This afternoon, Libby said the words that no parent to a little girl wants to hear.
I brushed her hair, put a clip in it and put her glasses on before she went to the park. She asked me why I’d put a hair clip in and I said, “Because it looks lovely. You always look lovely and now your hair is nice and tidy as well. Shall I show you in the mirror?”
She nodded, so we went to the bathroom mirror.
She looked in the mirror and I said, “Look, what a pretty girl.”
She said, “What a not-pretty girl.” I asked what she meant and she said, “I’m not a pretty girl.”
I asked her if she knew what pretty meant and explained that it meant she looked lovely. She walked off saying, “No, I don’t look lovely.”
We had another chat about it later and I asked her why she thought she didn’t look lovely. She said that she looked like a scarecrow. Both hubby and I told her that she always looked lovely.
It’s really difficult speaking to a two year old about things like this without putting her under pressure. But I had another little chat to her later and she said that she wanted to be beautiful but she looked like a scarecrow.
I asked her who had said that she looked like a scarecrow, and she said it was just what she thought. I told her that she always looked beautiful. She didn’t say anything, but I think she was listening.
I often tell Libby how nice she looks, but perhaps I don’t do it enough.
I don’t know whether somebody has told her that she looked like a scarecrow. Her hair does have a habit of going a bit mad when she’s been playing so it could be that a child has said it innocently.
I also worry that she has perhaps overheard something that I have said about myself.
Like all little girls, Libby does copy things that I do and say. She even has her own imaginary baby who she looks after when I’m looking after Lia.
I don’t recall openly mentioning in front of Libby that I look awful, but I am definitely guilty of totally failing to make an effort with my appearance.
I only wear make up about once a month if that. Most days I don’t even get around to brushing my hair.
If I’m honest, I’d love to make an effort and look nice. But I don’t have time to put make up on in the mornings.
My clothes are all old and way past their best, but it seems pointless buying any more because I am desperately trying to find the time to do some exercise and lose a bit of weight.
Buying new clothes in my current size just seems like giving up and accepting that I’m going to stay like this.
But now I’ve heard Libby saying these things about herself, I have to put her needs first. I’m going to have to put some real thought into what has sparked this in Libby.
I’m going to try to let Libby choose what she wears and make sure that she feels that she looks nice every day before we go out.
But if it is due to the way I look and behave, then maybe it’s time for me to change.
I want my little girls to grow up knowing how beautiful they are. If I can’t give them that confidence in themselves, nobody else can.