“Girly Things”…

Recently, one of my single dad friends was looking for ideas for “girly things” to do with his daughter, who was coming to visit for the day…it made me start thinking about what that term even means…

My dad used to cook breakfast for us every morning.  I remember a couple of times we made pies together.  He also took us tobogganing, built us a go-cart and a treehouse, and took us fishing.  He taught me how to throw and catch a softball.  When I was eleven, he taught me how to drive our 1948 Ford farm tractor!  I’ll never forget the yell he let out when I “jumped” the front by letting the clutch out too fast (considering I only weighed about 60 lbs at the time, it was amazing I could push it in at all, let alone let it out slowly!).  We planted seeds in the garden, and picked apples together.  He encouraged us to climb the horse chestnut tree in the back yard.

Uncle Mal, Grandad, and Dad Doing Dishes...

My mom would put stuff back together after my dad took it apart.  She also painted the exterior of our two-storey house!  In addition to sewing a lot of our clothing, she used to design and build furniture too.  She taught me to cook and bake, and how to drive.

I have three daughters, a stepdaughter, and a granddaughter – I should be an expert on “girly things.”  Our downstairs kids’ bathroom is a mess of ponytail holders, hair dryers and straighteners, and nail polish!

I’ve always told my girls that there are only three things men can do that women can’t:

1. Father a child.

2. Pee standing up (we can do that too, but it’s messy).

3. Show somebody their Adam’s apple.

My children know that there’s no such thing as “girl toys” or “boy toys.”  Hope wanted a firetruck for her fifth birthday, and we got her one (she also had lots of baby dolls).

Instead of thinking of “girly things” to do with your daughter, why not come up with activities which will strengthen her self-esteem, and her bond with her dad? 

1. Take her to the library.  Show her some of your favourite books when you were a kid – she might like “The Hardy Boys.” I did!

2. Take her for a drive to a place you like – tell her why.

3. Take her to a movie that both of you will enjoy – Pixar has come out with some excellent 3-D movies lately.

4. Play computer games with her.  Jim and Brianna play WOW together.

5. Go to the park and swing together.

Hope on the Swing...

6. Go for a walk on the beach and look for pretty stones or shells.

7. Think of an art project to do together – maybe a present for a grandparent.

8. Take her to the driving range or the batting cage – my niece, Taylor, goes golfing with my brother.

9. Cook or build something together.

10. Teach her to do something you’re good at.

11. Go to a concert or a play together.

12. Take her to a go-cart track, and let her drive.

Kaylee and Hope at the Go-Cart Track...

Your kid doesn’t care if you do “girly things” with her…she just wants to do stuff with her dad!

Uncle Neal and Cousin Caryn on the Unicycle...

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8 Comments

Filed under memories, rants, self-discovery

8 responses to ““Girly Things”…

  1. My brothers taught me how to throw a football and I have been forever grateful – typical “girl stuff” doesn’t hold as much appeal for me and never has – I would caution him to play to his audience!

    • The friend I wrote it for really seemed to appreciate the ideas I offered…I like to think he did at least a couple of them with his daughter! I never played football, but I played soccer, baseball and floor hockey with my brother and his friends…I also did things like roll oil barrels across the back yard with my feet…that was fun! Thanks for checking out the post, Deanna! Wendy

  2. “Your kid doesn’t care if you do “girly things” with her…she just wants to do stuff with her dad!”

    Right on… I couldn’t agree more! 🙂

  3. My dad always had some or other project going on in his garage over weekends, and he was (still is) always very patient with us girls asking him millions of questions and messing things up. Fun memories 🙂

    That is good advice, Wendy!

  4. Wendy this is beautiful, and so true! I just love your list. You hit the nail on the head when you said girls don’t want to do girlie things, they just want to be with their dads.

    I’m blessed to have a hands-on dad myself. He taught me how to clean the pool and change a flat tire. He’s always believed the girls are equal to boys, which is great, because he has two daughters.

    Great post. 🙂

    • Thanks, Melissa…coming from a family of strong women as I do (my mom was one of four girls), I think it’s really important that girls be raised to be strong and independent! Glad you liked the post! Wendy

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