“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” I guess my childhood obsession (Snow White) goes deeper than I thought. I’ve recently concluded that I’m raising a vain baby… and I don’t want it any other way.
It all started innocently enough: When LadyP was a newborn, I’d stand in front of the mirror holding her over my shoulder (upright, to burp her) and watch her reflection to see if she was spitting up, crying, still alive, etc. That simple act quickly turned into me catching her gaze and making her smile by singing, bouncing and making funny noises (as we both stared into the mirror at each other). The more I’d play, sing and dance with her though the reflection, the more she laughed and loved it. We’d lock eyes and it was an instant 2-gal party. I’d sing and choreograph entire musical numbers off the top of my head while holding her and “performing” for ourselves in front of the mirror. It passed the time, made me laugh and made her happy. I was like a sideshow act (still am, actually).
I soon noticed (when she was a few months old) that our mirror playtime became more than just playtime. She’d catch herself in any mirror we passed, whether at home, at the mall, in a restaurant… and get dramatic if I didn’t stop and let her gaze at herself for a little while. Two seconds in front of any mirror and she’d get a big smile on her face and coo at herself. If I turned her back towards her reflection, she’d struggle to crane her neck all the way around in order to see herself. She’d find the mirror in her jungle-gym, roll over to it and giggle at herself. The only thing that would calm her down as she screamed bloody-murder during her baptism was the mirror in our church’s choir room. I wish I was kidding.
Great. I’m raising a vain girl. Just what the world needs. But after further thought, I’m realizing it might not be such a bad thing. Too many young girls and women struggle with happiness because they don’t feel secure within themselves. I think I speak for a lot of moms when I say that we strive to raise daughters who are confident from the inside out. Looking in the mirror – and liking yourself – is something that many women struggle with. I have. We all do. I do NOT want my daughter to… if I can help it. She’s only a baby, but LadyP is happy when she looks in the mirror. I can only pray that it stays that way throughout her entire life. Life coaches often tell us to stand in front of our mirrors – every day – and say what we like about ourselves. Positive affirmations and liking yourself are good things. Loving yourself is not shallow, it’s the foundation for achieving success.
Of course, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance… but that’s what moms are there for (to make sure that line isn’t crossed). With any luck, and some good old fashioned moderated mirror-time, we can all live happily ever after.