Today’s post is written by Marcia Siekowski. Marcia wrote “Confessions of a Twin Mom – Fur Babies” which was featured on Writing is Communication in September of 2016. Marcia has been published in TWINS Magazine and Durham Parents of Multiples Newsletter.
The Penis Chronicles presents “Sugar and Spice”
“Sugar and spice and all things nice,
Kisses sweeter than wine,
Sugar and spice and all things nice,
You know that little girl is mine.”
(Songwriter: Fred Nightingale)
I remember this saying hanging on my wall as a little girl. It seems sweet and innocent, but is this really the message that we want to convey to our daughters? I have twin 4-year-old girls and it’s nothing like I expected. They are not typical girls–they don’t sit quietly and play with their dolls. They aren’t quite as rambunctious as boys, but somewhere in between. I certainly would not call them “sugar and spice”. My feminist side cringes reading this…no wonder women are set up to fail. It’s the start of a perfect image that can never be attained, one that is perpetuated by media and gender stereotypes throughout a girl’s life. Sweet, but with the right amount of spice. Too much spice and you’re a slut or a bitch. Too little and you’re a prude.
The mother in me says, “Yeah? You try and fit my girls into that box. Good luck to you!” I try to encourage their spirits at every opportunity because I don’t want them to succumb to peer pressure or societal norms. I want them to be themselves and not become victims. Do I worry about this happening anyways? Of course, I do. I wouldn’t be a mother if I didn’t. The flip side is that my girls are wild and crazy and independent.
Here are some things I never thought I would say as a mother:
– “Take that spoon out of your kooter!”
– “Wash your face first then your bum.”
– “If you’re going to play with that unplug it first.”
– “Eat the rest of your froot loops before they get soggy.”
– “Just sit down and watch TV.”
– “You have to put on underwear for school.”
– “Wipe it on my shirt.”
– “Either you let me wash your hair or I’m cutting it off.”
– “You can pee on the grass at home, but not at school.”
– “If you touch your bum you need to wash your hands after…why? Because you have bum juice on your hands.”
This is all well and good for toddlers, but what about as they get older? My strategy is to get them into sports. Team sports. None of the sporty girls I knew in high school did drugs or got caught up in chasing boys. They had something to focus on, something they enjoyed but kept them balanced. They also learn that their worth isn’t in their looks or their sexuality. I have a difficult time (as do many others, I think) not commenting on how cute they look at this age. It’s hard to pick out things you can safely comment on without referring to their bodies at all. It’s extremely important, but difficult. They haven’t necessarily developed interests or strengths that you can comment on academically or recreationally. Even as they get older, you call one smart…does that mean the other one isn’t, by default? What safe comments can you make that don’t objectify and don’t compare against others? We are all making it up as we go along and hoping that we’re doing the right thing. I think the most powerful thing we can do is be the example.
My hope is that they will learn how to say no, when to say yes, what it means to be a friend, who to trust, and where their spirit can take them. If there is a victim, a villain, and a hero in every story, I hope they make an effort not to be the villain or the victim. Most of all, I want them to live every moment, laugh every day, and love beyond words. So that’s what I hung on the wall in their room and this is the example that I strive to show.
By Marcia Siekowski – 2018
Marcia is mom to 4-year-old twin girls named Camryn and Maya and a 7-year-old Hungarian Vizsla named Maggie. They spend as much time as possible outside and enjoy reading and running. Marcia subscribes to the “no mom judgement”, “let the kids work it out”, and “set the bar low” approaches to parenting.
**The Penis Chronicles is a weekly platform for sharing childcare stories, advice and etcetera. Raising children is an adventures! And please, I know the title says “penis chronicles”, but stories about raising girls are very much welcome. Please post and share your link and/or your comments in the comments section below and then share this link on your social media.**