What is pretty? I found myself asking my soon to be four year old this last night and the answer really surprised me.
If you follow me on social media (FB, Insta, Twitter) you would know that Aidan is quite, how shall we say; verbal. From the first time he started speaking properly he has said the most interesting things even getting me in to trouble. So yesterday’s conversation was not uncommon for us.
At night I will lay in bed with him and chat to him about his day. My dad used to work night shift quite a lot when I was growing up and I remember him coming home and sitting at the end of my bed to find out how my day was, it built a very strong bond between us and I wanted this for Aidan and myself.
So yesterday Aidan tells me someone we know isn’t very pretty to him. I told him that it was not very nice to say someone was not pretty, he then argued that he said “pretty to him” which didn’t mean they weren’t pretty to other people. (yes he is four next month, yes I’m going to need help)
I then asked him who he thought was pretty… He mentioned three girls at his school saying that two of them where a little pretty and one was a lot pretty. See now a lot of things went through my mind in this moment, the three girls are three different races, and the one he was calling a lot pretty does tick more of the conventional boxes. So here I am looking at this kid thinking, is it a racial thing? Is it a societal thing? Is he a little misogynists putting girls in “order” of pretty to okay looking. He is a preschooler, we can’t have that! (well at no age can we have that, but stay with me here)
So I took a deep breath and asked “Aidan, what is pretty to you” His response?
“Pretty is when you are nice to people, you smile a lot, you share and you aren’t mean” My friend ….. is very pretty because she is always those things and the other two are a little pretty because sometimes they fight and are mean.
My eyes welled up. See I never discussed the concept of pretty with him. He just made his own judgement call. I know this won’t last forever #puberty BUT for now I am so proud of him and even prouder that he thinks I am “the prettiest, because you always do nice things for people”.
I know as moms/parents we tend to take those parenting fails REALLY seriously so in this case,I am going to take this win and run with it and work on being even prettier to my son.