Sometimes nice girls do pick their nose!

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Sometimes nice little girls do, in fact, pick their nose. These same nice, little girls also burp, run, laugh loudly, throw balls. They play rough and tumble, play with mud, play with cars, play with dolls. They climb, fall, jump, balance, shout, rage, dance.

These ‘nice’ girls do all the things that all girls, and boys, nice, or otherwise, do all the time.

As they say…. Girls will be girls!

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Daddy day care – Arghh!!

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I hate that term! It is not daddy day care, nor is it babysitting; it’s called parenting! Dads, like mums, have a responsibility and duty to care for their child. With this in mind I want to share some recent experiences when my husband has had the children, a 2-year-old toddler, and 11-month old baby. He is a wonderful dad and so having time alone with the children is not unusual in itself. What is noteworthy is the reaction he got from strangers for doing what I, and thousands of women do on a daily basis. Why? Because he is a man. Now, don’t get me wrong, of course there are many stay at home dads, but I am sure they also get a different reaction to mums.

Here are just 2 examples of how my husband has been treated when taking the children out verses my experience in nearly exactly the same situation:

Situation: My daughter’s hairband has fallen out and needs it put back in. I would like to point out here that this happens almost hourly, usually because she manages to look like she has had a fight with her hair 10 minutes after it has been brushed and to stop her looking like a character from Annie we need to tame it.

Me – Put her hair up in the middle of a busy high street. People sigh that I have stopped in an inconvenient place. Most people don’t see me or the children and continue about their daily business.

Husband – Puts her hair up in the middle of a busy high street. A well-meaning passer-by come over to say how lovely it is to see daddy doing her hair and complements my daughter.

Situation: Toddler falls over after insisting on walking despite having taken out the double pushchair and holding shopping. Toddler is absolutely fine and just a couple of tears.

Me – Flap with shopping, scoop up toddler whilst holding on to the pushchair with the baby in and avoid getting in people’s way, kiss the affected area better and persuade toddler back into the double pushchair.

Husband – stranger comes over immediately and offers to help, asks what would make it easier for him and praises him for taking both the children out by himself.

So perhaps next time we see a mum or dad struggling, or just dealing with the everyday, then give them a nod, a smile, a pat on the back. We don’t need strangers to validate how well we are doing, but it would be nice to think that BOTH parents, whether it be mums or dads, are told they are doing a bloody good job! I say well done mums and dads! Well done for doing what you do every day and keep it up.

A slide for a girl??

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A few days ago I saw a post on a local selling page looking for a girl’s slide. It struck me as such an odd thing, in this day and age, to be so prescriptive about gender and appropriate toys. To me this is so old fashioned and utterly ridiculous. What on earth is a slide for a girl? One that she can slide down sideways like women used to ride horses to ensure she looks ladylike as she plays? Or more likely this is referring to colour. Of course a girl cannot slide down a green, or blue or even yellow slide, a slide must be pink, the more garish and bright the better. I mean she is a girl after all, and must always therefore play with/ own/ enjoy and see pink at all times to be reminded of her gender. Otherwise who knows what will happen?

What a load of rubbish! Why do we do this? Why do we assign gender to inanimate objects and deem some appropriate for girls whilst the opposite toys are only suitable for boys? It is 2016. If we want to raise strong, independent women who can achieve anything their male counterparts can, then why on earth are we deciding for them what toys they should be playing with based on their gender? That doesn’t seem very equal to me. What does this teach our children really? That something is only ok if it is appropriate for their gender? Does that mean that occupations should be ruled out as society often depict certain roles as being male or female? That certain sports can only be played if they are a certain sex? That they must always behave in a way that is expected of their gender? I want both my son and daughter to play with anything they want to play with, I will not be buying my daughter ‘toys for girls’ or my son ‘toys for boys’. I will buy them toys of interest to them. If my son wants a pushchair then so be it, if my daughter wants – heaven forbid…blue toys!! Then that is what she will have. Equally, if they want the opposite, that is fine too. They are children and I will let them play; explore and learn based on their interests and what they enjoy. I want them to learn through exploration, not prescribed roles and views imposed on them as to what they ought to enjoy. If I see one more post asking for such a ridiculous object to be suitable for a gender, I may scream!

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