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?