So recently my friend Kelly sent me this blog post about mothers of sons. About what we need to teach them. It is sweet and funny, if not a little long, but is a great list of life lessons. Some I found to just be general parenting (not necessarily gender specific) but I thought I would jump in on the discussion.
I know people harp on this all the time about not buying gender specific toys and not stereotyping your kid…and here is my 2 cents. I was raised pretty down the middle. Not overly “girly” and not overly “tomboy”.
As a tot, I loved wearing frilly dresses on my birthday but I could make a kick ass mud pie in my grandma’s garden.
In the 4th grade, I had a sweet set of Barbies but I also LOVED playing kickball.
As a high schooler, I had enough makeup to makeover a small production of The Lion King but I also could change my own oil and tires.
Once I got married, I was pretty fucking proud of the fact that Kevin’s uncle told me I “didn’t throw like a girl” when we would toss the baseball. You should also see my spiral ;).
::sidenote: this tendonitis in my wrist has rendered me useless in this now and I am pissed::
With all this being said, boys and girls NATURALLY gravitate to certain things. Daycare is about as gender neutral as you can get. There is dress up, blocks, cars, baby dolls, books, art and plenty else. EVERY DAY we go in, he goes for the plastic cars or something with wheels. Even as an infant, he LOVED the rolling toys. He eventually plays with everything but you can’t deny he loves cars. He sleeps with cars and trains every night. Not even Disney branded ones. Even just little legos with wheels. LOVES.
Now with all this aside, there are some things I want to be sure to do with him/teach him to add to the list in the post above.
- Let him watch princess movies – Or whatever thing is determined “girl”. (except for Dora and/or Diego..I hate them for entirely non-gender reasons). And that boy loves him some Tangled. He loves the music and loves to dance to it. Along with that, if we go to Target to pick out potty seats(weekend project this week) and he wants to sit his butt on Abby Cadabby or Rapunzel? I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. More power to him. He can have I won’t him to be happy with whatever…no matter what the redneck in the aisle thinks. They can SUCK IT.
- Teach him to clean like a boss – I have first hand experience here. My mother in law (Hi Deb!) is quite possibly the cleanest person ever. Well next to my grandmother-in-law, Miss Lela. But along with that, Kevin can clean better than any male I have ever met. Hell, better than me. Granted there are some OCD tendencies sometimes but if you want someone to vacuum your car, talk to him. This has not only made my life so much easier, it has made our marriage so much more 50/50. Like trying to sell the house right now, I am not super stressed every morning before we leave because we BOTH clean like champs and keep our shit in order. Such a blessing. I want Landon to bring that to the table in a future marriage/relationship.
- When he is older, teach him how to play and treat smaller kids – Another first hand experience but also a little glimpse into the other side of the tracks. A couple of years ago I overheard a conversation with some guys with one’s wife was about to have a baby. He was bragging that he was 36 and had never held a baby. Um, what is to brag about here? Sounds like a recipe for “raisin’ babies is a woman’s job” type fight at 2 months postpartum when she hasn’t slept in a week and he refuses to change a diaper. Once again, better partnership. Kevin grew up helping take care of the little kids in the family. He babysat, helped his mom potty train kids she kept and even now is the late night phone call for young family members in need. It also shows through to how he can win over EVERY kid at daycare. Those kids come running to give him mulch or play peekaboo. It’s precious…if not ovary busting.
- How to see something that need to be done and do it – This can be anything from picking up toys to knowing your boss needs grunt work done…no matter what your status. This really isn’t a male vs female thing but just a value Kevin and I both have. You are invited to dinner, you help clean up. You see a lady with a toddler on her hip and balancing a grocery cart with 1 hand, you help her to the car and with the door. You see a job that needs to be done, you do it. Whether that is filing papers or picking up dog shit. You do it. It makes you are better human being.
- How to dress – Match socks, no brown shoes with black pants and even find pants that FIT. Hate to sound like a broken record but I am a lucky duck here too. K can dress. Like BONABLE dress. Fitted jeans, slim fit sweaters and the shoes. He can pick an awesome shoe. I believe he likes shoes more than me. But main thing, he can always look presentable. He doesn’t have to check with me before work to make sure something matches. I know WAY too many guys that have to do this. It’s not cute. It’s pretty sad honestly. I don’t have to shop for him…we actually enjoy doing it together.
I think a lot of times as parents we get sucked in to the “I will never…” with our kids. What are you gonna teach them?