Friday, June 4, 2010

Only Boy Woes

There are times when I feel a little bad for my one and only son.  Having two older sisters, he has had to endure quite a bit of pink.

Maybe too much.  But for most of his life, he didn't mind at all.  I'm pretty sure it bothered his dad a whole lot more than it bothered him.

Pink water shoes.  Yep, he wore them for the entire summer that year. 

They fit him, and they weren't falling apart.  I just couldn't see the logic behind buying a new pair just because of the color.  He certainly wasn't complaining.  Of course, it helped that he was a little fuzzy on his colors at that age.

Fast forward a few years.  J finds himself with a nice rainbow pink care bear umbrella.  The girls had moved on to adult umbrellas since they fit in their backpacks.  So J inherits this one.

For most of his Kindergarten year, he has used it happily.  I've never heard him complain about it.  He didn't seem embarassed by it even when his classmates caught sight of it.

But his father . . .  well, he reached a point when he just couldn't walk his son, his ONLY son, to school with a pink, care bear umbrella.

So we bought him a new one.  It's blue.  With wonder pets.  J loves it.  And Shaggy no longer has to be embarassed by his pink-umbrella-carrying son.

For the record, Shaggy is also tremendously relieved that J seems to have outgrown the dress-up phase.  At least the part where he'd raid the dress-up box in the girls room for the pinkest/purplest, frilliest, glittery things to put on.  He has graduated to superhero capes, explorer hats and such.

But that still left the pink, barbie scooter.  Which J would ride at every opportunity.  He loved the speed, he couldn't care less about the color.  He even had me bring it to school sometimes when I picked him up so he could ride it home.

Shaggy didn't particularly care for this pink scooter, either.  But as scooters generally cost more than umbrellas, he didn't press the issue.

It would seem from all of this, that I am especially partial to the color pink.  I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.  I am NOT a huge fan of pink--unless it's mixed with a lot of orange. 

So why all the pink stuff?  Well, I would often find myself at the store shopping for the girls, ready to buy umbrellas, or scooters, or water shoes.  And I would stare at the dismal TWO choices in front of me.  Pink vs. blue.  Barbie vs. Spiderman.  Care Bears vs. Hot Wheels. 

And I would unfailingly choose the item that the girls would actually like.  For them, there was no social expectation, no peer pressure.  They simply liked girly things and would shun whatever didn't happen to fit into that category.  So I was stuck buying the girly version, weather I liked it or not.

When J came a long, he grew up surrounded by all these girly things.  And it was perfectly normal for him to like them.  Because his mother, at least, never made a fuss about it.

For a good year-and-a-half, his self-proclaimed favorite color was pink.  It was quite amusing watching Shaggy cringe every time J made that announcement.  But he knew better than to make a big deal of it.  I had made it crystal clear that J should have the chance to change favorite colors if and when HE was ready, not because he was shamed into it.

This is a pink kazoo that he chose from the treasure chest at school.  He claimed that it helped him go faster on the scooter.  So he rode up and down the sidewalk all afternoon, on his pink scooter, blowing heartily on his pink kazoo.

Well, earlier this year he gave up pink.  His favorite color is now blue--or green, depending on the day. 

He also began showing signs of being embarassed by the pink barbie scooter.  At least when I would bring it to school.  At home, he still didn't care.

Then there came a day when we were walking home from school and he spotted a fluffy dandelion.  He stopped to pick it and told me, "My teacher says that if you blow on these and make a wish, the wish will come true.  Really.  She said it."

Not wanting to interfere with his high regard for his teacher, I asked him if he wanted to make a wish.  He didn't hesitate.  "I wish for a new green scooter to be in the garage when we get home."

That would prove a little tricky.  So I explained that it sometimes took a few days for a wish to get to the wish fairy.  And then it might take her a few days to make the wish come true.

My ploy worked.  He did check the garage when we got home, but didn't seem overly disappointed that there was no new scooter waiting for him. 

Over the course of the next few days, he didn't forget about the wish like he sometimes does.  So I really couldn't ignore it.  Luckily, the event provided Shaggy with the perfect excuse to go buy J a new scooter. 

It ended up being blue, instead of green.  But J didn't seem to even notice the wish fairy's mistake.  It's a brand new scooter.  It's his.  And it's a WHOLE LOT faster than any Barbie scooter EVER.

1 comment:

Mom said...

I have a lovely photo of your very macho older brother in a nightie with pink rosebuds on it. Not that I was buying girlie nighties for my only (at that point) child/son -someone had given me a box of perfectly good baby clothes so I completely understand the pink water shoes and the pink umbrella and even the pink Barbie scooter. Money didn't grow on trees in those days any more than it does now. As far as the pink kazoo goes, I can't imagine anything making him go any faster on his current scooter than he already does, except maybe a jet engine mounted on the back. I'll have to remember to make a wish the next time I blow on a dandelion - I'll just have to do it when Dad isn't watching me increase the dandelion population.
Love you,
PS Give the kids a hug from Grammy