Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Girly Girls

No one would ever accuse me of being a girly-girl.

Yes, I have a large collection of tea pots and tea accessories. True, I have watched nearly every episode of Little House on the Prairie, some many times over. But beyond these two facts, my girly-girl resume is sparse indeed.

Ainsley’s birth may change all that.

Her arrival brought an avalanche of pink that has just barely begun to ebb. Let me put her birth in proper context. My oldest three children are boys. My husband is one of four boys, and one of six male cousins in that branch of the family. As of Summer 2009, these six cousins had produced twelve grandsons. Ainsley was lucky number thirteen - the first girl in over 70 years.

Minutes after her birth – I’m not sure she was even bathed yet – we had the cell phones humming, calling relatives and friends with the particulars. I rang my friend Kathy and got her son on the phone.

“She’s out buying something pink,“ Tony informed me. Ainsley wasn’t ten minutes old. Apparently good news does indeed travel fast.

Of course my friends insisted on a shower, even though this was my first fourth baby. Oh the fluff! Ainsley owns two tutus. When Rachel Balducci shared that Isabel’s birth brought so much girly stuff that even the dryer lint turned pink, I knew exactly what she was talking about.

Still, I didn’t think I myself had changed. Sorting through clothes one afternoon, I pulled out a tiny pair of overalls that had survived the infancy of all three boys. I’ll put them on Ainsley, I thought. Jeans are unisex, right?

Ummm, no. One glance at Ainsley in boys’ pants convinced me that this was just plain wrong. Something clearly was lacking. A grosgrain ribbon on the cuff, a ruffle on the backside, a flower here or a strawberry there. Back to storage they went.

My recent attempt at mass consigning brought me up into the attic once again. All infant items are headed across the street to a pregnant friend or across town to the consignment sale. As I climbed out of the attic, I grabbed John’s potty chair.

“Ummm, don’t you have one more kid to potty train,“ a curious friend asked.

Why yes, yes, I do. But as I carried the potty chair down the stairs, I instinctively knew that Ainsley will have a pink potty. Will it sport Dora or – big cringe here – Barbie? I can’t say for sure, but it will be pink.

An odd but unmistakable metamorphosis has occurred around here and in me.

Most of the time, the boys take the fluff in stride. They flat adore their baby sister, so they’re willing to tolerate the rush of girly-girl stuff. I did find her doll trussed hand and foot and lying on our prayer table as though ready for a fake human sacrifice. Another doll was rescued after being stuffed head first into a bongo drum. When Venus and Mars collide, there’s bound to be some collateral damage.

No matter how you slice it, Ainsey-girl and I are still in the minority. Planes, trains, and automobiles outnumber dolls a thousand to one. Ainsley continues to teeth on Legos and match box cars.

As for me, I am enjoying all the pink and looking forward to the day I add Little House on the Prairie to our Netflix queue.

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