They’re funny ol things, our children. In some respects my first born, Lara, is just like me – that stubborn gene has pushed its way through the generations refusing to get watered down with time. It sometimes feels like walking smack-straight into a glass door coming into contact with her willfulness. And her stubbornness against mine is like the clash of the Titans (I’m not convinced that’s the right metaphor but it sounds good).
We have lots of other things in common; we’re both pretty quirky (sometimes downright odd), when we are focused on something no amount of enticing conversation or shouting will break our concentration and (I’m told) we’re both super-melodramatic.
Where we differ however is the girliness, the pinkness if you will. When I was a little girl I was desperate to be a boy. Desperate. My best friend was a boy called Johnny and we’d have weeing competitions up against the fence – him with his willy and me with my makeshift one – a dishwashing liquid bottle full of water. I had serious penis envy. I made up a song that I sang through most of my childhood:
‘I wish I was a boy but I’m not one really,
I wear boys’ clothes but I’m not one really,
I act like a boy but I’m not one really…’ and so on ad infinatum
My daughter however is a princess. A full-blown, pink (dark pink, please) long haired, fluttery eyed princess. She wears the same dark pink ‘one heart thing’ ballerina dress every. Single. Day. If for some reason that one is out of circulation (like ummm being washed?) then she has a 'many heart thing' on standby. Another ballerina type dress but this one pale pink with many hearts making up a big heart in the middle. It's second best because it's not dark pink and because it doesn't have built in chuppies (pants). But in a fix it will do.
It was her fourth birthday last week. She wanted a ballerina/princess cake. Oh how I laughed. Themed birthday cakes are not in my repertoire of skills. Nor is baking, frankly. Then a friend said it was really easy, just make a cake, decorate it pink and stick a Barbie on the top. She even lent me a suitable baking dish thingy. So we gave it a go, my daughter and I. It wasn’t much to look at if you compare it to some and it tasted pretty odd. As I say baking is not my forte (I have other talents) and the butter for the icing was pretty cheesy but I was mightily impressed with the outcome. We had to decapitate Barbie (actually cut her off at the waist – is there a word for that?) which I must admit was possibly more satisfying than it should have been. And taking her torso out the cake later, all covered in red-pink icing was really quite deliciously gruesome.
She looks rather terrified, doesn’t she? But I suppose I would too if my hair was that flammable and had candles in such close proximity….
I hope I haven't set a precedent (the cake baking that is, not the barbie severing)...
The long abandoned picture window. Now our view is not only blocked by thorn trees but also a great big trampoline! Lucky lucky Lara got a trampoline for her birthday from my parents-in-law. Gertu, Julie and I were all gung-ho about setting it up. 'We can do this! We're girls but just you watch, we don't need any help from any men!' Until we got to the brute force bit and I sheepishly had to wait for Mark to come back from work to finish it off.