I always knew I was going to be the kind of parent who stresses gender neutrality in order to ensure that my children didn’t feel pressured to conform to their “accepted roles” in society.
We chose gender neutral crib bedding for our daughter with cute little sexless lambs. I bought white, yellow and beige onesies. I even dressed her in a black jumper at one point and she looked crazy cute.
What I didn’t anticipate was that my children would naturally fall into the defined gender roles of pretty pink princess and tough guy.
I hate pink. Like, not a little bit. I really, really, really hate pink. I was a tomboy growing up, maybe because I had two older brothers. I lost my two front teeth because my brother was trying to pick me up by my head by squeezing two pillows on either side of my face and lifting me off the ground. One of the teeth literally popped out. (I laughed… until I saw the blood)
My daughter adores pink. She wanted our new house to be pink. She wants to ride a pink horse. She wants to paint her nails pink. She wears a pink tiara to school. She likes skirts, pink ones. Dresses, pink ones. She had to have a pink bike, pink sunglasses and pink cowgirl boots.
Oh, and purple is okay too.
She wants me to braid her hair every morning, she prefers to wear tights and despises being dirty.
I recently tried to gauge which sports or classes she might be interested in. I offered up soccer, gymnastics, dancing, swimming, football and horseback riding. She chose dancing. (and horseback riding, but I am still trying to track down that elusive pink pony)
The only problem? Alma can’t dance. At all. She does weird spastic movements to music and makes ugly faces and crawls on the floor. She’s like a drunk chick at Freaknik. I can’t wait to see what she does when we put her in a tutu with all of the other gals.
My son’s first word was “ball.” He is obsessed with balls, in particular soccer balls. He can now drop kick a ball better than most grownups.
This morning, he walked into our bedroom crying and immediately threw a Mickey Mouse dodge ball at me across the room. He slept with it!
He steals the Hungry Hungry Hippo balls (the answer to the previous post’s riddle about what I had to clean up off the floor) and puts them in the trash, the laundry basket, hidden behind books on the shelves and tucked into fake plants.
He is aggressive and violent, he loves rough housing and being outdoors. One of his first several words was “Outshide.” (outside) All he ever wants to do is be outside. He likes riding lawnmowers, bikes, choo choo trains and cars. He is a man’s man.
There is an exception. Huck LOVES shoes. Not just any shoes. Pretty pink shoes. He constantly steals Alma’s pink boots and her pink sneakers. I thought it was just a shoe fetish, so Santa brought him cowboy boots for boys. He still steals the pink ones.
So, at the end of the day I think I ended up with a girlie girl and a dude’s dude and I have to suck it up and accept the fact that they are exactly who they are: A future fashionista (shudder) and a mountain hiking soccer player in heels.