I’ve written before about how I’ve been making a concerted effort not to pink up Arddun – or at least to teach her that ALL colours are gorgeous, and that just because she’s a girl, she’s not expected to default to Pink, Purple or Sparkle.
Lately, my Facebook feeds have thrown up lots of mini debates about gender equality, nurture vs nature, and if or when a child should decide if they are a boy or girl regardless of the genitalia they were born with. Until Arddun, I don’t think I’ve ever bothered to mull over such topics in great detail, having never questioned my sex. But as a parent, these have become Hard Questions because they hit the heart, the head, and the faith.
In anything – whether we decide that we want our babies to play with “unisex” toys and wear “gender neutral” colours. Whether we allow them to choose the design of their next birthday cake, or decide what party theme they are going to have to live with.
Whether we decide if they go to a private Christian school or a public secular one. Whether we bring in God and theology from the start. Whether we let our child play with the rough kid next door, whether we teach them to push back or retreat. … we shape these individuals. We mold their world. We craft their mindsets. At least for a little while.
The difficulty is understanding where that fine line sits. Therein lies all the difference between a hug and a smother. When does setting boundaries start to snuff out freewill? When does instruction become indoctrination?
I don’t know. But in thinking about colours and my aversion to overtly Princessy things, I’ve lately wondered about the bias I was bringing to the table. And perhaps I’ve been looking at it all wrong because I’ve assumed Pink, Purple and Sparkle are way too girly girl girl. As if being a girl’s girl were a bad thing, ala this fabulous ad campaign:
Other things I’ve noticed – Lego. The tiny ones for older hands? They are now either in dark boy boxes or pink-purple girl ones. The ones I grew up with – the ones where the bricks are in primary colours and you can build anything that springs up in your fertile kiddy imagination, all that’s gone.
It frankly appalls me that they only put Male and Female Lego figurines in those dark and pinky boxes respectively. And truth be told, Arddun adores diggers, trains, and trucks, along with playing Masterchef (she made noodles this week) and offering hair styling services. But because I want Arddun to have heroines to fly those Lego planes and haul dirt in Lego diggers, I went and got a bunch of pink Lego boxes for her.
So now she has Mimi (the brunette) and Mary (the blonde with the lamb).
Anyhoo – sorry this got all dark and twisty. I actually started out this post just wanting to put up Arddun piccies. Like this one:
Arddun has no difficulty saying the word “Princess”. This we’ve known for at least a year, because we have a CD of Australian Christian songs for young children, and Arddun calls it the Princess CD because it has a picture of Christ’s crown on it. She can also say “Promise” and “Umbrella”. So we don’t understand why she can’t say the word “Properly”… you know… properly.
Me: (While getting Arddun into her car seat) Are you sitting properly?
Arddun: I’m sitting plopply.
Me: Are you sure you’re sitting properly?
Arddun: (A little indignant) I am sitting plopply!
Me: Not plopply, Arddun. Prrr…. prrrrrroperly.
Arddun: Pppppppp… plopply.
Me: PRRRRRRR… Properly!
Arddun: PPPPPBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBTTTTTTTTTTTT… plopply.
Cracks both of us up all the time.
We also made a fairy castle today.