Raising three boys means that my house is filled with Superheros, Trains, Cars, Dinosaurs and lots of the colour blue. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining, it’s kind of the go to territory for boys, and I think people feel any of those things are suitable and won’t cause any offence to parent or child when purchasing gifts and we get a lot of gifts.
Now, I am of the mind set that children can wear any colour they like and play with any toy they like. I saw a meme on Facebook that said unless a toy is controlled by the child’s genitals it is NOT gender specific. I am however also of the mind set that I let my boys choose, I don’t try and get them to wear/buy/play with girls stuff. But if they want it, then OK.
Oliver (Seven) is now at an age that he is aware of what is expected of him by society. He is aware that certain things may cause him to get laughed at, maybe even called names. He is an amazing little dude and he picks his battles (fancy dress as a witch is as No No) but wearing the colour pink and having a One Direction satchel for school, they both got the thumbs up (although, 1D is no longer something he is a fan of anymore, they grow and change so quick at this age).
Now Zachary (pictured below) who will be four in October, he has no concept of gender or what boys and girls are supposed to do/wear or play with. He will pretty much play with anything, he is obsessed with trains, especially Thomas the tank engine and in terms of his Autism this is his special interest or motivator. He does also really like the home corner, playing with dolls pretending to change their bottoms (he stills wears nappies so he re enacts what happens to him). He loves all colours especially orange. He loves to play dress up and often calls himself a “princiss” and goes off hunting for a crown to wear. Like I said I just let them get on with it, I don’t try and force anything onto them. I am far to lazy and can’t be dealing with any extra unnecessary tantrums. [He is such a dude and getting so big now]
So, what this post all about? A Kinder Egg. Zachary has had for a long time now had a fascination with watching other people open Kinder Eggs on YouTube and play with the toys inside of them. Well this past week Zachary has started to really want his own Kinder Eggs and I have bought him one EVERYDAY this week *don’t judge me*. Well on Friday we had a really long day with a trip to the hospital for a routine ENT appointment for Darwin. We left our house at 1:30 and never got home till 5:45. It was stressful for all three of us, Zachary did really well and napped in the pushchair on the way there. Bless him. After a really pretty stressful appointment we headed home.
On the way home I decided to treat him to a Kinder Egg, mainly because he was chanting “egg.egg.egg.egg.egg.egg”. When we got off the bus I went to a little corner shop. The Kinder Eggs were right by the till. Zachary ran straight for them and he picked two up a blue one and a pink one. I got down and explained he could only have one and did he want the blue or pink one. He choose pink. Apparently this was NOT OK. The following conversation happened.
For the purposes of my story telling
M = Me
Ma = Man
M: Ok Zachary, you can have pink
C: Oh, I think he meant blue
M: *smiles* No it’s OK he chose the pink
*picks up another pink egg for Darwin and starts looking for money in purse*
Ma: awwww you should get him the blue one, he won’t want to play with a pink toy
M: *getting flustered* Honestly, he won’t care, he just wants to open the egg
Ma: Yeah, but the blue ones are for boys and the pink ones are for girls. Go on, get him a blue one
M: He has no concept of boy or girl and doesn’t care and neither do I
*pays for egg and gives it to Zachary*
Ma: You shouldn’t confuse him, he doesn’t like Barbie, Do you want him to like Barbie?
M: I really don’t care if he likes Barbie or not. It’s just some chocolate and a toy
*starts leaving the shop*
Ma to the C: That is why kids are confused nowadays they don’t get taught how to be men.
* I feel my blood boiling*
M: NO. You are the reason they are confused, telling them what they can and can’t be. It’s a bloody chocolate and a toy for God’s sake. Next time don’t butt in. No one wants to hear your opinion.
*walks off muttering to myself*
For anyone that knows me, they will know how much of a big deal it was for me to actually argue back. I felt so angry. Regardless of whether or not he thought it right for Zachary to have a pink egg. It was none of his business. A few months a go Zachary couldn’t tell me what he wanted or choose between 2 options and now he can. If you give a child a choice the worse thing you can do is then override their choice. It just teaches them their choice doesn’t matter. It’s not valid. You don’t care what they want. It wasn’t hurting him or anyone else. It was a bloody Kinder Egg.
Well by this point Zachary had opened the egg and demolished the chocolate and was asking me to open the yellow plastic egg. I opened it and his present was a BRIGHT PINK BARBIE 😱. Just kidding it was a Green plastic ring with a Tinker-bell sticker on it and under the lid was a Green Stamp. Zachary loved it, he wore it with pride and had great fun waiting for the bus stamping random receipts from my purpose. By the time we got on the bus he had ink on his hands, face and clothes, but best of all he had a HUGE smile on his face.
So to the stupid, ignorant man. Do me a favour and don’t try and pass your twisted point of view onto my children. Also Kinder Egg STOP making gender geared eggs, make something all kids can play with!!!! This whole gender equality issues start way younger than you think. It starts in childhood. Don’t limit your children, give them freedom! Give them choice and respect that choice. Now I am under no illusion that males and females are designed (so to speak) to be better at certain things but it doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t try just to be the best version of us regardless of our gender. I think we should stop boxing kids in based on their gender and should support them based on their personality and character.
[All colours for all children]
Thanks for reading