People are so weird:

My three-year-old daughter Alice is obsessed with pink and princesses. She spends most of the day pretending to be a princess (I’m the prince and I get to rescue her on my horse), or a bride (I have to propose, give her flowers and then we get married) or a mummy (there’s nothing quite as humiliating as a

three-year-old pretending to change your nappy and calling you stinky).

Why? Why is it humiliating? The child is hitting developmental milestones on time. This is great news. My Klara plays all the same games and I’m psyched. (And if she wanted to play different kinds of games, I’d also be psyched. A child who doesn’t know how to play at age 3 is cause for concern. A child who does is developing normally.)

It’s hard to unlearn seeing the child as an extension of your self right after they are born. But three years in it should be clear that it’s not a child’s job to validate your ideology.

Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel I have to justify her traditionally feminine tastes? Why do I think other people are judging me for having a girly girl?

An this is precisely the problem. A narcissist sees the child as a mirror and constantly frets about the image of herself that the child projects to others.

The author of the article says she’s hiding her disapproval of the toddler’s interests and preferences but that’s all bonk. Children know when mommy doesn’t really like them. It’s an evolutionary survival mechanism. What creates insecure, miserable people isn’t “society.” It’s mommy’s disappointed gaze.

2 thoughts on “”

  1. It wouldn’t even occur to me to consider a toddler pretending I’m a baby or pretending to change my diaper is “feminine.” Almost all toddlers are fascinated by babies. This roleplaying is also a way to process their life struggles; my coworker’s son once had someone else pretend to be a baby while he was mommy, and then he pretended to leave for work while ignoring that the baby was crying and didn’t want him to leave. It seem this writer, deep down, buys more into gender roles than I do. Although I suspect the real issue with this particular game is that she cannot stand to be subordinate to her child even in a roleplay.


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