8th March 2016 - International Women's Day. In lots of ways we've come a long way in the last 100 years or so, when proud, strong individuals with feminist persuasions chained themselves to railings in protest at gender inequality in dress coats and petticoats. Its a bygone era and thanks to those who were, and those who still are, courageous enough to stand up for the female voice huge strides have been made in society, business and politics.
I found out at scan number two that "Little Legs" was 'pink'. I admit now, I was excited at the prospect of doing her hair and dressing her up and having a little side kick. The idea was so completely thrilling for me having grown up in an all female family (my poor long suffering Dad never gets enough credit!).
So she wore floral baby grows and wore corsages in her hair (okay, I wrapped oversized flowers around her teeny bald head) - and for the first year, she was calm and tranquil and well....finding her feet for sure because once she turned a year, it all changed!
I was always chasing her, and changing her more times in a day than Beyoncé changes at an awards ceremony. She was into everything and LOUD! At two, people were marvelling at her ability to hold full blown conversations with me, and now she is three she is a real life 'little woman'. She is long and lean and articulate and smarter than I could ever have imagined at such a tender age.
Honestly though, she has made me realise that it was never my right to mother a 'pink princess'. She is affectionate and cuddly but she has a right pair of lungs on her and believe me, she's not afraid to use them!
She loves her Cinderella dress up, but don't bother with the glass slippers - if its not teamed with her hot pink Adidas Torsions (trainers to you and I) then she's not going to the ball.
I must discuss 'please' and 'thank you' with her 10 times a day because she has the phrase 'I want' on copyright! Yet she is kind and caring and smile lights me up.
Did I mention she's almost taller than me?!? Everyone remarks on how 'big' she is for a girl and I still find myself blustering sometimes - explaining, justifying with responses like; "Well her dad is 6ft 2'' so that's where she gets it, and she eats really well.....but not too well mind!' blah blah blah. Who cares?! She's her own person, an individual.....a little miracle.
International Women's Day stands as a beacon. A celebration that we have come such a long way as a sex. I also feel as though it came as a personal reminder to me. Even my own subconscious attitude about the idea of girls being 'girly girls' creeps in at times and this inspiring day made me realise that I still need to challenge that perception of females and as a parent.
I have the responsibility to uphold that more than ever. By embracing my children for who they are, boy or girl, and by channelling and celebrating their ideas, their creativity, their kindness, their leadership skills, their loyalty, their energy, their ambition - and not comparing and judging and 'pigeon holing' them, can I help breed and sustain equality? Can I help neutralise the gender divide and make all things possible for everyone?
I love my children. I love them equally. For their similarities that remind me that we are a unit, that they are made from me. But also for their differences, their uniqueness, the things that make them stand out.
I've promised myself that the next time she runs in to the living room with her tutu and tiara on ready for ballet class and I see a flash of hot pink Adidas at her heels, I won't sigh inside.....hip hop ballet is in, right?? It is in our house anyway and that will always be alright by me.