Before I had kids I didn’t really spend any time thinking about child rearing or how I would parent. I did know I wasn’t crazy about gender stereotypes. I rejected the colour pink until well into my twenties and spent most of my time as a kid riding my bike and hanging out with both guys and girls in equal measure.
Then when I got pregnant and found out it was a girl I started to care about girly toys and a childhood brought to you by Disney princesses. I vowed to keep those things away from her as long as possible. Pink entered her life early on though as most of the clothes she wore were passed on to us through the vast underground network of baby clothes. Then every hair on her head fell out and stayed out till she was practically three so she wore pink so strangers would stop asking how old the little fella was.
Then around three she started getting gifts and they were *gasp* pink and Disney and … not evil. I watched her imagination blossom. She spends hours doing her “games”. There is a special kind of quiet when my kid is off in her own world doing imagination play that makes my heart burst with joy. Her princesses spend most of their time in a complex series of interpersonal conflicts and danger scenarios. I have never once overheard any of them need a prince’s help or wish for a husband. At one point she asked for a prince for her games and so a prince was procured and he spends a lot of time “at work” and sometimes the girls get together and help him out of a jam.
Now we have two kids, one girl and one boy. So naturally we buy two of most things and at first I tried to buy two the same but then they’d fight and that hurts my ears. So I bought the pink stuff for her and she is thrilled. I’ve decided that pink is not evil and does not have the power to change who or how she is. Now this morning she spent time counting how many girl (aka pink things) she got and I was momentarily confused on how to respond but then I did what I usually do and wing it. I told her her stuff is pink because she has decided that, for now it’s her favourite colour and since her brother is still only two he hasn’t told anyone what his favourite colour is yet so he gets red, yellow, orange, blue etc. There are no girl colours or boy colours there are just colours and if his favourite turns out to be pink as well, we’ll just have to start writing everyone’s name on everything.
My boy often plays hockey with a tiara on and loves tea parties and I’ve now decided that the danger might be that he won’t have pink (aka girly) things in his life out of peer pressure. So if you are coming to my house bring what you want and play with whatever you want and be who ever you are cause we are not so fragile that we will be changed by how the outside world works.