Posts Tagged ‘girly’

Pigtails and Paddles

Boys are gross.  There’s no way around it.  They are dirty and stinky and think bodily functions are funny and meant to be shared.  I constantly find myself shaking my head in disbelief at their antics.  They are the perfect tripping buddies.  I had no idea what I was in for when the doctor announced, “it’s a boy!”.  What would have happened if the doctor had proclaimed “congratulations, it’s a girl!”?

The truth is, I don’t know.  This is an experience that I’ve never had.  We do however have a friend that just this week had a baby girl.   This is one of Fraser’s tripping buddies.  He expressed his fear that he might end up with a “girly girl”.  You hear people use this term all the time.  I’ve used this term.  What does it mean exactly?  Does liking clothes and tiaras and tea parties exclude you from liking other things?  I may not have a girl, but I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret…I’M a girl (shhh).  I have a piece of advice here.  Expose her to EVERYTHING.  There is no such thing as boy activities and girl activities.  Your kids will like what they like, but I can tell you that they tend to lean towards the things that YOU like and that you expose them to early.

pink fleece jacket

pink fishing rod

So you’ve got a girl.  Take her fishing, take her camping, buy her a little paddle.  She likes pink?  Buy her a pink pack and a pink fleece and hit the park.  Please don’t assume that she’s not going to like it.  You may inadvertently be sending her cues that you expect her not to like it.  Don’t set her up to fail.  Use positive reinforcement.  This is going to be fun.  This is going to be a tough trip, but luckily you’re a tough kid.  You are an important part of this trip, we’re really going to need your help!  Entrust her with something integral to your trip, something to carry and be responsible for.  We always let Zach be in charge of the stove and fuel when he was little.  It’s heavy enough to feel like real cargo, and important enough to make a kid feel like they are really contributing.

These tips work equally well for boys and girls.  I’m emphasizing the girl thing because I’ve heard so many times from parents at work and at the playground, “I don’t think she’ll like it, she’s a girly girl”.  Yikes!  There wouldn’t be a whole industry based on female campers/paddlers if we didn’t exist!  Some of the best paddlers I know are women.

I’ve got waist length hair, painted toenails and a pink Coach purse.  Take it from me, girly girls can be hardcore.  Just give them a chance.

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