Parenting stuff: Pink & frilly is not so scary


In the sales after Halloween last year I bagged an awesome glow in the dark skeleton outfit for Small Stuff for the grand sum of 80p.  Woohoo!

I actually remember and locate this purchase almost a year on.  Alright!

Try it on Small Stuff, fits like a glove, she looks adorable.  Winning!

Then Small Stuff tells me “I don’t want to wear skeleton clothes.”

I explain she doesn’t have to keep the outfit on now, it’s to wear on Halloween when we plan to have a little tea party with some of her friends.

“But I’m going to be a beautiful fairy.“  Small Stuff tells me yanking at the skeleton outfit.

I tell her Halloween is about being spooky, not pretty (I don’t go in for this “anything goes” lark.  You have to have an air of the supernatural about you, no matter how cutesy.)  I tell her she can even have her face painted but no dice.  The outfit is now crumpled around her feet and she tells me through wobbly lips that she really wants to be a fairy at “Hawwoween.”

I remind myself that the purpose of the tea party is for Small Stuff to enjoy herself so I relent and order a “Pretty witch” outfit for her that features an all important pink tutu and ribbon trim.

Then I feel a bit miffed

I’ve always tried to steer Small Stuff away from pink and frilly.  When she was a baby she had quite a rosy skin tone and kitting her out in pink rompers made her look rather similar to Pooh’s mate Piglet but aside from this, I knew friends, family and the world would push pink on her and I didn’t want to put her in the pink princess mould from day one

Now it seems that she is going to pirouette down the pink path anyway, my first instinct was to discourage her.  Why?!  Surely placing limitations on her is what I wanted to avoid in the first place, why impose them myself?

The important thing is she has choice, that pink is not off-limits but she is exposed to a world beyond it,  that she knows nothing is “just for girls” or “just for boys.”

So if choosing pink and frilly makes her happy, then so be it.  If she takes after her mother it’ll only be a matter of time before she’s dressing in black and attempting to tattoo her Barbies with felt pens and hair grips anyway.

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