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Thursday, December 15, 2005

How did I become that parent?

I'm so disappointed with myself.

Somehow--and I'm really not sure how it happened--the other day I encouraged Toddler in Chief to be interested in a boy thing and discouraged him from a girl thing. I'm having huge regrets about this. I never wanted to be that kind of parent.

When we were out shopping for a bike for Christmas, he really liked the purple girls bike. He picked it out. He rode around on it. And he wanted to bring that one home with us. We let him ride around on it, but then we also had him ride the red boys bike. And we ended up buying the boys bike. What difference does it make? Why did I do that? I don't care if he wears pink and purple and likes girl things. I have always joked that "TIC is in touch with his feminine side."

The scariest part is that I don't think I did it on purpose. I hope that my subconscious doesn't do that again. I feel so crappy about it that I want to return the red bike and get the purple one. He doesn't seem to mind the red bike. And Father in Chief has a red bike, so he likes that his looks like daddy's. But ugh. I don't want to force him into boy things or boy colors or boy stereotypes. I'm so frustrated with myself.

He's only two and I'm steering him in gender-specific directions. How did this happen?

9 comments:

  1. GIC has 2 purple bikes!

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  2. Boy does this speak to me =) If I were in your shoes, I bet I'd end up doing the swap... and then my son would dissolve in tears because it turned out he'd already formed an attachment to the red one. Life's like that. But anyway, just wanted to say that I feel your pain, I realized the other day that I'm the one who taught my son to cause train accidents on his train track... I was just so bored that I started doing it. Now I'm trying to reverse that direction with a "Oh look, percy's crying, james hurt him when he pushed him off the track!" but it's not working.

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  3. Cynical Mom is so right. I'm positive if we returned the red bike and got a purple one, he'd be very sad that the red bike is gone. I'm sure he's not wondering about the purple bike at all--I'm the one fretting over it. PS... wanted to thank CM for all her super crafty ideas a couple of weeks ago. Went to Target with her list and loaded up on everything we could find! Hooray!

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  4. Cool! I was wondering about that =) It was fun brainstorming the list as it reminded me of a few we haven't done in a while. I have probably a shorter attention span than my two year old, so I like to change activities a lot, and I love crafty stuff. I can't wait until he's old enough to scrapbook with me :-)

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  5. Anonymous6:22 PM

    Has it ever occured to you that he might have some gender specific prejudices built into his gene structure? Is it somehow wrong for little boys to want to be male?

    Mother of three girls -- adult and married -- and not at all girly, but yes, female at the core.

    EMG

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  6. It's not wrong for him to want to do boy things, but I don't want to push him that way just because I have subconscious feelings about girl things and boy things. He should decide if he wants boy things or girls things, not me.

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  7. Anonymous7:44 PM

    Yes, he should decide. However he comes with little baggage except his inate genes. You, on the other hand, carry the baggage of culture. The balance is figuring out your baggage before it becomes his baggage. Today he chooses purple, tomorrow blue, the next day pink. We adults attach meaning to those colors that don't occur to TIC. It's the adult who is worrying that he was "forced" to red over purple. And it's the adult that makes a difference in the colors that at this point TIC does not comprehend. EMG

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  8. Anonymous11:05 AM

    you are a sick feminist

    what kind of sick woman tries to turn a boy into a girl?

    there is something very, very wrong with you

    bring an end to your social experiment

    another generation of weak men raised by sick mothers

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  9. You say "I'm really not sure how it happened," but with all due respect, and no, I don't know you, have you noticed that your entire blog is pink? Talk about adopting socially-circumscribed gender roles. If you haven't been overt in your communication, have you perhaps been covert?

    Think on it. As I said, I don't know you, so I can't say. I'm judging merely by the hue of your page.

    My son loves pink. His fourth birthday is coming up and I think we're going to get him the barbie bike.

    And to [anonymous (coward)] above: It's pretty incredible that you're able to type with your head buried so far up in your colon! That takes real dexterity.

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