I have figured out what Mila is going to be when she grows up. Actually, I should say who because Mila is the next Richard Simmons.
Exhibit A: She's a champion motivator.
So you thought you were going to go for a leisurely walk with the baby? NOPE. She's going to yell at you if you try to be leisurely. GO FASTER! FASTER! HOORAY! WEEEEEEEE!
Seriously. The child oozes glee when you're walking/running so fast that you're at risk for heat exhaustion. But slow down and she will whip out her sad puppy eyes and make you feel like a terrible human being.
It's almost enough to make me want to be a running crazy. ALMOST.
Exhibit B: She'll watch what you eat.
By "watch" I mean "steal" and by "steal" I mean "You are never eating again." At 11 months of age, Mila has already mastered the art of grabbing a cracker out of your mouth and making you forget that you wanted it for yourself. There's no Lady and the Tramp about it. She just takes every bit of food you try to put in your mouth.
And she can sense when I'm about to eat. The kid can be happily playing in another zip code but she will know if I sit down on the couch with a bowl of ice cream. She appears like some sort of reverse Houdini and then casually reaches up and takes the entire bowl of ice cream.
It's ... bothersome. I mean, HOW DOES SHE KNOW? She always knows.
I'm just going to start hiding in the pantry when I'm hungry. I can't deal with a new (cuter) Richard Simmons.
Of all the questions in the world, Alexis had to go and ask one of the super hard ones. "Mom, are boys and girls equal?" she asked.
The question was born of a conversation between the neighbor kids. One is a boy Alexis' age and the other a girl a little bit older. They are fantastically awesome kids who I would happily declare as my own, so I know it's a pretty normal conversation for them to debate something like equality between the sexes. Apparently their conversation ended with them agreeing boys and girls are equal. The whole thing stuck with Alexis.
Per Alexis, girls are better than boys.
And how is that for an awkward sort of moment? I mean, I want to think that boys and girls are equal, but last time I checked, the world didn't seem to completely agree with that. Heck, I ran into this just this morning.
Not equal! Unfortunately!
I gave a sort of non-answer at the time that the conversation first came up. Mostly I did that because it really does depend. It's not so much that boys or girls are better, in my mind it's that each of us has our strengths and weaknesses. Some girls are smarter than some boys and some boys are stronger than some girls and blah, blah, blah.
A day went by and I started to feel bad about my non-answer. It occurred to me that it was a good invitation to a really important conversation. I needed to go ahead and walk through that door. So, I brought the whole thing up again with Alexis. Then I did what I should have done in the first place and asked for her opinion.
She still thought girls are better.
Because they're smarter.
And better at solving problems.
And at math.
And girls dress better.
And they smell better.
They're nicer, too.
So ... I chickened out. I wanted to give Alexis an age appropriate introduction to sexism. I wanted to warn her that the world doesn't work quite the way it should. I wanted to let her know that she will have to work a little bit harder just to get on a level playing field with males.
I wanted to, but I couldn't. I couldn't because I like that world she lives in. I want to live there, too. It's a fantastic place where women earn just as much in the workplace as men. It's a place where women are judged by their awesome and not by how tight their pants are.
It's a really cool place. I'm going to let her live there for another minute or two.