I have my degree in Elementary Education and even though I have never actually USED my degree here in Oklahoma, it has been beneficial to use while being a stay at home mom.
One of the many important things I learned is to not treat girls and boys differently. Use gender neutral toys and remember that girls don't HAVE to wear pink and boys don't have to wear blue. Girls can play with fire trucks and shoot bad guys and they don't always have to be the damsel in distress. Believe it or not, girls can protect themselves and be the hero.
In a perfect world, this idea works. In the real world I have figured out that little girls naturally pick the tacky sequin, glitter light up shoes. They love pink outfits adorned with borrowed jewelry from mom and even if you don't buy them baby dolls, they will make EVERYTHING a baby.
Yesterday we went on a walk (again) with our baby stroller. Please note that I am not the one that throws a fit if we leave the stroller at home. She doesn't need a baby doll to go in the stroller, because there are plenty of orphaned leaves laying on the ground just begging to be loved and taken for a walk. She found them.
I do find it interesting that she came out of the womb loving animals, other babies (which is hilarious when she hugs kids her size and says, "aww my baby") and having her mothers love for costume jewelry.
I can't put on earrings without Isabelle inspecting them first. I already feel like she is a teenager telling me whether or not my outfit is "cool." I also have to paint my nails in secret or else she is in my lap wanting her toes and nails painted as well. It's cute to paint them and she LOVES it, but her baby sign really gets in the way of painted nails. She repeatedly signs, "more" as soon as I paint ONE nail, making the paint rub off. So, I have been left blowing on each nail as soon as I paint it as Isabelle says, "hot" because she associates blowing on an object as meaning that object is hot. (i.e. food, candles, etc.) I laugh though because she sounds like a tiny Paris Hilton (that's hot), which is hilarious, terrifying and soooo not hot.
Actually raising a daughter and not just reading about it in a text book, has taught me that a gender neutral life just doesn't exist for us.
I guess we are left with embracing the glitter, pink and sequins around here because I also know that hero's can wear pink.