August 3, 2011

Dress Code

Owen's had a hard summer. His sister was on the swim team and, because his dad worked, he was dragged to every practice. And every meet of course too. Then his sister had the nerve to have a birthday - and a birthday party - which meant balloons and presents, none of which he got to open. And his parents that, in preparation for preschool, it would be a good idea to send him to camp which he DID NOT LIKE ONE TINY LITTLE BIT. Okay, he loved camp but hated going in the mornings. Sure, this summer he got to swim and play and make stuff and help his dad replace the mailbox and ride around in his new car but it was still The Summer Where Other People Got To Do Fun Stuff.

One thing made it better - Mia's jammies.

If you stopped by most any evening over the past few weeks, you'd find a post-bath Owen running around the house in a Disney Princess nightgown or flowery PJ pants and a nice pink tank top.

One of the first things you learn as a parent is to pick your battles. No, I'm wrong. That's the eighth thing you learn. See?

1. Functioning with little or no sleep.
2. Breastfeeding (if you're a female) or feeling bad that you can't lend a boob (if you're a male).
3. Wrapping a baby up like a burrito.
4. Peeing while rocking a baby.
5. Singing any song like a lullaby (Iron Maiden's The Trooper and Metallica's Enter Sandman can be beautiful when sung softly and sweetly)
6. Feeding a child without taking shrapnel.
7. Getting puke stains out of anything.
8. Picking your battles.

There.

Anyway. Back to Owen in dresses. It makes him happy. And I'm pretty sure wearing girls' clothes at age three doesn't turn you gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm sure our son would turn out to be an amazingly wonderful gay man. But in this summer of his discontent, if the thing that makes Owen happy is a girly wardrobe, more (girl) power to him.

Posted by Chris at August 3, 2011 7:10 AM
Comments

Go Owen! If he's anything like my son, he will soon decide that princesses and anything pink are just for girls no matter how gender-neutral you try to be. Enjoy it while you can!

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 3, 2011 8:42 AM

My 13 year old went through a similar phase. Except he wore my skirts and bras. He's okay now. No more cross dressing. But I'll never forget and it's good blackmail material. 13 year olds are very easily embarassed, so don't tell him I told you. Haha

Posted by: Nila at August 3, 2011 8:53 AM

My wife used to roll her eyes when I'd rock my daughter to sleep while softly singing songs from Radiohead's 'The Bends'. She couldn't deny it worked, though. :)

Posted by: J at August 3, 2011 9:56 AM

Our son is 4 and he has LOVED princess stuff and littlest pet shop and anything pink for a couple of years now. He has an 11 year old sister whom he worships so I am sure it's a hero-worship thing. Of course, he adds in the guns and bombs and swords so he is the most bad-ass princess on the block!

As you said about Owen, he may be gay but he is a wonderful boy and will be a wonderful man, period. I am pretty sure he is straight, though, as he melts for any tall, blonde woman he sees. (It's very funny, actually!)

I say, let them rock the pink and the princess look while they are still enjoying it, before cultural influences snuff out their individuality!

Posted by: Tara at August 3, 2011 10:34 AM

Our son is 4 and he has LOVED princess stuff and littlest pet shop and anything pink for a couple of years now. He has an 11 year old sister whom he worships so I am sure it's a hero-worship thing. Of course, he adds in the guns and bombs and swords so he is the most bad-ass princess on the block!

As you said about Owen, he may be gay but he is a wonderful boy and will be a wonderful man, period. I am pretty sure he is straight, though, as he melts for any tall, blonde woman he sees. (It's very funny, actually!)

I say, let them rock the pink and the princess look while they are still enjoying it, before cultural influences snuff out their individuality!

Posted by: Tara at August 3, 2011 10:35 AM

Rock on, little man! My 3-year-old likes some girly stuff - anyone up for a game of Pretty Pretty Princess? - and it's fine. When I was 5 I got a hold of a piece of chalk during nap time and drew - wait for it - SWASTIKAS all over the cabinet. I am staunchly anti-fascist and I'm pretty sure I wasn't into Nazism as a Kindergartner, so you know, kids do stuff and most of us survive the experience. Good for you for being mellow about it.

Posted by: Brooke at August 3, 2011 11:43 AM

Haven't been here in a bit so decided to come catch up on my Rude Cactus. Glad I did. Love this story.

Posted by: Leilani at August 3, 2011 12:10 PM

This post just makes me smile! Thanks!

Posted by: linda at August 3, 2011 12:18 PM

my 5yo son has recently found his older sister's collection of princess dresses. One in particular is pink and shiny and sparkly and most importantly TWIRLY. he loves it. and like you said, i don't hardly think wearing it around the house will make him gay and even if it does, so what? even boys like the thrill of a good twirly dress.

Posted by: chrissie at August 3, 2011 1:08 PM

I don't blame Owen. I have seen Mia's dresses and *I* want to wear them. :)

Posted by: Laura Gato at August 3, 2011 3:58 PM

Our 4 year old dresses up in his older sister's clothing too. :)

Posted by: SArah at August 3, 2011 11:15 PM

I really don't get how some parents freak out so, so much about stuff like that. But I like that you're chill, and plus it'll make for good prom night slide show pics ;) (Besides, on hot nights, nighties are way comfier than pants :P )

Posted by: Heather at August 3, 2011 11:50 PM

Aww. I wonder why he does it (I mean, aside from the fact that Mia has a spectacular wardrobe.) Maybe he's hoping to pick up some of her older- sibling mojo via osmosis? Kids are funny.

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 4, 2011 9:01 AM

Yay for Owen! My youngest gets dragged to everything and with three, we find ourselves doing major juggling with game schedules and dance. Sam is totally go with the flow and not afraid to stand up and be counted. Owen will do the same- he's biding his time until he says "ok- we did all this now it's time for me!". Sounds like a great kid

Posted by: greenie at August 4, 2011 11:52 AM

I can just imagine Owen running around in his sister's PJs, hehehe, but as long as it makes him happy then what's the harm :-) I just had to laugh when I read that list - simply because it is all true! WE are only up to # 5 at the moment. Our son is 10 weeks old and the only song that chills him out when he's screaming his head off is Tear Away by Drowning Pool. Who would have thought that heavy metal was such an effective lullabye when done right! ;-)

Posted by: Delia at August 4, 2011 4:58 PM

That's awesome. I think it is the fate of younger brothers to think that anything their older sister likes must be cool.

Koren is hopelessly into My Little Ponies. And if you ask him his favorite colors, he's likely to say "pink." I am amused both by his preferences and by the fact that my husband is kind of weirded out by them.

Posted by: Amy at August 5, 2011 10:54 PM


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