Sunday, March 23, 2008

Our Lady of Leopard Prints

My friend Cecelia joked once, in support of a slew of hate mail at my Baby Center blog, that the only damage I'm going to do to my child is the fact that I dress her in a lot of leopard prints.
That made me laugh.

It also made me think because, until she said that, I had never really considered the designs I was choosing for Pip. I've always loved spunky stuff, and given Pip is quite peppy, it seemed to be a natural fit.

But it does make me wonder: Is she a funky diva because Mommy has always dressed her like the inside of a Tiajuana bargain bin, or is it her natural inclination anyway to wear rainbow legwarmers and pink gloves in summer?

As Pip gets older, it's important for me to set aside what I think she is - a firecracker who will take the fashion and medical community by storm - and encourage her to be who she wants to be. Maybe that's a quiet ballerina librarian? Maybe it's a short haired truck driver? Maybe it's somewhere in between?

It's not what I want her to be, but who she wants to be, that really matters.

The same goes for my son. For Easter today, for example, we sat in the big church for the first time. According to some of my friends, running laps with Cheetos in hand in the "crying room" is not the equivilent of a spiritual experience, so off to the big pews we went.

It went well. Not only did I enjoy hearing the beautiful music, but I actually heard what the priest had to say. When the mass was over, I asked Stink what he thought. His response was pretty direct, "That was boring."

I'm sure for a little dude, an hour of sitting still wasn't exactly fun. But I really believe, in my heart, that he'll thank me for it one day. I'm banking on the fact that even if he rejects Christianity, he will find some peace and understanding through God in some way. Even my non-religious friends have agreed that there's some solace in the structure of a mass. That taking time out for family/God/whatever is your thing can only aid a child's development. That being part of a community is a nice gift to leave your kids.

Again, the idea is to lead Stink and Pip him toward something, but ultimately it's their decision.

Now if my daughter wore leopard prints and mini skirts to her First Communion we might have a problem. Until then, I'm going to take it day by day...

Meow and happy Easter. Happy Passover to those of you who celebrate that. For those of you who celebrate nothing in particular, thanks for always coming back to me and letting me be me.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.


Evenspor said...

Who wouldn't want to wear leopard prints and camo everyday?

Any mama that takes small children to church should be applauded, even if they spend the whole time in the crying room.

pinks & blues girls said...

Haha! She definitely looks like a funky diva at heart to me.

Kinda makes me want to find a Tiajuana bargain bin for myself.

I found you through Kim Moldofsky, who thought I may enjoy your blog in light of a recent blog post of mine about Zoloft. :) Looking forward to reading more!

Jane, Pinks & Blues

His Girl said...

How much do I love that your daughter is a firecracker & your son is a tell-it-like-it-is hombre? As much as I love that you are letting your kids be those things, and loving them for it.

it's true, you are one of the funniest people in the world, but this? this is the real reason I HAD to become friends with you! Happy Easter, my firecraker-y, tell-it-like-it-is friend!

freefalling said...

I think she looks FAB-U-LOUS!
Let that inner fruitloop shine through - who wants to be a cardboard cutout!!
Although, it can lead to rather unfortunate incidents as an adult.
Have I ever shared with you my predilection for hats?
If you are so inclined you may like to look at this - it may give you a glimpse of Stink's (or as I prefer, Stinky's) future if she continues down this path

Although, I am now a practising Agnostic (should it have a capital A?), I do appreciate the time I spent in mass as a child - I liked the hymns.

TroyBoy said...

Don't second guess your efforts to gentley lead them while letting them make their own decisions (piercings excluded, of course)!

Best I can see from the other side of the country via the world of blogs, it looks as though you are doing a kick ass job.

Monnik said...

I'm with you 100% on the reasons to go to mass. I don't always get the most out of it - I'm usually wrestling with my youngest to get much out of it, but there are moments during mass where I get the chance to reflect on my relationship with God. Someday I hope to have more of those moments... Until then, I'll take them as I can get them.

And don't worry - pip will dress the way she wants to before you know it. For my oldest DD, it was as if a switch turned on - she went from dressing in cute girly clothes, to being an Avril Lavigne wannabe who wore camo pants and black tank tops endlessly. Eesh. She's evolved since then, thank God.

meno said...

a quiet librarian.


I think not.

Liza's Eyeview said...

I am a believer of tradition. Going to mass (or service) on Easter Sunday is a good thing, for you, your kids, and your family. I'm glad you did.

My daughter likes leopard prints :). Your daughter is so lovely , she can wear whatever she wants :)

Gretchen said...

I think part of the fun of having kids is getting to pick out their clothes for as long as they'll let you. ;)

That aside, it's clear you let your kids be who they are--and celebrate them for it.

I say, as long as she has a good relationship with God, let her wear the leopard prints, even to Communion.


Valerie said...

the Niece has leopard print pjs...and she's as much of a firecracker as Miss Pip.

i spent my Easter at the Blessed Lady of the Carmax. lucky me, huh?

Susie Q said...

From one diva to another...Grace says she looks fab u loooso!
She will find her own way, as Grace did, and you are such a good Mommy to want her to do so. Stink too. I have people who would have me reign in Grace when it comes to her love of clothes and accessories. But she adores fashion and playing with it all...who knows where it will lead her?

I guess church is boring for little ones. Heck, Grace is 10 and she gets bored plenty. But considering that she is a kid that had no idea who or what God or Jesus was 3 and a half years ago, well, she now has a greater understanding. SOMEtimes. She asked us last week if God sees all, does he see you when you are naked? Does Jesus forgive you when you hum Hannah Montana songs in church?

Ah, these are the BIG questions...

I hope your Easter was a happy one.
You were with your family...I know it was.

Love ya,

Jessica said...

Okay, you are a better mom than I am. I admit it. I am manipulating my daughter. There. I said it. Are you happy? With 3 boys, and loads and loads of jeans, I decided early that my girl was going to be as girly as I could encourage her to be. I don't buy her jeans. Or even pants cut like jeans. Leggings, yes. Jeans...NEVER. I am doing everything in my power to keep her a princess. She owns more dresses than any girl I know...she always, always wears a skirt with her leggings, and since her favorite color is pink, almost everything she owns is pink.

Yes. I am so evil.

As far as church...It is a trial to all sit together in a long service. But I think they will remember it 93 year old grandma remembers going on Easter Sunday with her grandma...she was bored out of her mind, she says, but admits that it is a good memory...

Jessica said...

Darn...i just wrote out this long long coment of love and encouragement...and I didn''s GONE!

Jess Riley said...

Happy Easter two days late! At first I typed "Happy Eater!" and I thought, wow, that IS kind of appropriate, because I was a very happy eater on Sunday. And so was my husband, because he got to eat ham. Which he doesn't get at home, as he lives in a ham-free zone.

Hey, are your email problems solved? I'd like to drop you a line...

freefalling said...

Sorry, careless of me.
I got your children mixed up, up there in that comment of mine!
Must remember:
Stink = boy
Pip = girl.

capacious said...

Dress her like YOU want now because it won't last forever. Party it up, girlfriend, because soon you won't be invited no more.

Boys clothes are so dullsville. I have girl envy. Black, navy, green, tan. Jeans, sweats, track pants. Sweatshirts, turtlenecks, sneakers. Bla bla bla.

So I compensate by dressing myself way more than necessary. Shoes! Bags! Dresses and coats and bras! I need it! I want it! I spent it!

sari said...

I would wear that outfit.

What?? :-)

Meowmie said...

DD would wear that outfit ... if it came in pink or purple! Oy, there was me thinking how I'd let DD wear gender-neutral colours and styles and then kapow! My mother started buying clothes for DD and they were *always* in pink or purple. I didn't want to waste perfectly good clothes, so DD got to wear them.

DD is now into accessories at the grand age of 2 years old. I tell you, she's better dressed than I am.

I take DD to church. DH doesn't come along much. :-( We have a small church and there isn't a crying room, though there's kids' space at the back next to the music group. Sometimes I wonder what the minister was saying during the sermon. OK, to tell the truth, most of the time I don't know what she was saying. ;-)