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Showing posts from August, 2017

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…