Let’s be honest here for a moment. The notion of forcing a child into any sort of gender-specific role is one that parents should avoid. After all, we shouldn’t be the ones telling them that they can’t do certain things based around whichever bits they happened to be born with (maybe with the exception of their position while peeing, but that’s a different conversation, and more about ease and not making a mess than anything else). Along this line of thinking, HawtWife and I made some concentrated efforts against trying to put Nugget into any clothes that clearly screamed “I’M A GIRL!!!!”. Yes, we did have dresses for her, and skirts, but even those weren’t clothes that were utilized much in the beginning. She’s also got jeans, and plenty of shirts that are gender-neutral, or even pushing towards “boy” clothes, just because they were awesome.
Now, while avoiding trying to cast gender-specific designations upon your child, there is something that you should clearly be paying attention to. That “something”? Your child.
I know, tricky, right?
See, we made great efforts to avoid making Nugget dress (or act) overtly “girl-y”. Just because she happened to be born with lady parts doesn’t mean that we felt she needed to be dressed head-to-toe in pink, with frills and flowers and rainbows. We also wanted to make sure that she had plenty of toy options, representing both genders. Somewhere along the way, Nugget very clearly put her foot down and let it be known that she. was. a. girl. Maybe it was seeing another little girl’s pink room, and being floored that such a possibility existed. Maybe it was deciding between two toy cars that were identical in everything except color, and she chose the pink and purple one instead of the blue and green one. Either way, Nugget has proudly declared herself as a little lady, and there’s nothing we can really do to hold her back.
The most specific, and potentially violent, proof of this declaration? Nugget loves tutus.
Yes, frilly skirts. Absolutely loves them. Nugget goes crazy for them. She’ll see tutus from 40 feet away in a store, while they’re also obscured by other racks of clothes, and she will make a beeline for them, shouting “Tutu” the entire way. If she’s wearing a tutu, and we need to do anything that might involve the tutu moving slightly from her waist, or being crumpled, she expresses clear dismay that we’re messing with her tutu. Did she get food on it while eating? Too bad, because that tutu is not allowed to go anywhere near where we might be able to get a quick wash done. Changing her diaper? You’d better be able to figure out how to get the messy one off, her butt cleaned, and a new one on without so much as breathing on the tutu. Her love for tutus knows no rival. It even pales in comparison to her love of food, and, as HawtWife pointed out recently, Nugget will grow up to be the kind of girl who knows how to finish a bag of chips, and will do so happily.
Heck, we even had to pick up a “nighttime tutu” for her to wear with pajamas. That tutu is specifically a bedtime tutu, and we only pull it out when she’s really clamoring for one, but it’s proven to be remarkably effective. Last night, I felt a little bad, because we were able to convince her that her pajama shorts were “tutu shorts”, and she spent the rest of her waking hours trying to pull them away from her legs so that they’d flare out when she spun, like her tutus do. Her favorite dresses have tutus. I’m pretty sure if I ever wore a tutu around her, it would blow her mind (and I have faith that pictures would be captured for the internet, so don’t expect anything soon), before she got jealous that SHE wasn’t the one wearing that particular tutu.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t try to force your child to identify with one gender or another. They’ll totally do that on their own.
Well, I’m trying to say that, and that tutus have an incredibly powerful grip on Nugget’s fashion sense. She would’ve been a great roller derby skater approximately seven years ago.