Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Live With A Sexist Pig (And Why I Stay)

Act # 61:  Re-write the script.

People always assume that I have the most progressive, non-violent, feminist-thinking child in the world.  Let me assure you that I don't.  In fact the other day, we had a play date with some friends who have a girl a little younger than our son Jack, and before leaving the house, our conversation went something like this:  Now, Jack remember what we talked about.  How are you going to play with Sylvia?  I know, I know.  No violent play.   And?  No battles.  And?  No rescuing princesses.  While my husband and I try to model non-gender conforming and non-sexist behavior to our son, every day we send him off into the big wide world of kindergarten.  So technically it's the two of us against the world.  I'm constantly shocked, sometimes secretly devestated, and always collecting myself to try to offer a response to my five-year old's innocent remarks - that despite the fact that he has us as parents, clearly demonstrate just how powerful social messages are.  See for yourself.

When playing knights and dragons...
Mama, you be the princess so I can rescue you.
Well actually, I want to be a knight.  And I want my partner to be the princess.  And together with the dragon, let's go put out the big forest fire that's about to burn down the castle!  Roar!!!!!!!!!!

When shopping for clothes....
Mama, isn't pink your favorite color?
I think pink is pretty, but my favorite color is actually green just like it is yours!

When selecting iPad apps...
I can't play that one (Monster High dress-up dolls), it's for girls!
Sure you can.  You love to play dress-up.  How cool would it be to do that on the iPad?  You know these games can be played by both boys and girls.  Boys have to get dressed up in the morning too, right?

When asking him to pick up his toys....
I'm the King of this house and it's the Queen's job to pick up toys.
Actually son, daddy and mommy take turns being the king and today, it's my turn (insert evil laugh here).  I should mention that the king is the only one that has the authority to offer every toy that is on the floor to the Lord of the Goodwill in t-minus 3 seconds.  1......2.....3...... (presto, toys magically returned to their resting place)

When playing with his action figures....
Mama, you know you have to be the pink Power Ranger, right?
Boy, how many times do I have to tell you that I don't even like pink that much? It reminds me of Pepto Bismo. You know how much I hate Pepto Bismo. If I can't have the red one, I'm not playing.  (mommy may have been a little cranky that day)

Upon returning home from work one day...
Daddy, why don't we play and mama can cook us our dinner?
This is where daddy always jumps in to say, "I'm actually going to go cook with mommy and we can all play after dinner."

And just when I feel like throwing in the towel, out of the blue last week, my son asked me this ....
Are all mamas in charge of the world like you?
Well, I'll be darned.  My kid thinks I have the capacity to be in charge of the world.  In pink. With an apron on.  But in charge nevertheless.  Maybe he's listening a little more than we think he is.  Parents: 1, World: 0.  Bring it.


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