Cross-Dressing My Tot: Does That Make Me a Bad Mother?

christopher robin winnie the poohBefore you call Child Protective Services, hear me out. Sometimes I look at my gorgeous little boy and wonder, "I wonder what he would look like as a she?"

And so I pulled his luscious curly blond locks back into ... my headband.

He liked it.

At the time, I had only a flower print hair accessory. Otherwise I would have chosen something much more masculine like "royal boy" blue or "fire engine" red -- even black, although I'm not a fan of dressing toddlers in that particular color. The same goes for camouflage. I mean, he's still in diapers, not preparing for combat.

Other gender-bending activities include dabbing a bit of lipstick on him, but only because he was watching me apply my own lipstick so intently. And I wanted to play a trick on daddy. You know, make him think mommy was crazy. Funny, ha ha! Right?

Well, maybe that was a bit wrong.


Trust me, these are minor infringements in comparison to what I caught my sister doing: attempting to blow out his curls! She assured me that her setting was on low heat, but that was only part of the problem. Clearly, he's too young for a blowout.

And while I always find those adorable frocks at Target darling, I never cross the gender divide, even though I think it would be a hilarious prank to pull on granddad, showing up in our best Sunday dresses. Ordinarily I live in Spain where boys are routinely dressed in tights during the cooler months. Most of my family in America, especially my father, finds the whole concept entirely -- you know -- girly. I, of course, love the style. He looks just like Christopher Robin in his stockings.

By no means do I wish for my son to be gay like some liberated moms out there, though I have always gotten along famously with gay men. I can honestly say, though, that the sexual activities and preferences of my son way down the line do not interest me in the slightest. Besides, we're talking strictly dressing boys and girls according to gender rules, not identity, as in ladylike pink for girls and battlefield green for boys.

Of course, according to historians, the gender specific color chart is a most Victorian-era concept and those people were quite oppressive, weren't they, working little Oliver Twist to the bone? Those gender-dressing rules are also restricted to country and culture. Take for instance Spain, where frilly lace is standard baby boy attire.  

This being 2010 America, I know that he is not supposed to wear barrettes and nail polish, yet when he looks at me with those curious eyes, I can't help but let him take some of my beauty accouterments out for a spin. He defaults to sticks and cars anyway ... who's to say a little gender subterfuge isn't healthy?

Image via peacay/Flickr

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