The other week I sang the chorus of that new Pussycat Dolls song, I Hate This Part, to baby during one of her whimpery moments. Guess I’m better versed in the lyrics to modern pop than Mother Goose. And voilà, as the French love to say, a smile appeared on her little face. So for a few days I kept trying that chorus to calm her down, with varied success. Later I played the video on Youtube for her, and I swear she started coohing. And then I started to think, maybe a six-month old shouldn’t be so enamored of scantily clad singers.
I know it’s still too early to get too concerned. But from the moment we knew we would be having a girl, we (but especially my husband) started worrying about how to handle adolescence. It’s true that there are just more things to worry about with girls. How can you teach them to be modest and discreet without dropping them off at the nunnery at age 12? My husband thinks encouraging her to be good in school should help her avoid some of the pitfalls of the teenage years. But I warn him that at the same time, kids who have too much pressure on them are sometimes the first to rebel.
Another aspect of raising a girl that concerns me is showing her that she can (well, needs to) be independent and not let other people tell her what a girl can or can’t do. Then I start to wonder if I’m really a good role model for this. Lately my own plucky streak has gone into hiding. What good will that be in teaching her how to be a strong woman? Maybe I could learn a thing or two from those Pussycat Dolls myself…
In the meantime, I guess I’ll brush up on the lyrics to those good old nursery rhymes. What kind of feminist message is there in Mary Had a Little Lamb?