"when i was a boy i loved dresses"

This happened a while ago, but I've been too busy to blog about it.
I went to pick up D. from the previously mentioned birthday party. A group of moms  were chatting at the front door, with the host, a single dad (its a joint custdy arrangement). They were all dressed rather nicely- coincidence? and I felt rather dowdy. The single dad, of course, being male, was under no such pressure and was wearing regular dungarees. See my post below about beauty.
But I digress. The point is not the clothes but the conversation. Conversation about clothes. Same thing that I complain about- nothing nice for boys. all boring grays and dark blues. And how ridiculous that even toys like legos come in separate colors for boys and girls.
And all of a sudden John, the clearly masculine dad, is saying "when I was a boy I loved dresses... I used to always wish I could wear a skirt... I waited all year for Purim so I could dress up in a skirt...."
(purim is sort of a jewish version of Amer…

oh no its me

D. was invited to a birthday party, by a boy named Rudy, somewhat older than himself- age 6.  As D. was preparing to go, he happened upon the baby playing with an old doll.  The doll had been given to him by an aunt, not so much as a gift but as away of unloading her kids old junk on us. At the time, D. played with it intensely for 2 days and then moved on to other things. But nothing like seeing a sibling play with an old toy, to ignite a dormant interest.  "Mommy, look! I want to play with it! Can I take it to the party?" "I don't think thats a good idea sweetheart. It might get lost." "No it wont, I'll be careful!" I have to admit I wouldn't much notice the difference if that beat up old hand me down doll that the kids rarely play with got lost. But, I was afraid that D. would get laughed at by the 6 year old boy and his friends. Secondarily I was self conscious about what the other parents would think of me.  Then it dawned on me.  I know…

Can men be beautiful?

I have tried to analyze what aspect of femininity draws my son, and come to the conclusion that its beauty. 
It's not about a particular activity like nailpolish, or a particular garment. if it was, could find some masculine outlet somewhere.  Its about being beautiful.

Men may not be beautiful or desireable. 
Even male dancers do not wear clothes and perform moves to highlight their beauty, but to highlight their skills. 
Even Gay men may not be beautiful or desireable outside of specific sexualized spaces. 
Children learn sex roles early, before they have a concept of sex- the female role is to be desired, the male to desire.

There is one exception to the no beautiful male rule- tiny male children are still accepted as beautiful, desireable, adorable.

My son is 4; around the age they transition out of that social age bracket. (and he has a baby brother too.)
I don't know how to give my son what he needs. 

social integration

My 6 year old neighbor, a girl, dropped in to play. D. was wearing his wig and makeshift dress. He appeared very sheepish and quickly removed them. 
The girl got bored quickly and left. I asked D. if he preferred her to leave, or to stay. "I want her to stay." 
I thought he might have preferred that she leave so he could play freely. But no, he wants to be socially integrated with other children.
I suppose thats a good thing. I was never socially integrated and it hampers me to this very day. But he- since he's been in day care, teachers have praised his social skills. 
So make no mistake. I am happy that he is socially integrated, and satisfied with his choice to remain so (cant deny that it makes my life easier, too.)
But I can't help wondering; if society is killing an important part of himself; just how important that piece is- an essential aspect of his identity, or just one of many childhood explorations....

I only play girl things at home

School is out and D. is home.  Elsa is making sporadic appearances in our home, along with an assortment of baby animals; kittens, puppies, bunnies. Occasionally he will state that he's a female animal. Whatever animal he's playing, it seems the point is to crawl into my lap and be cuddled and petted. Does he feel he is less loveable as a boy???? i certainly can't imagine a more loveable child, of any gender. 
He also plays house with his baby brother, calling himself the big sister. 
I once asked him if he  plays house at school. He gave me the names of some little girls he plays with. At school, he is always the daddy. 
In day camp, they had a costume party. I rummaged around and found nothing. "Why don't you wear your Elsa wig?" 
He gave me a "you should know better" look. "Mommy, this is girls! I only play girl things at home." in the end, we found a yellow Bob the Builder jacket for him. 
He has decided not to challenge the unwritten…

Nailpolish is for girls!

D. found my nailpolish and asked if he could put some on. What fun for a child! So I said yes, but not now, because it was time for bed. "Can Joshua come to our house and play with the nailpolish with me?" he asked. Joshua is a little boy in his class. "Sure, if it's ok with Joshua's parents," I said. 
Actually I would have loved for that to happen. I would have loved to see how another little boy would relate to that activity. And I would have loved to see my boy play a traditionally feminine activity- with another boy. I would have also like to see how Joshua's parents would react. But it never happened, because it took a few days to arrange Joshua's visit and by that time D. had forgotten. They played with other toys. 
But yesterday he found it again. And I let him put it on. And wear it to school Friday morning. 
When we got to school, there were 2 little girls in flouncy dresses drawing pictures at the table. D. moved to join them, when one of…

my son the dog

Yesterday at around 4 pm my son decided he was a dog. He kept this up for the rest of the day until bedtime. He crawled on the floor and said Woof Woof and asked to have his ears scratched. We were outside walking on the sidewalk but he insisted he couldn't walk on two feet.  He ate from his plate without using hands and surprisingly managed it quite well. He did not ask to play with his makeshift dress (actually a large scarf) or costume wig. 
I wonder if this means Elsa is gone, or if she will come back again with a vengeance. Will have to wait and see. 
I find the dog thing annoying, but not so worrisome as i found being a girl. I guess its because i don't really entertain the idea that one day he will decide, as a teen or adult, that he really is a dog.