Friday, March 4, 2011

Tutus and Tiaras

Liliana and Emmett don't want to be held down by was is considered "normal" behavior for their sex.
Example 1: Liliana comes out of her room in a princess dress and runs down the hall yelling, "Peeeew Peew - I got you!" When I asked her what she was doing she said, "I'm dying the bad guys so they don't die me."
Example 2: Emmett finds one of Liliana's tutu's in the toy box and brings it over to me to put on him. Once he's wearing it, he happily returns to playing with the other toys.
Example 3: Emmett brings me Liliana's princess tiara and holds it up to me. Thinking he wanted me to wear it, I put it on my head. He reaches for it so I lean over and let him pull it off of me. He holds it up to his head and I realize he wants to wear it himself. I put it on his head and he smiles happily and starts playing with other things. He returns to me for help in putting the tiara back on several times as it slips down during play.
Example 4: Liliana borrowed Emmett's Lightning McQueen Pajamas that he received for his birthday (they were a little big for him). When I asked her why she took her brother's pj's, she responded with, "They are for boys, but that's Ok. I like Lightning McQueen."
Example 5: The other day Emmett found his nice Sunday shoes in his closet and brought them to me to put on him. He proudly wore them around the house for over an hour.
Liliana has only boys as 1st cousins and only one girl second cousin who lives in the area, but is much younger than her. There is only one little girl at church close(ish) to her age (about 9 or 10 months older) and all the other kids in her age group are boys. It amazes me the kinds of things she picks up from all those boys.
I find it fairly interesting to think about society's role that tells us what is or isn't acceptable for girls or boys to do. I wonder how things would be if my first born was a boy and my second was a girl. Emmett is more than happy to mimic his big sister's behavior and unless someone told him so, he'd never know that there was anything different about when he wears his sister's tutus and tiaras than when she does. If a little sister copies her big brother's behavior, she's a tom-boy. Tough girls are much more readily accepted around here than boys who copy their big sisters. I wonder why "acting boyish" -whether you are a boy or a girl - is alright, but doing girly things is looked upon in a more negative or weak light. Well, someone else is going to have to break the news to my son that he's not supposed to wear tutus and tiaras because I think it's cute and he's having too much fun for me to rain on his parade.


Becca said...

First off, I think it's awesome that you're not telling either of them 'no.' Good for you.

Second, I LOVED your last paragraph. So true. I've thought about that before and thought how it's pretty unfair (and reveals sexism still in our society) that it's more acceptable for a girl to have 'boy' traits than the other way around.

Third, if you're interested, I have a great book to recommend. It's called 'Pink Brain, Blue Brain' and talks about the differences between boys and girls brains and development (there really aren't that many biological differences, which is kind of the point) and what parents and teachers can do to overcome disadvantages we/society inadvertently give our kids based on gender. Fascinating!

J9 said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Becca. I'll definitely get my hands on that book and read it. Thanks for the feedback! Also, congrats on that beautiful baby of yours.