Monday, August 29, 2011

this and that

Whew. Is it normal to start nesting a month and a half before your baby is even due?? Because it seems I've gone into overdrive with this kitchen stuff. And a big reason is because I know that once the kitchen is finished we can maybe move on to a few other projects... Painting our bedroom? Painting the guest bedroom?? Finally finishing the boys room (we painted it in January but still need to put up some trim)??? And all this by October? Probably not. But while I've got the energy I should keep doing whatever I can (For today - laundry, dishes, dinner, bread to replace the 4 loaves I burnt yesterday... yet here I sit...). So, while I'm not sharing any pictures yet, know that the floor has been primed, painted, and painted again. All done by me while Zach was at work. Wait, not true, I had help. And (I lied) here's one picture:

I didn't let them help anymore after that since I went to get the camera and when I came back Max was walking in circles with a roller full of paint. But Zach's big into letting the boys help if they express the desire. He's better at it than I am. He always reminds me, "We're not just _______ (fill in with whatever we're doing at the time: painting the floor, remodeling a kitchen...), we're raising boys." And he's right. Most of the time they want to help and it only takes a minute to figure out a way to help them feel involved. And really, they're usually bored within a minute or two and then you can get back to work. But it's not always easy to remember that in the moment.

Anyways, there's a not so updated update on the kitchen. More exciting things to come.


On a totally unrelated note, these are a few things I've been thinking about recently:

A Cup of Joe talks about How To Talk To Little Girls. Fascinating.

The article that inspired her, and me, to try harder at coming up with better things to talk about. I talked about this with my sister and she posed an interesting question: Is it because of the way that we talk to little girls that makes them love dressing up and looking pretty? Or do they just come that way? Think about it the next time you talk to a little girl. You'll be surprised at how hard it is to not say, "Wow! What a pretty dress!" or "I love your shoes!" I work in Primary at church so every Sunday I'm practicing coming up with better things to talk about with the little girls.

An article I read today about young girls and the way they dress. Scary.

That last one makes me glad that, at this point, Team Cowan is only producing boys. But then it makes me worry for my boys as well. It's hard to teach them to avoid pornography (do people realize how damaging it is?) when it's pretty much walking around everywhere we go. And it's only getting worse. And it's so surprising to me to see such young girls in such inappropriate clothing because that means that the parents are buying it for them and letting them wear it! I assume that the last way a parent would want their daughter to appear is sexual, but maybe that's not the case anymore. Yikes. I know that even as a teenager my parents had a lot of say in what I was allowed to wear. And while, at the time, I hated it and fought it, I get it now. And I appreciate it. But I'm surprised that there don't seem to be many parents who enforce those types of rules anymore.

Why not? What are your thoughts? Am I extreme? Am I naive to think that parents have any say in what girls wear? Do you think that we can change the way girls see themselves?


Tawnya said...

I have noticed that I get more comments about "how cute" my daughter is when she has a bow/flower in her hair. I am very intrigued by this way of thinkng in talking to girls. There is a quote that Marmee says in little women ( at least the monvie :) about looking beautiful feeling good, but it will fade. I wish I could find the quote. If anyone is familiar with Little Women and you know what I am talking about please share! Thanks Katie for sharing what you found. Can't wait to see your kitchen.

jen said...

I think I realized that there is a problem when I saw a girl about 6 wearing a shirt with hand prints over where breasts would be and the saying "can't touch this!". um...yeah. i think the cultural is over-the-top sexualized, especially for young girls. I fully intend to be a strict mom when it comes to dress, media, etc. And yes, parents absolutely have a say in what girls wear. Too often I think parents try so hard to be friends with their kids instead of actually parenting them.

As for the other article - I try to ask my nieces about school: what books they are reading, what sports they are playing, what they like to learn about most, etc. Most kids want to talk about themselves and their interests and not just what they are wearing.

OUR HOUSE said...

Ooooooh, good topic Katie. Being the mother of 2 girls, I feel very strongly about these issues. I talk with them a lot about their inside beauty - being kind, smart, etc. I also think that modesty should start from the day they are born - my girls wear shirts underneath clothing that doesn't have sleeves, they wear one-piece swimming suits, etc. It might be "cute", but it is a slippery slope to that "can't touch this" shirt. Shame on that mother!

Hailey said...

Can't wait to see the finished kitchen pics!

And oh my goodness, this topic is right up my alley. I majored in Soc and almost minored in Women's Studies (I know, I was totally headed for a career with a big fat paycheck. Ha.). We talked a lot about raising girls. I think part of the problem with focusing so much on how cute and pretty they are, is that when they hit the preteen years (where they don't always feel so cute anymore), they lose a sense of worth. It doesn't help that many fathers feel uncomfortable that their "cute baby girl" has grown up. Therefore, they withdraw from affection, and the daughters (again) lose a sense of self-worth.
By focusing on accomplishments, character qualities, and interests; it gives young girls more confidence. There's nothing wrong with letting them explore beauty and femininity, but it's important not to let it go too far (as pointed out above).

As for the modesty thing, I can so relate. Everything in my wardrobe had to be modest. The school I went to (near your house, apparently) had uniforms, but when we got to dress down, we still had lots of modesty rules (no sleeveless, skirts/dresses have to be below the knee, etc). And even though most girls may get annoyed with the rules (I was guilty of it), in the long run, it's something to look back and be proud of. Momma didn't raise no floozy.

robin said...

ugh. i think about this all the time. it's scary. i am appalled at the things parents let their daughters wear... it is really, really bad.

Anonymous said...

Verrrrry interesting. I am embarrassed to say that avoiding telling little girls how pretty they are or how cute their clothes are has NEVER occurred to me until I read this. But I can promise you that I will never be the same now that this idea has been planted. My 6 year old already talks about how skinny she is all the time, even one time saying, "except I'm just a LITTLE fat." WHAT?!! Why is she even thinking about that? Raising girls is so hard.