Saturday, March 9th, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
You are a boy… and you definitely act like it. You make it so obvious that little boys are wired much differently than little girls.
It’s a rare sight to find you without some kind of overly masculine (and therefore predictably goofy) Hot Wheels car clenched tightly in your hand, whether it’s on the car ride to day care, watching Hard Hat Harry on Netflix at the house, or even navigating your way around any given playground.
At no point do you ever need me to tell you what little boys should like. You are currently obsessed with monster trucks, but it’s not something I prompted.
You just saw a toy monster truck one day and asked me, “I can like that? I take it home?”
The answer was obviously yes. Now you have like 7 of them.
One of your daily routines on the way to school now is to go through the colors of the rainbow in reference to monster trucks and/or Jeep Wranglers:
“I have a blue monster truck? I can drive it?”
I will reply, “Jack has a blue monster truck… He drives it!”
Next you’ll say the truck (or Jeep) is black, orange, purple, or even pink. Twice now you asked for a “dinosaur Jeep.” I’m still trying to figure that one out…
I contrast this against what I see the girls your age doing at daycare. They are always tending to either the baby dolls or the pretend kitchen and food; meanwhile the boys are wandering around, looking for trouble… I mean adventure.
It’s not that I have to stereotype little boys versus little girls. That’s just naturally how it ends up.
Even if you want to drive a pink monster truck or Jeep, the fact is still that you want to drive a monster truck or Jeep.
It would be different if you were fantasizing about a VW Bug, Mini Cooper, Mazda Miata, Dodge Neon, or a Toyota Rav 4.
I say you just can’t hide your masculinity, even behind the color pink.
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Today a fellow coworker announced to our office, “Who wants a new coloring book?”
“I’ll take it,” I instantly replied. Evidently it was a gag gift, having been cleared out from the desk of a recently fired employee.
What made this the ultimate goofy prize is that it was a pony fairy coloring book. For little girls.
But I figured, what’s the difference? I would just hand it to Jack when I picked him up from daycare and he would think I was some hero for getting him a new coloring book for no reason.
It’s not like he would care that the thing featured dozens of girly, winged ponies.
And I was right. But how exactly did he entertain himself with this princess pony coloring book in the back seat of my car?
By ferociously grabbing the pages and ripping them out like a T-Rex to his prey.
Jack does not like fairies.
Similarly, as Sesame Street plays in the background at our house during playtime on the weekends, Jack will stop what he’s doing and say, “Elmo? Elmo!”
That means the “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” segment is on. We have to fast forward to the next part of the episode that features Elmo, or at least a more traditional Muppet.
Again, Jack does not like fairies.
Well, except for that ball he has. On one of their more recent trips here to Nashville, my parents treated Jack to a trip to Target. He found this little dark green ball, about the size of a racquetball. So they bought it for him.
After getting back to our house, they took a closer look at this ball they perceived as a toy for little boys: “Disney Fairies.” Yep, there was Tinkerbell doing her fairy thing.
And speaking of less than masculine toy balls, there’s the fact that last week when Jack and Jill were visiting family up in Pennsylvania, Jill wanted to buy Jack a soccer ball. So she let him pick one out.
Which one did he chose? A pink miniature Nike soccer ball designed for little girls.
Jill swapped it for the red, white, and blue version.
So Jack likes to play with sports balls; even if they’re pink. He doesn’t discriminate. And you may be able to get away with sneaking Tinkerbell on the ball as long as the rest of the ball looks masculine enough.
But fairies in a coloring book or hogging up Sesame Street air time? That’s crossing the line.
For me, it’s interesting to sort of stand back and watch him on his own discern what is too feminine for his liking.
At 20 months old, his instincts are already guiding him as he figures out which toys are for boys, which are for girls, and which can be for both.
But this he knows: Fairies in plain sight are always for girls.