Last year, Maggie got, in her Easter basket, chocolate and Matchbox cars.
This year? Chocolate, a little purse with yellow flowers on it that matches her Easter dress, and a some piece of plastic collectible crap.
The four year old gender identification thing has begun, and it's really funny. The girl is a tomboy and has been since day one -- she loves to be on the move, run, tussle, and generally be active. Sitting still is not her thing, to say the least. But suddenly the pink, the sparkly, the flowery and the girly have become irresistible. She wants to grow out her chin-length hair and loves "jewels" aka anything applied to any other thing.
This also comes with a bit of a bonus for me. She loovvvveesss me right now. As she tells her daddy at night "Only persons with long brown hair can lay down next to me." My hair's not that long (nor is it all that brown any more, which is a sob-choked subject for another post). Frequently she talks about how we are on the Girl Team and Will and Daddy are on the Boy Team.
And I admit, I eat this shit up. She's been a bit of a daddy's girl for a long time, and now having my delightful little daughter decide I am her best friend ever makes me really happy. Plus, well, if the preschool years are previews of the teens, things are going to be jusssttt a bit stormy around here. My own teenage relationship with my mother is the stuff of family legend -- slammed doors, screaming matches and general fury marked the years. Maggie makes me look chill, temper-wise, and is about the most stubborn and rebellious little person already. So I am trying to enjoy this closeness while I can.
I like to think, and hope, I am a better mother than my own. I've spent a lot more time acknowledging my own weaknesses and working on them. Reading "Raising Your Spirited Child" was so soothing to me, more because of my own childhood than Maggie's. I realized that I wasn't some sort of horrible bad out of step child, I was just me, made this way. I understand that a little better with Maggie than was understood with me, and so I have a slightly better ability to give her what she needs because I understand it. Do I always do it perfectly? No, nowehere near it (witness the pitched battle today over getting her to put her shoes on and help me go get Paul from work, featuring screaming (her), swearing (me), and in a truly superior Parenting Moment, threats to return the Easter presents I got her. Please send my mother of the year award c/o Blogger).
But mostly? It's awesom being on the Girl Team around here. And I hope, even through hormonal upheavals and adolescent turmoil, on some level we always will be Girl Team.