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[personal profile] baroquestar
OK, so I was going to start blogging again with a great big catch up post full of stuff about Melbourne acculturation, our visit to the US, Easter in Canberra and all things like that. But I just had a really disturbing conversation with my three year old, and I need to get it out, and get some input.

I was turning on the TV for her, and it went past "Dragon Booster", some mecha-battle cartoon thing. Maeve piped up with "Not that. It has scary bits, so it's for boys."
I froze, and turned around. "Pardon?"
"It's for boys. It has scary bits."
"Um, no, that's not how it works." I just found a prerecorded Playschool at that point, and sat down, head spinning. I've NEVER heard anything like that from her before, and it floored me more than is perhaps warranted. I thought that maybe I'd not been clear enough, so I took advantage of the boring last dregs of Night Garden on the recording to extend the conversation.
"Sweetheart, there's no such thing as shows for boys. There's no such thing as games and toys and books for boys, or for girls. Do you understand what I'm saying? You are allowed to watch or play whatever you like, and if you don't like it, that's ok too. But there's no such thing as stuff that's just for boys, or just for girls. OK?" This was all in a gentle voice, I didn't want her to think I was angry, or seriously upset (even if I was).
"Oh, ok mama," and she turned back to the TV.

She doesn't watch commercial TV, she doesn't have a totally pinkified wardrobe, her toys are rainbow coloured and constructive, her closest female cousin battles baby balrogs with a light sabre, her close adult friends and family are much more sensible than to say crap like that. It must have come from another kid at daycare, I guess. That's going to happen with all sorts of undesirable things, no doubt; swear words, headlice, requests for Br*tz merchandise... but am I doing the right thing? Do I address it head on and then let it go? Or just live my life as authentically and as hard as I can, showing her that we don't limit ourselves by foolish and arbitrary understandings about what we're meant to enjoy based on the configurations of our chromosomes?
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July 2011

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