Monthly Archives: August 2017

“girl” things

If you have been a follower for a while you most likely know that I have a boy who loves skirts. He wants to grow his hair long so he can have two ponytails like his friend (a girl). He wears skirts to school often and when the girls get their hair brushed at school he gets in line. When not in skirts he is in leggings. No one has told him yet that certain things are for girls.

I know it’s coming. I know someone is going to tell him and I think it might be the thing I have dreaded most in my entire life. So far he gets most comments about his hair. People’s suggestions of him cutting it. About once a month we ask if he wants it cut and every time he says no. He talks about how his hair is growing and getting longer. He likes it, even if it is in his eyes. We help try to keep it out of his face but ultimately it is his hair and his face. 

When we first got him a skirt I set it aside with dress up things.  He loved it and wanted to wear it places so that is what he did. He wore it and we bought more and that was a thing for a while until it wasn’t. Recently it became a thing ago. I put any skirt we had for him (and bought one more) in his bin of school clothes.  He ears them whenever he wants. I don’t know if it was a conscious choice on my part to put the with school clothes over regular clothes (school clothes are less public) but it is where he tends to wear them the most anyway. 

Last week I told the owner and lead teacher of his daycare how I was impressed that he hadn’t picked up on boy/girl messenging yet. All the daycare staff is nice but I don’t think of many of them as being particularly progressive. I told her because I am impressed but also a subtle way to tell her to not allow it. So far it isn’t a thing there and often when he has a skirt on other kids want to wear it. I told L this morning that I was surprised he hasn’t picked up on the fact he is the only boy there who sometimes wears skirts. 

I often wonder if I am still limiting his options. I don’t buy him dresses (he has worn one though) and I just bought him dress up clothes and did not buy specific “girl” ones (in all fairness they sucked). Should I be diversifying his clothes more?  I don’t know. It kind of surprises me that he in the only boy in our friend group ever in a skirt. Maybe we jumped the gun in having it be an option?  I’m not sure. I wish he saw more boys in skirts as it would help when someone does tell him awful stuff. There are so many things about this that stress me out but exactly 0 of those things are about my son’s choices. 

I’m not sure when this will end and if it will. His interest ebbs and flows and my guess is we don’t have much longer. For right now I love that my kid is happy, confident, and adorable. 

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Big conversations

I have been seeing a lot of talk in queer mom land about when and how people talk to their kids about their donor. I feel behind because we haven’t. Whoops.

We have open and honest conversations with Gus but we follow his lead and this isn’t something he has shown much interest in. He knows he grew in my uterus. On some level he knows he was born in our living room (Lesley happily showed him where). We have Zak’s Safari, a book about a donor conceived kid with lesbian moms. When we tried to read it to him he got bored and asked for a different book. He asked me while we were on vacation how he got in my uterus but we were in the car with my mom who was already shocked that he knows the word “uterus” so I changed the subject and hoped he would ask again when we were alone. He hasn’t.

I’m of the belief that big conversations should be somewhat child led and right now my child isn’t leading me into those conversations. He is young, on the cusp of three, and I imagine in the next year those will come up a bit more. I think about this not only with him having a donor but also conversations about racism and homophobia. I don’t think he is quite ready for the conversations but I will not shy away from big topics when brought up.

It’s hard because I recognize that some of that, especially not talking about racism, is a privilege we have. I know that is not the case for everyone. But I want him to be young and innocent a bit longer. I work hard to expose him to all types of family and racial diversity however I can. We talk openly I just don’t start conversations about these bigger topics.

A women I know has a fb group for parents who are activists. It is small and I was in it for a while but recently left. She was posting articles about how to talk to your kids about gay people. It made me so sad that we are something that other people need to “talk to” their kids about. Why are people not just teaching their kids to be kind and loving human beings? I know that it needs to go beyond that. I know that you can’t just teach your kid to be nice and have it stop there but right now it feels like a pretty good start.