Thursday, June 5, 2008

What Would You Do If Someone Told You...

My husband brought home a nice little children's picture book about the life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (of the suffrage movement). It's been very interesting reading it to my girls because it has really shown a vast difference in personality.

Last week, Swimmer Girl and I read the book together. Snuggled nicely on the couch, I started to read the first page:

"What would you do if someone told you you couldn't be what you wanted to be because you were a girl --"

"What?!" Swimmer Girl shrieked. "That's insane! Who would think such an incredibly stupid thing? What would give them the right? I would just do what God called me to do anyway! I wouldn't listen to them, and if I did it would only be to tell them that they're wrong..."

I couldn't get a word in edge-wise, and after her indignation wore off, I finally finished reading the book. It's probably a good thing for the men in this country that the suffrage movement happened long before she arrived on the scene. She's a force I really wouldn't want to offend.

Then, yesterday, I was reading the book with my younger two, Nappy and Princess Ballerina. I started off again, "What would you do if someone told you you couldn't be what you wanted to be because you were a girl."

Then I waited for a reaction. None. Nappy was busy looking at the pictures and the Princess Ballerina was just sitting there with a completely docile look on her face.

"Well," I asked her, "What do you think?"

"What?" she replied.

"Well, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A zoo keeper!! I really really really want to be a zoo keeper!" She emphatically answered.

I must admit I was a little shocked by this dramatic change from wanting to be a princess to wanting to be someone who cleaned up animal poo. Something tells me that she doesn't understand that being a zoo keeper means a bit more than snuggling cute baby animals.

"What if someone told you you couldn't be a zoo keeper because you were a girl?"

"Oh, well, then I'd just pick something else. I mean, maybe they're right. I don't know. I just know it's not worth arguing about. "

Needless to say we had a nice little discussion about how some things are worth arguing about.

Several days later, we were driving in the car, and the topic came up again. Nappy said, to the Princess Ballerina, "What would you do if someone told you you couldn't be what you wanted to be because you were a girl?"

"I know I know..." she replied with great resignation, "I'd have to argue with them, because some arguments are worth it, and I shouldn't do something different just because I'm a girl, even if I'd rather not argue and just pick a different job."

"Well," replied Nappy, "I'd just whap 'em and then be happy."

Three girls. Three different hair colors. Three different attitudes. And all three are mine!


Mrs. C said...

HEY!! I just posted on this very idea!! I'm not aloneeee!!

MarlaQuack said...

I'll hold'em down while Nappy whaps'em.

Hey is that Nappy in a fancy new wheelchair that was made for her?