A while ago, some family friends came to visit us from Scotland and brought with them a mountain of gifts for the kids. Lucy had got a beautiful collection of new dresses and shoes. Upon receiving them, I took each item out of the packet to show her. Once lunch was over and we had arrived home, she promptly snatched the bag from the table and trotted off to her bedroom. There she carefully laid out each dress and started admiring it, touching the little sequins and stroking the ribbons and bows.
“Pwitee mummy, pwiteee!”
I ask you, who could resist joining in?
I sat down next to her and held one of the dresses up against her and opened the cupboard to reveal her in the mirror. The delight was palpable. Off came all her clothes and on went each and every item, all to be gazed at in her reflection. She even swayed her body from left to right as girls do.
Lucy’s adoration of clothes and shoes started when she was about 8 or 9 months old. One day, after her bath, she was sitting on my hip while a rummaged through her cupboard to get her pyjamas. Once she had seen what I had chosen for her to wear she grabbed it out of my hand, threw it to the floor and pointed at her dresses. I was quite shocked. I remember being a bit of a tomboy growing up. I wasn’t all pretty and girlie like this? I certainly haven’t encouraged it in my daughter so where the hell does it come from?
Another one of Lucy’s favourite past-times is to get the table linen out of the cupboard, bring the whole lot into the lounge and carefully lay out each napkin and place mat for everyone to see. She doesn’t just lay them out though, every corner has to be turned, every crease wiped away.
Then there is my dressing table. There is little that makes Lucy happier than being at my dressing table when I’m not there. She fiddles and faddles to her hearts content while the black mascara goes all over her clothes, the face cream is generously spread over my mirror like jam on bread and my favourite powder compact in, literally, a million pieces on the floor.
Again, I ask, pray tell, where does all this womanly behavior come from? I hear some of you saying that she’s born with it. Really? Born with adoration for something as mundane as shoes? I have a friend whose daughter aged 2 would not leave her room until all her shoes were neatly arranged in pairs and rows in her cupboard while her mother readily admits that she and her husband are as untidy as the day is long! So, you must be right. They must be born with it.
What have I learned from this: It is amazing, remarkable and wondrous to see just how much woman comes standard from day 1. Wow!