Call & Response For A Two-Year Old – {Part 2}

Mama!  Mama!  Look!

Opening the back door from the tight entry way that serves as the in-between from the kitchen to the great outdoors I found myself in the tension between two responses:

“Seriously!  Give me a moment, will ya?”  and dropping every single item in my arms to race to her side because, let’s face it, I’m a sucker for cuteness.

With great thanks to the years of patience training under the supervision of two children under the age of two I quickly placed the box of Aldi goods on the counter and joined Little Tomato and Jake in the dining room.

There she was, right arm grasping the worn wooden chair spindles of our dining room set, purchased 33 years previous by my parents, propping herself, standing on one leg.

“Now tell Mama what you learned.” Jake encouraged.  “Tell Mama what healthy is.”

“Beautiful.”  she replied.

“And where are you beautiful?”

“Inside and out.”

Healthy is

And you are beautiful
Inside and out.
As she stood there on one leg I couldn’t help but think of what an unstable position she was in.  Although propping herself steady, carrying on a conversation, she wasn’t secure.  Her foundation was slight.

The words I often fill my daughter with are like asking her to walk and support herself on on one leg.


She puts on her gifted princess-type dress, twirls around and I fill her with words such as pretty, beautiful, fancy.

These words are such a small part of who she is.  She is so much more.

She is clever, witty, smart, kind, generous, loving, strong, unique and oh so much more.

Filling her with these words are like teaching her to support herself with only one leg.
This morning I asked Jake was the impetus was behind this call and response.

Healthy is

And you are beautiful
Inside and out.


He shared a memory of an article we read not long after Little Tomato was born that spoke of the ways in which we address young girls in comparison to young boys.

What beautiful shoes you have!
Don’t you look fancy.
I like your dress.

You are so strong!
You are so courageous!
You are so brave!


Jake continued, “I just thought, I don’t want our daughters only to be filled with images and beliefs that outside beauty is what matters.  They are going to get it enough outside of our home.  I want them to be filled with messages that matter.  Messages that are based in strength and health and beauty, inside and out.”

Healthy is

And you are beautiful
Inside and out.

Here’s a small list of some relevant articles that have influenced the words I speak into our daughters.  Hope you enjoy!

Call & Response For A Two-Year Old {Part 1}
On letting our girls be themselves
The one thing you daughter doesn’t need you to say
Raising a daughter series
Ten things I want my daughter to know before she turns 10
– Sarah Kay’s Poem “B” – If I Should Have A Daughter


3 thoughts on “Call & Response For A Two-Year Old – {Part 2}

  1. Beautiful, Jess. inside and out. Our mantra has always been (and we have arm gestures to go along with it): “I am strong! I am mighty! I am powerful!”

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