Monthly Archives: August 2011

Raise Strong Girls: Don’t Buy This Shirt (or anything like it)

JC Penney T-Shirt Tells Girls It’s Ok to Have Others do Their Work if They’re “Too Pretty” : Parentables.

Wow! This is pretty incredible. “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” Really?! Apparently feminism has not yet touched JC Penney. This isn’t cute; it’s degrading. It’s like those shirts that say “what are you looking at?” right across the boobs…but for kids.

Like the original blogger, I wonder whether a man or woman designed this; however, odds are, it had to pass through multiple levels of approval by people of both genders, so that is really a moot point. When will “fashion” stop belittling girls? Fashion like this has stereotyped little girls and boys “forever”. Fashion is of course one of the major social cues we use to decide what gender someone is. With children (especially babies), that can be murky, so parents often resort to hyper-gendering their kids. This is not only socially acceptable, it is expected. Huge bows vs. baseball caps, camo shirts vs. pink frills. Girls generally get a little more leeway with clothing. They can wear camo as long as they have a bow, or they can wear a football jersey with a skirt. I’m just as guilty of the football jersey one as anyone else (I’ll have to post those pics sometime), but the main issue with these types of shirts is that the sparkly “girlishness” of the shirt already says “GIRL” loudly and clearly. “Girl” already carries enough baggage without attempting to  excuse some of that baggage by making it explicit. Cuteness over intellect is, sadly, still endorsed by many a college and adult woman, and some of that may be tied back to things like this.

Let’s break the cycle people! I’m almost as girly as they come (not quite, though I have been told that I “prance” when I walk), but there is a difference between being feminine and being incapable. A difference between being feminine and being lazy. Please don’t saddle children with those characteristics by putting a “cute” label on them; it isn’t cute.




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Where did you say you found that?

Welcome to a new feature I’m calling “Where did you say you found that?” Parents, you will understand. Earlier today while I was cooking supper and listening to Big Sister tell the story of “The 3 Little Pigs” (extremely entertaining. I especially enjoyed when she described the pigs pouring water down the “chim-i-ney” to get the “Bad Old Wolf”.) I found this:


Can you see what’s wrong here besides the precarious stack of pans and dingy old linoleum floor?



Did you guess? It’s shredded wheat. Two biscuits of strawberry flavored, frosted shredded wheat tucked ever-so-neatly into the mini-muffin tin. If I was a betting woman (which I’m not) I would bet money that Little Bit put those in there yesterday morning while she walked around with her “spill-proof” cup full of cereal while everyone else was getting ready for church. This is her cabinet. It’s full of loud, unbreakable stuff…perfect for 14-month-old enjoyment. It is also, apparently, filled with shredded wheat-sized storage containers.

Ah the little joys of parenting. This put a smile on my face and made me literally laugh out loud. After a weekend where “the bug” attacked hubby and the girls tag-teamed going to bed to the point where I was up until nearly 1am just waiting for both of them to be asleep at the same time, this was a joyful little treat that reminded me that the happy times far outnumber and outshine the trying ones.

Anyone have any “Where did you say you found that?” stories to share?


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Every great evening begins with the phrase…

“Let’s put as much of this stuff in our hair as we can?!!! Won’t that be fun?!!!” Oh…it was. After a pretty bummer first half of the week, I was looking for some chill time. Hubby played in a golf tournament on Thursday night, so that left the girls home alone. I really thought that meant that “chill time” was not in the cards. But, it’s funny how things work out.

While watching Tangled for the bajillionth time (yes it’s a word!), big sister was inspired to raid the “hair accessory closet” in the bathroom. This raid was punctuated by a crash followed by a loud “I’m OK!” The crash came after she stacked two step stools on top of one another trying to reach her basket of hair stuff. I dodged a bullet on that one. No twisted ankles; no bumped noggins; and she seemed to learn a lesson: If you can’t reach it with one ladder, ask for help.

With at least 7 headbands and a basket full of clips, ribbons, and ponytail holders in hand, she went back to watch her movie. I tried to just sit and watch her play with everything because it was quite entertaining. (You forget the motor skill necessary to put a ponytail in your hair until you try to teach a kid to do it.) After putting a clip and a ponytail in I got the bright idea: “What if we see how much of this stuff we can put in our hair?!” With a little apprehension (possibly brought on by how excited I was), big sister agreed…Let’s do it!!!

We clipped and ponytailed and barretted and bowed and pinned and twisted and braided and tied. As you can see by the photo, she looked fabulous….

Little sister was a little tougher to tame (as usual). I kept putting bows in her hair and she pulled them out. Then I’d put them back, she’d smile so sweetly, and then take them out. I finally succeeded at getting a headband, a clip, and a bow all in at once and tried to take a group shot:

Little bit kept walking too close to the camera

Finally got a good one!

Then I discovered hot truly difficult it is to take a good picture of the back of one’s own head, so I asked Abbey to do it. The first was too close (I mean about 6 inches from my head close) and then she got too far away (like across the room away). Finally, she took the shot below, and yes I AM wearing 3 headbands. I didn’t feel that one was enough.

Momma's awesome hair!

That was all done without a mirror. Yep, I’m talented.  I highly recommend “crazy hair night”. It was a blast. Here is a shot of the carnage:

Hair accessory explosion!

This little adventure with my sweet girls reframed and reenergized an otherwise sucky week. Sometimes it’s takes little things like this to remind me what is really important and worthwhile. Sharing this sort of time with my girls is utterly priceless.

A couple of weeks ago, hubby and I went on a mission trip with several kids from his youth group (more on that coming soon). During one of the activities, we were asked to talk about our favorite family memory. The kids mostly focused on bigger stuff: family vacations and special traditions. Personally, my favorite family memory is playing games when the power went out. We couldn’t watch TV (which my family LOVES to do…we still love it), so we had to make do. We sat in the middle of the floor and played games like Scattergories and Pictionary. Normally, my dad doesn’t like those kind of games because they don’t “require enough strategy,” but we could always get him to play when the power was out. We probably only did that two or three times my entire childhood, but I remember it vividly and very fondly. I hope my girls will remember things like this that way. Next time…their daddy is going to participate! I’m sure we have enough headbands.



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