Why Yes, I Let My Son Dress Up in Girls Clothes

boy in tutu We were at Target this weekend (also known as My Social Life) (also known as My Boyfriend) buying both groceries and pants for my middle child. The groceries, I should clarify, weren't strictly for Alex, but rather stuff that we could all safely enjoy. Deliciously, even. Especially Uncrustables, which are pretty much heaven in a wee package.

Alas, I digress.

In the children's section, I happened to come across a shirt for my daughter that I found to be the proper amount of sass-a-frassery AND adorability, and as such, I picked it up and exclaimed to Alex, who happened to be in the cart I was pushing (yes, we take two carts) (no, we don't FILL them both), "Oh! Look at this cute cupcake shirt for Your Sister!"

Upon examination, Alex said, "I want a cupcake shirt for Alex!"


What went through my head was this:

"Oh shit, Dave will kill me. This is a BABY FUCKING BLUE SHIRT with a frilly blue collar. And look at the cupcakes! They're SPARKLY. I mean, there is not a single doubt that this shirt is for a girl. You couldn't make this shirt more girly if you tried."

"But I mean, he's 2 years old! How the hell can you possibly tell a 2-year-old that he can't have a shirt because it's for a girl? This is probably the most manly 2-year-old boy ever. His second word was penis. Who gives a shit if he wears girls' clothes? He's a baby! HE'S STILL IN DIAPERS. I will CUT someone who looks at him funny for wearing girls' clothes."

So, I looked for the shirt in a 2T and I handed it to him. He grabbed it, hugged it, and said, "I love you, Cupcake Shirt."

Dave glared at me for a second before bursting out laughing because, really, what the hell can you do? The shirt is pretty damn cute. I kind of want one in my size.

A couple of months later, upon seeing a particularly expensive -- yet adorable -- kids' Halloween catalog, I showed it to my middle son, figuring he'd fall madly and deeply in love with the rocket ship costume. He's kind of a space guy and that seemed right up his alley.

However, he took one look at the selections and said, "I'm going to be a butterfly." And it was final, that would be his costume. Whether or not I sacrificed a kidney to order one from that particular catalog, he would be a butterfly. If he had to make one himself out of construction paper, the kid would be a butterfly. That's just how he rolls.

The butterfly costume, I should add, was designed strictly for a girl. It had an adorable tutu, wings, and a wand all in a majestic fuchsia. It was quite possibly the most girlish thing one could have chosen from the selection of costumes in the ridiculously overpriced catalog.

And I ordered it for him without hesitation. At 3, I'm not about to inflict gender stereotypes on someone whose first word was "penis." If he wanted to be a "beautiful butterfly" (his words), then a beautiful butterfly he would be.

My 9-year-old whispered in my ear as Alex twirled and whirled in his costume, "Mom, that costume is kinda ... girly," and I nodded as I told him not to tell his brother.

Because while he twirled and whirled and preened in his costume, it turned out he'd been right the whole time -- he was a genuinely beautiful butterfly.

And I cannot wait to show his first girlfriend the pictures.

Now I'm curious: would you allow your boys to wear girls' clothing?

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