just say he was anxious for the service to be over before it ever really got started. He was sitting in his Daddy's lap and we as parents were jumping through hoops trying to keep him quiet when 3B came to our rescue. From her little, packed purse she pulled out some fruit chews and one of his favorite toys. I had nothing, but she had come prepared for all of us. I say all the time she practically raised her little brother. Time and time again she thought of him and what his needs might be. She came into this world thinking and wanting to do for others.
To date, one of the greatest compliments I have ever received was about 3B. Upon completing her Kindergarten evaluation the principal informed me 3B was more than ready to start school. She said, "her little face just exudes confidence." Wow! at how she chose to describe the beauty she saw in my child. Her words resonated with me that day and I have often thought about them as 3B grows and faces this world. A world that can be mean and harsh and a lot of the time sells the wrong message to young girls. I am so protective of her and her confidence (to the point of crazy momma bear sometimes).
When she was eight she wanted to be in her first beauty pageant. I was hesitant and reluctant to say yes. She was so excited about getting her dress and her shoes. I was nervous and filled with fear. Being a female at my age I have heard and at times bought into what the world is selling. I know what it is like to have a comment or a passed judgement about me or my appearance chip away any level of confidence. I just did not want 3B experiencing that feeling. So before the pageant I bent down and got eye to eye with her and very sternly and matter of fact like said, "Listen to me. You walk in confidence and no matter what, win or loose, remember you are a child of the Almighty God and nothing else matters." (crazy momma bear) And fearlessly and confidently she replied, "I know Momma". She did not win that year, but the next year the pageant people saw fit to give a confidence award. She rested easy adorned with a crown for confidence. We'll take it as a win!!!
I hope some idea of our mother/daughter relationship has been gained. We are so different and yet so alike at times. Like her brother she is raising me. Watching your children become the people they are to be really shapes and changes you too. Fear and doubt still creeps in with most things parenting. There is always a new worry or concern. Each of my children have been the right goodness of God when I needed it. Life is more fun with my little Blondie. There is never a dull moment. Her boldness is infectious and liberating. And her beauty can only be described as God within. The reassurance she brings to my life. I hear her unspoken words when she smiles and says, "I know Momma". My only baby girl, 3B, a conqueror of fear and a best friend for life!!!