I read an article on Huffington Post yesterday about a pair of moms who are designing and creating dresses for girls that feature things like dinosaurs, aliens and trains. This was seen as “unconventional” in the world of fashion for young girls; I’d have to say, I agree. Just walking through the aisles of the toddler section at Target, I’m bombarded by either pink-ruffles-pearls-princesses or ninja-super-alien-fire truck. There is no gray area in terms of clothing for young children; it’s either very blue, or very pink.
A few months ago, one of the boys in my son’s class had a birthday, and cupcakes were brought in for all the toddlers to enjoy (because toddlers totally need cake and frosting at 3pm on a Tuesday, right?) There’s an even split of boys and girls in Miles’ classroom, which this student’s mom had noticed. She brought in eight blue cupcakes and eight pink cupcakes. Each was adorned with some sort of plastic trinket on top, with the blue cupcakes having soccer balls, and the pink cupcakes having Hello Kitty rings. The plastic choking hazards were removed prior to cupcakes being served.
As each student left for the day, one of the teachers invited them to grab one of the plastic items from the basket they’d used to collect them. Two moms who arrived at the same time I did chose for their children: soccer ball for a boy, kitty ring for a girl. When it was our turn, I let Miles choose. And do you know what he picked?
I instinctively prepared to defend his choice, thinking his teacher might suggest a soccer ball, but she just smiled. Miles happily took his kitty ring, and we were on our way.
He didn’t choose Hello Kitty because of its color or cupcake association; Miles chose the cat because we have four cats at home, and by default Miles loves cats as much as his crazy cat loving mama.
Not a day passes where he doesn’t give at least one of them a “big hug” (read: squeeze their internal organs). Most car rides home from school involve some sort of discussion about Frankie or Patches or Blueberry or Pookie. He loves these little furballs. He also loves our dog, and if the choice were between plastic dog ring and plastic cat ring, I’m not sure what he would have decided (catcatcatcatcat). And he really really loves dinosaurs, so if the decision fell between cat and T-Rex, well, that would be an obvious choice for him. He simply chose what he liked.
Kids don’t see things the way some adults do: pink or blue. Kids see things the way they truly are: fun or not fun; yes or no; want or don’t want. It’s very simple for them.
So, boys can like cats and girls can like rocket ships, and life still goes on.
Kudos to the mamas thinking outside of the pink and heavily glittered box.
(BTW, they are officially sold out until July!)