Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tickled Pink with My Girly Girl

Sierra Leigh and me
Memorial Day 2016 on Monroe Mountain

When I gave birth to Sierra, I had doubts of being an adequate mother for my little pink bundle of joy. I didn't even know how to do hairstyles for a daughter. I worried over silly things because she was a very different little girl than I had been. Sierra loved dresses, frills, lace, sparkly sequins and glitter, and all things girly. 

We're similarly dressed. I'm in jeans and a jean jacket, and Sisi is in a denim dress. Close enough.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I had been a tomboy. I cried when I had to wear a dress, and whenever my mom tried to curl my hair, I would douse my head in the sink, preferring my hair plastered to my skull than dolled up with those ridiculous curls. I wondered how I could possibly meet her needs because I couldn't relate to my little girly-girl who wanted to wear dresses, and have her hair curled with ribbons and bows. 

When I was little, I had played touch football and Army guys with the neighbor boys. Sisi loved Barbies and dolls. My favorite color had been blue, and I enjoyed the rough and tumble play of the boys my age. Her room always looked like a war zone of pink and tulle; her organizational skills wouldn't become apparent until she became an adult. Sisi took dance lessons, and she became a cheerleader. Our childhoods were very different. 

One day after a big summer downpour, my little princess wanted to join her big brother and his friends catching pollywogs. As usual, she was dressed to the nines in her dress, frilly socks, and patent leather shoes. I told her there was no way she could go play in the mud in that outfit; she had to change into play clothes. Her face brightened, and she scurried down the hall to her bedroom. 

My face fell when she emerged, dressed from head-to-toe as a ballerina, complete with pink tights and leotard, tutu, and leather ballet slippers. We had a quick discussion as to what constitutes appropriate play clothes for tadpole hunting. There were tears; I'm sure. Sierra just loved to dress up and look pretty.

When she was a preschooler, I wanted to have a professional portrait done. I couldn't let her know of my plan until the last minute because I knew she would balk. 

It was near Easter, and baby chicks were arriving at the local Intermountain Farmers' store. I thought she would look adorable in bare feet with a pair of cut-off jeans and a white t-shirt, surrounded by fluffy, yellow chicks. 

Long story short, she hated the idea. Again, there were tears. I had to do some fast negotiating to make things happen. No, she couldn't wear her frilly socks or patent leather shoes, but I would curl her hair the way she liked. No, she couldn't have her new Easter purse in the picture, but she could take it to the studio. By the time I had talked her into doing the picture, I was afraid I'd never get a smile out of her during the session. 

I shouldn't have worried. She was a trouper, and the pictures are still some of my favorites. I'd like to say she doesn't have any bad memories of that day, but that would be a lie. It took a long time, but I think I've finally been forgiven for the baby chick pic. 

There was no convincing her to wear pants, even in the snow.

Sisi wore dresses whenever she could get away with it, until the day she wanted to try riding our new horse when she was a second grader. I sent her marching back upstairs to change clothes when she came down in a dress. I suggested she wear jeans; she was mortified. We compromised with some leggings she could wear under her dress. Her solution was to peel off the leggings at the back door as soon as she was done riding, so she could get back to looking pretty as soon as possible. 

During this Memorial Day weekend, Chuck did a few photo sessions with all of our Utah kids. As you might expect, I wore slacks; Sierra wore a skirt. When we went up Monroe Mountain, she wore her favorite "pants," Lycra workout capris, without a dress, I might add. She'll probably never be comfortable in jeans, but at least she outgrew wearing tutus for casual occasions. 

Sierra will always be my girly-girl, and I'm okay with that. I'm more than okay; I'm tickled pink that she's my little princess.

Sierra is pretty in blue, too.

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