Posts Tagged ‘ gender roles ’

Girls Don’t Have The Cooties… Yet!

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

19 months.

You mean there’s a difference between girls and boys? Who cares.

Best I can remember, girls didn’t get the Cooties until I was in preschool. And by Kindergarten, I stopped caring.

As for Jack, he’s far from the “Cootie awareness stage.” I’m sure he recognizes that boys are different from girls in some subliminal way, but I think it’s mainly because of the different playing styles of the two genders.

Because boys play more rough. Put Jack in a group of girls and he escapes from the crowd, looking for the loudest, most dangerous adventure possible.

This weekend before we dropped off Jack at the nursery at church and were printing off his name tag, I noticed some “Allergy Alert” stickers.

Without thinking about it, I grabbed the pen and wrote  ”Girls” on the sticker and slapped it on his shirt.

So clever and witty, I am.

Interestingly, it turned out that there happened to be 10 boys his class and only one girl. The sticker ended up being appropriate, after all.

Something Henry’s dad was telling me about recently is how Henry can tell if a person is a man or woman; no matter their age.

How does a kid know? I’ve never thought about it before.

Sophie’s mom and I have joked about how, by default, Sophie is sort of a tomboy right now at daycare: She’s always right there in the mix of whatever hijinks that Jack and Henry are into.

And this is interesting to me, because Sophie is the girl Jack is around more than any other.

So clearly, Jack hasn’t yet developed any preconceived ideas about girls. Sophie is just as cool as Henry… for now.

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The Cross Gendered Roles of Modern Parents

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Ten months.

There’s no doubt that the gender roles of parents today have become less specific as compared to the way it worked back when The Dick Van Dyke Show was a model for the American household; back in the days when men simply brought home the bacon, women were “homemakers,” and  it was that simple. No Mr. Mom’s or Mom CEO’s.

In my version of reality as a dad, I have done many things that a dad from the 1960′s would not have been expected to do, like preparing the baby’s bottles and getting involved in the process of rocking him to sleep. Meanwhile, my wife makes more money at her job than I do at mine, which also probably wouldn’t have been the case 50 years ago.

So in a world where I have had to become more feminized in order to be a modern (actively supportive and involved) husband and father, I jump at the chance to do masculine things; to remind me that I was designed and built for specific manly purposes.

This past weekend, my brother-in-law and I loaded the moving truck, then I drove it three hours to Nashville. (Due to the recent water damages, we still haven’t moved back into our townhouse, but went ahead and moved our belongings into the unaffected rooms.)

I thought to myself:

They shouldn’t trust me with this moving truck. I’ve never driven anything this big before. With all that’s gone wrong here lately, I’ll end up running over a street sign or flipping this thing over.

But I reminded myself that there was only one way to learn this kind of stuff- by simply just doing it. It turns out, thank God, not only did I make the three hour trek safely and without traffic violations, but not one item of cargo was damaged or destroyed.

I did a manly thing. I drove a “big” truck without any problems. And if I can brag on myself for something so minor, I’m actually good at driving a moving truck.

So what have we learned about me today? Sometimes I feel like the process of helping raise an infant has taken away much of my sense of manliness. Maybe that’s why over the past two months I made an effort to watch all four Die Hard movies for the first time in my life. Granted, I had to split them up into 45 minute increments to find the time to watch them, but I got it done.

The older my son gets, the more manly and relevant I will feel. I will transition from “biological babysitter” to a mentoring, adventurous dad.

As for now, driving a Budget truck across the state line to move my family back into our townhouse is the manliest thing I can do right now. As for the upcoming years of Star Wars marathons and exploring the woods with my son, I’ll just have to wait it out, cleaning out bottles while wearing my extremely manly Smurfs t-shirt and flannel pajama pants.

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