Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"I Don't Like Girls!"

It happened when we were reading Nate the Great. Nate said he didn't like girls, and then Jack concurred. I said, "What about Henri [as in Henrietta] and Izzy and Maggie?" Jack's response was to tell me all about Sebastian and how he's "the messiest in the world!"

I tried not to take it too seriously, but it didn't stop there. Jack also told me quite forcefully that he didn't like pink because it was for girls. "It's okay if you don't like pink," I told him, "but pink can be for anybody--boys or girls."

I'm told it's normal at his age to take gender identification to extremes. He's trying to figure out what being a boy means, because he's only recently become aware of the concept.

But it still worries me when he excludes the female doll from his elaborate playtime scenarios. "I don't want any girls," he says. I just have to remind him that one of his favorite people in the world--me--just happens to be a girl.

And pretty soon he'll have another favorite girl (we hope). We found out yesterday that Jack will soon be having a little sister. His reaction, as you might expect, was one of disappointment: "I don't want a girl. I want a brudder!"

When I was pregnant with Jack, I debated about whether I wanted to find out the sex. My stomach turned at the very prospect of all the pink and ruffles and glitter and princesses that might be headed our way. I have no patience for that junk. This time, I knew we would find out because I wanted the baby to be real for Jack, and right now, gender is what's real to him, whether I like it or not.

Half a year of pre-K 3 has made him all too aware that he's supposed to steer clear of "girl stuff." But now girl stuff will come into his life whether he likes it or not. And I expect he'll warm up to it all--sister included.

Coming up: Another book review? The longest post ever? Complete sentences? Find out next time on Oh, the Iron Man.

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