Nature vs. Nurture, Princesses, and Old Pictures That Make Me Want to Cry

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Halloween 2010

Libbie’s favorite Disney movie is Jingle and the Lion Beast.

What, you don’t know that one?

It all started last Christmas, right before David was born. My mom brought Libbie a copy of Beauty and the Beast, a Belle doll, and a few other related items. Libbie carried them around and after a while came back and asked, “Where my Jingle go?”

My mom, Mr. V, and I were all slightly befuddled. Her Jingle? HUH? One of us finally surmised that she meant the Belle doll. Being that it was the week before Christmas, Libbie had gotten well-acquainted with “Jingle Bells.” (So well, in fact, that she would sing “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle ALL THE WAY” repeatedly for an hour. Just those words.) Thus her only reference for “Belle” was “Jingle Bells.”


Belle has been Jingle in our house ever since. We don’t try to correct her, because it’s too cute. Someday she’ll learn. If you ask Libbie what Jingle’s full name is, she will tell you: Jingle Belle.

I never thought I would have a princess-obsessed daughter. Libbie’s never seemed like much of a girly-girl to me; she will always dress herself in jeans and a t-shirt, and frilly dresses just don’t seem to suit her. She’s an active kid, a little bit of a wild child, a running, flailing, screaming girl.

But by and by she’s become attached to those Disney princesses just like every other little prima donna. Seeing Cinderella’s castle at Disney World was a highlight of her short life. Meeting – and HUGGING – “Jingle” has been talked about in our house for the last five months.

She has wall decals, a Vtech game, dolls, movies, and books. And I continue to wonder … how did this happen? But loving pink and taking care of babies seems as ingrained in her as her blood type. She was patting her babies and putting them down for naps before David even came along. She can turn any scrap of fabric into a blankie, any oblong thing into a bottle. Just like David can turn anything he can hold in his fist into a ball.

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Libbie’s favorite “toy,” made into a baby bottle

Yet, I am still glad she will play with trains and cars with the best of them. I will let David cook alongside me just like his sister does. While I acknowledge their natural differences, I will nurture all sides of them.

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2 thoughts on “Nature vs. Nurture, Princesses, and Old Pictures That Make Me Want to Cry

  1. I don't care what people say, it's totally a nature thing. I, too, have a tomboy daughter who is obsessed with all things frilly. And she has loved taking care of her baby dolls long before she understood that there would be a real baby in the house. Nature, nature, nature.

    (calling belle "jingle" is about the cutest thing i've ever heard.)

  2. I LOVE it. I only have one child–a little girl–and I do my best to let her choose her own way on questions like dolls and toy cars. She loves Abby Cadabby on Sesame Street as much as she loves Thomas the Tank Engine. I'm glad.

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