The little clowncars did cheerleader training last week, where they spent a week learning cheers and then did a little cheer session with 120 other little girls at halftime of a basketball game.
And while they were cute (and they were very cute), you could see the beginnings of cliques and competition and an obsession with hair and clothes and social rank. Boys grow up learning how to compete, how to win and lose and move on regardless of the outcome. I don't think girls get that kind of training. Perhaps I'm being sexist. But my experience has been, when girls compete, they get mean. Some of them do, anyway. There were mean girls at the cheerleading training. And these girls are like 6 and 7 years old!
My youngest is strong-willed and independent enough to develop a healthy self-image on her own, I think. But my oldest is already trying to style her hair and clothes like the big girls every morning. I fear she will get sucked into the whole social status abyss.
And while they were cute (and they were very cute), watching them quite literally made my stomach hurt with anxiety.
It is so much easier growing up as a boy than it is as a girl.