boy colors. again.

The Kidling has, on myriad occasions, tried to get me to understand her conceptualization of gendered colors. And I have, on each of those occasions, pretended I had no idea what she was talking about. I asked for her to explain it to me. I played dumb.

Every time.

You see, it all began years ago when The Kidling told me that blue is a boy color and pink is a girl color. Way too early. Like, at three years old. So I, you guessed it, played dumb.

“Interesting,” I would ask. “How are colors boys or girls?”

And she would get so mad!

“They just are!” was a common reply.

Solidly reasoned. Sign this kid up for law school.

So I pushed. And pushed. Until I got the answer I wanted.

“But what makes a creature a girl? What makes another creature a boy?” I questioned further.

When I finally received an anatomically correct response from The Kidling, she just got irritated and huffed off, as if I couldn’t possibly be saved from my own ignorance.

Which is probably true.

I thought we were past this. At the very least, I thought The Kidling had given up on me. Then yesterday, she spied the clothes I had set out for her to wear to school and requested a different cardigan. I could not possibly care less what she wears to school,* and I was preparing to agree when she said of her sweater,

The Kidling: That’s a boy color.
The Mama: Why? It is red!? How is red a boy color?
The Kidling: (stubbornly) I just know it is. Boy colors are dark and wrinkly.

This conversation brought to you by The Mama (whose favorite color is black) and The Kidling (whose favorite color is… wait for it… blue. go figure).

_________

* Not quite true. But close.

girl things

Whilst shopping this past weekend, The Kidling and I slipped into a handbag shop while The Dada was paying for a purchase at a nearby store. I looked at the offerings for a few minutes before telling The Kidling we needed to move on. My rationale being that, since we told The Dada we would meet him at J. Crew (yes, I am a yuppy), we had better actually be in J. Crew when he arrived, lest he worry.

Alice, however, took a different message from my declaration that it was time to leave the handbag store. She sighed, “You know how Dad is about girl things…”

Seeing as how I actually didn’t know how he is about girl things, I asked for clarification. “Dad would never have a purse!”

I guess he wouldn’t. But I didn’t realize she knew that.

Huh.

The Mama is a cheater

So, the fine folks at WordPress saw Tuesday’s post fit to Freshly Press. Which is awesome. Because some of you lovely readers might be here for the first or second time today, I’m going to cheat.

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.

This post, originally posted this spring as sh*t my kid says, gives a pretty good picture of what life is like for The Family. So what are you waiting for? Get to reading!

______________________________________

The Family has a pretty strict honesty policy (detailed in the footnote here. Yes, the book of alice occasionally uses footnotes. Apologies). This can make life difficult, or at the very least, awkward. The Kidling is very curious and asks questions about everything.

Really. Everything.

I’m usually prepared for the type of question she will ask. She wants to know why things work, how things work, why people behave certain ways… Not surprisingly, she also asks about why people look certain ways. This is not a big deal, typically. I’m usually spared the truly embarrassing moments, in part because she just doesn’t know to ask those questions. Alas, because I know The Kidling as well as I do, I wait for the question armed with the perfect, honest-but-kind response. For example, last week a friend’s dog got out and the lovely woman who brought the dog back had a beard and moustache. Not just a little shadow, but genuine facial hair. The woman was fantastic and clearly comfortable in her own skin, so when Alice said (loudly), “Mom! I want to tell you something funny. That girl has a beard,” I was perfectly confident responding simply, “Yes, she does. Everyone looks different, sweetie.” She isn’t too invested in gender roles (says the mother whose kid pointed out—loudly—a stranger’s nonconformance), so I figured that was all she needed. I was right. She went right back to her project with nary a thought on facial hair.

Sometimes, though, she kind of gets me.

Just Thursday we were at Kmart and she inquired—loudly—regarding the woman in front of us, “Mom? Is that a boy?” The woman was not amused. I said—loudly—in reply, “Of course not, sweetie! (nervous laughter) Of course she’s a woman! Remember when you thought I was a boy? Remember when I cut my hair and you thought I was a boy?”

Well, it turned out that if I had just shut the hell up, Alice would have explained her reasoning without all of The Mama’s hemming and hawing and attempts to soothe a bruised ego. She went on, “But she has a very deep voice.” And she did. So does Alice, so we talked about different types of voices and that was that.

And, of course, sometimes she really gets me. Like Sunday, when we were running errands at Target. I had run into a friend and we were chatting when “a person of abnormally small stature” walked by.*  Merriam-Webster wasn’t particularly helpful in producing an adequate synonym for me, so I quote their definition. Can you believe it suggested pee wee, pygmy, runt, AND shrimp!?! Really? Let’s substitute offensive words for other offensive words. Thanks, folks.

Anyway, the very small adult walked by and Alice was frantically—and loudly—trying to get my attention (have you noticed a theme here?):

Alice: Mom! Mom! Who is that?! Mom! Who is that?

The Mama: (I knew exactly who she was talking about, but didn’t want to make the idea of the “other” so concrete by knowing without being told) Who, Alice?

Alice: Who is that? That guy?

The Mama: Which guy?

Alice: (points) Is that a real-life person?

The Mama: Yes, Alice. Of course he is a real person.

Alice: I thought he was a mascot.

The Mama: (Fuck!)

Now, readers, pardon me for indulging in the exact thought I had at that moment, but seriously. I was completely prepared to talk to The Kidling about very small people, very large people, freckles, wrinkles, red hair, facial hair, underarm hair, skin color, eye color, wheel chairs, walkers, and the myriad ways in which people can be physically different. I was not, however, prepared to talk about mascots.

Fuck.

__________

* http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwarf?show=0&t=1332734784 Sorry, dear readers. A JD makes a gal pretty paranoid about proper attribution.

sh*t my kid says

The Family has a pretty strict honesty policy (detailed in the footnote here. Yes, Kidlingville occasionally uses footnotes. Apologies). This can make life difficult, or at the very least, awkward. The Kidling is very curious and asks questions about everything.

Really. Everything.

I’m usually prepared for the type of question she will ask. She wants to know why things work, how things work, why people behave certain ways… Not surprisingly, she also asks about why people look certain ways. This is not a big deal, typically. I’m usually spared the truly embarrassing moments, in part because she just doesn’t know to ask those questions. Alas, because I know The Kidling as well as I do, I wait for the question armed with the perfect, honest-but-kind response. For example, last week a friend’s dog got out and the lovely woman who brought the dog back had a beard and moustache. Not just a little shadow, but genuine facial hair. The woman was fantastic and clearly comfortable in her own skin, so when The Kidling said (loudly), “Mom! I want to tell you something funny. That girl has a beard,” I was perfectly confident responding simply, “Yes, she does. Everyone looks different, sweetie.” She isn’t too invested in gender roles (says the mother whose kid pointed out—loudly—a stranger’s nonconformance), so I figured that was all she needed. I was right. She went right back to her project with nary a thought on facial hair.

Sometimes, though, she kind of gets me.

Just Thursday we were at Kmart and she inquired—loudly—regarding the woman in front of us, “Mom? Is that a boy?” The woman was not amused. I said—loudly—in reply, “Of course not, sweetie! (nervous laughter) Of course she’s a woman! Remember when you thought I was a boy? Remember when I cut my hair and you thought I was a boy?”

Well, it turned out that if I had just shut the hell up, The Kidling would have explained her reasoning without all of The Mama’s hemming and hawing and attempts to soothe a bruised ego. She went on, “But she has a very deep voice.” And she did. So does Alice, so we talked about different types of voices and that was that.

And, of course, sometimes she really gets me. Like Sunday, when we were running errands at Target. I had run into a friend and we were chatting when “a person of abnormally small stature” walked by.*  Merriam-Webster wasn’t particularly helpful in producing an adequate synonym for me, so I quote their definition. Can you believe it suggested pee wee, pygmy, runt, AND shrimp!?! Really? Let’s substitute offensive words for other offensive words. Thanks, folks.

Anyway, the very small adult walked by and The Kidling was frantically—and loudly—trying to get my attention (have you noticed a theme here?):

The Kidling: Mom! Mom! Who is that?! Mom! Who is that?

The Mama: (I knew exactly who she was talking about, but didn’t want to make the idea of the “other” so concrete by knowing without being told) Who, Alice?

The Kidling: Who is that? That guy?

The Mama: Which guy?

The Kidling: (points) Is that a real-life person?

The Mama: Yes, dear. Of course he is a real person.

The Kidling: I thought he was a mascot.

The Mama: (Fuck!)

Now, readers, pardon me for indulging in the exact thought I had at that moment, but seriously. I was completely prepared to talk to The Kidling about very small people, very large people, freckles, wrinkles, red hair, facial hair, underarm hair, skin color, eye color, wheel chairs, walkers, and the myriad ways in which people can be physically different. I was not, however, prepared to talk about mascots.

Fuck.

__________

* http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwarf?show=0&t=1332734784 Sorry, dear readers. A JD makes a gal pretty paranoid about proper attribution.