I’ve always been skeptical of women who say they don’t like other women, preferring the company of men. It makes me think she must be insecure and only comfortable with herself when basking in the attention of those who might tell her she looks hot in those jeggings.
So it freaks me out that more than a few friends have told me lately that June is shaping up to be a “guy’s girl,” a real dude hanger-on. “She doesn’t seem to like women at all,” one acquaintance said. “But when a guy shows up, she’s all smiles and hugs and open arms.”
Not true, I want to respond. June is all about the sisterhood! She’s going to be at least a sixth wave feminist. Can’t you tell by her gender neutral bedroom painted yellow where there is not one Barbie doll or baby doll or princess inspired thing present? Her mom is only truly comfortable in the company of other women, I want to say. I still get weird and tongue tied whenever I have to make normal, non stilted conversation with a good looking guy not my husband. I usually end up talking about dish soap or echinacea or something equally stupid.
Or worse, when a woman says my daughter is a girl’s guy, I find myself thinking, “Well, maybe that’s because you never look happy to see her. I wouldn’t run up to you either, poker face.” And then I realize that’s probably the same rationalization a pageant mom uses when she finds out none of the other pageant girls like her little beauty queen; they’re just jealous of her grace and beauty and hair extensions.
Still, it’s a hard to accept that June is only two and she’s already being labeled a hussy, the town jezebel by some around here. At least wait until she starts dancing with a live python before you make that claim, I want to say.
June has this habit of running up to strange men — young, strapping good looking men — with her arms extended as if to say, “Wanna cuddle, hottie?” I have yet to see a man who can resist this. The men bend down and scoop her up, she bats her eyelashes a few times then casually inserts her thumb in her mouth, and the next thing I know, the guys are down on their hands and knees offering to play horsey.
Last night we were at a party here in horse country Virginia where there were a lot of cowboys present; young studdly he-men in tight Wranglers and big cowboy hats, wearing snap front shirts and drinking light beer.
June kept running up to groups of cowboys, pulling up her shirt to expose her bare chest, then running away to another group of men, where she’d do the same thing. The cowboys roared with laughter every time she exposed herself, and the more they laughed, the more they egged her on. It was only a matter of time before she’d be down to her diaper and a smile.
I watched this from across the room. It was cute and harmless but kind of weird too; seeing my two-year-old imprint with the need for male attention while I sat there drinking beer, thinking is how Britney Spears probably got her start. My friend Nellie sat next to me.
“June is such a lot lizard,” Nellie said, referring to a prostitute who hangs around truck stops looking for tricks.
I laughed, but it was enough to make me get off my butt and go get my kid. As a parent, I don’t want to over-think what is otherwise innocent and innocuous behavior but I don’t want to encourage a strip-tease either.
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