Something I hear and see all the time is "what a little tomboy" or "she definitely should have been born a boy" whenever  a little girl is covered in mud or doing something that is stereotypically "boyish" and every time I die a little more inside. My Daughter and son have both always had free play to find their own loves and likes and both have found loves for the stereotypical things. Lucas likes cars, dinosaurs and trains but loves his kitchen and cafe and playing with dolls too. Iris likes dollies and of course I dress her in floral and girly clothes a lot of the time but she's the kind of little girl who's wearing a pretty dress and pink wellingtons and then covered in mud and it makes me feel so happy as she's happy.

For me I have always bought Lucas up to be an adventurer, explore and now see the world so why would I say "No, Iris, you're a girl?" It's so silly and her getting muddy doesn't make her boyish at all? It makes her inquisitive, interested, creative, knowledgeable and that's all i've ever wanted for Lucas and Iris. I love watching Iris and since she's found her feet there has been no stopping her.
Today she walked about a mile home with Lucas, copying him and yelling "HAND" when she wanted to come back and hold my hand. She was described as "defiant"yesterday as no matter how many times I shouted "Iris" she refused to come back.

I love taking both Lucas and Iris out and them coming back just as covered in mud as each other, exploring sticks, leaves and mud together. It's something they've bonded over and Lucas teaches Iris about nature with knowledge he's learnt at forest school. It's such a wonderful thing. Especially as Brad and I love going for walks and going on bear hunts with the kids and finding new areas by heading of the path and seeing where it takes us.

Iris is now 16 months old, she's got a personality, she's toddling everywhere, well I say toddling she's walking everywhere and very confidently. She's full on and hilarious. She's speaking loads and making me laugh so much.

Something I never want to change is this, her love for mud and adventures. Of course if as she gets older SHE changes her mind then that's fine but I don't want her feeling like she has to because of society. I have to protect both the children from society as it is so why do we feel like we have to protect them from such a young age? She's one and already being subjected to stereotype comments.

Muddy knees on both Lucas and Iris is my favourite thing and usually a sign of a great adventure had by them both. Most adventures end up in a park and our favourites are Itchen Valley and Riverside as they're both in walking distance and hold some of our loveliest memories.

I will always allow my daughter to explore for life is about adventures and for as long as they're let us we'll put on our wellies and go and splash in muddy puddles. I am so excited for our adventures this year UK and further too.

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt - "The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience."
This is exactly how I am planning on living life and teaching my children to do the same!