16 April 2007

a few minutes of fame in the blogosphere

There's a good handful of people who've been reading my blog for a while. If you're one of those regular readers, you must know all about the ways in which I'm psychologically damaging my sons. You must be aware that I really want daughters. Certainly you'd agree that I'm sort of "loco", possibly "delusional", and probably a little "off". It must be obvious, because some of these guys managed to draw those conclusions from reading only one of my posts!

I'm fairly amused. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that I've been linked anywhere, and it's by someone who thinks I'm crazy because once, I painted my son's nails when he asked me to; because I did not forbid him from trying on a pair of my heels when he expressed curiosity; because I entertained the idea of buying him a skirt when he asked me to.

I'm actually quite pleased at the number of people on that forum who can recognize that I love my sons, and that I'm not willing to limit their self-expression based on some arbitrarily gendered cultural guildelines for appearance. One of them also pointed out that Jesus & Co. had "a certain propensity for long skirts", to which I say, right on! If it was good enough for the savior of mankind, it's good enough for my kids!

As to the allegation that I want or need a daughter: I have been known to say that the main reason I'm sad about not having any daughters is because of the adorable, ridiculously froufrou clothes. I guess it says something incredible about my self-restraint that I do not, in fact, force my sons to wear that sort of clothing. It helps that I have a niece for whom I can buy such things if I really can't resist. Or, you know, what with me being a woman and all, I could wear them myself. But other than clothes, I don't have any reason to desire a hypothetical daughter over the wonderful sons I actually have.

So it wasn't my influence (my example, perhaps, but not my suggestion) that led to James' nails being painted. Believe it or not, my son did ask, entirely un-coerced, to wear nail polish and a skirt. He tried on my heels because they were lying out on the floor, not because I bribed him with a Gameboy. In fact, a couple of months ago, he saw a grandfather and granddaughter at the library and said, "I want my hair to look like that." I thought he meant the grandfather ("What? Why do you want gray hair?") but he actually meant the little girl's long golden braid. So we started growing his hair. And I will admit that James' ponytail was my idea -- it was my suggestion for keeping the hair out of his face all the time, and he liked my bubble-gum hair ties. But the inconvenience of growing his hair long eventually made him decide to cut his hair a few weeks ago. I was glad, though, that his decision was practical rather than gendered.

By the way, James does not own a skirt. I looked briefly last summer for something kilt-ish, but couldn't find anything I liked, and it hasn't really come up since then. Although, this morning when I went in to pick him up from preschool, he was wearing a flowered dress out of the dress-up room. So I guess it's too late for James -- the psychological damage has been done. We'll have to count on Evan to be the manly man -- but wait! Evan likes to play with dolls!! God, what have I done to these children?!

Greg looked around on the forum for a little while last night, trying to figure out who these guys were and how they'd found my site. (Believe it or not, my gender-bending post is the most frequently visited page on my blog. A lot of people reach it by Googling things like "paint his nails" or "under his skirt". I don't understand it, but I hope I can be of service.) He pointed out to me that a lot of the guys on that site are into comics. I'm a fan of certain comics, and movies made from them, but I was not above pointing out the irony of guys who like to read about guys who wear tights finding fault with a little boy's experimentation with his wardrobe and appearance.


Anonymous said...

pffft! people are ALWAYS being smart when it comes to judging other parents and their bringing up their kids. and in the end do a hell of a worse job at parenting themselves. i'm glad to hear the posts didn't upset you but instead amused you. cause you're a wonderful mother! and that already shows with your wonderful children.

lots of love,

Samay said...

Awesome! You're almost as big as the Numa Numa kid or lonelygirl. You should put video of james in a skirt with painted nails on Youtube and Myspace, it'd be huuge.

It was nice to see that there was a lot of debate about it on that forum, too.

nailgirl24 said...

I happened to find your blog through Whitney at Quip Whit. I have three boys and a beautiful little princess. I wanted a girl every. single. time!! But i did not try to make my boys into girls either. whether you want a girl is not the point. Having boys paint their nails or be feminine is not a bad thing. They wont become gender confused or gay. My 7 year old has been painting his nails with me since he was 2. Sometimes we did colors but most of the time clear. I think of it as making better husbands for their future wifes nuff said. Oh and yeah the wierd way people find my site is bizarre too. It is always because they google something wierd.

karen said...

hehehe - Geez Heidi, what ARE you thinking!?! Painted nails, dolls, and ponytails - not to mention heels and skirts... And I suppose if you had girls, they'd be wrestling and playing with dumptrucks. I can safely tell you from my high-and-mighty educational background that your kids are totally developmentally and psychologically screwed!

People like that make me laugh. Actually, at first I was admittedly kind of pissed. Um, let's talk about generalizing and making premature judgement calls, why don't we? But then I laughed at them, and I'm glad you were amused, too. How unfortunate for those few bloggers that their parents were not as awesome as you and Greg, and failed to recognize them as individual beings. ;0)

kim said...

I wonder how many of those posters have spent significant amounts of time around small children because, in my brief experience of parenting, it's near impossible to force your kid to like or dislike something. If you pressure a kid to do something s/he isn't inclined to do, I'd imagine most kids would just put up major resistance (since that's their main objective at this stage of life anyway from what I can see). I encouraged Molly to play with blocks for the longest time (because she got a nice set for Christmas one year) to no avail; a couple weeks ago, she decided on her own that she wanted to play with them. Similarly with reading - one would think that I'm a Bible-thumping religious zealot with how much Molly loves to read her children's Bible. In actuality, she decided on her own that it was her very favorite book (and consequently makes me look like the bad mother who says, "no, Molly, I'm not going to read the Bible to you anymore!") with no pressure from me at all. If you pushed make-up or dresses on James and he wasn't interested, I'm certain he'd let you know.