Sunday, December 6, 2015

'My Three Sons' no Longer!

Which one of these is not like the other? Answer: All of the above!

Xena, warrior princess, on her noble steed.
Watch out world!

Steel yourselves for a barrage of gender stereotypes because that is exactly what has bombarded us in the last few months.

Up until recently, mommy lived by two axioms:
  1. That babies are more or less genderless until well after their first year. They exist to eat, sleep and be cute. Some Most babies are horrible sleepers and some eat better than others. But those aren't gender traits, rather just baby foibles. 
  2. That she herself was mother to three sons. This was an assessment based on behavioral patterns of hyperactivity and destruction typically, if not unfairly, attributed to male children.
That was until Raia turned 2 years old and subsequently turned up the dial on stereotypes. 

All the way to DEFCON 5.

It all began around Raia's two-year mark one chilly autumn day as we dressed for school. "Sandals." Raia stated emphatically. 

"But it's cold outside, we wear sandals only in the summer," mommy reasoned.

"Sandals." This was no question or debate. Merely statement of fact. "Sandals."

"Sneakers." 

"Sandals!"

"Boots?"

"SANDALS!"

Yikes!

It used to be that Raia was the third wheel in our sibling schemes of wreaking havoc. And while she still climbs like a pro and throws anything in her path, she has begun to carve out her own path on this twisted trail we blaze together. And now her gender orientation seems to be on a clear trajectory toward several female stereotypes:
  • Fierce, not-to-be-tampered-with (or assisted) fine motor skills
  • Opinions with regard to fashion (including and not limited to socks and underwear)
  • Independent eating (and thereby independently creating a big mess)
  • Independent dressing (refusing any assistance therein, despite failed attempts at clothing oneself)
  • Independent grooming (do not even think about helping her brush her teeth and wash up!) 
It is through these few items that mommy and abba are starting to understand yet another divergence in raising us three babies. Lucas and I will let anyone feed or dress us. You want to spoon bites into my mouth when the only action required of me is to part my lips? Sure, go ahead! You will pull off my shirt and replace it with another while I partially stiffen my limbs in a meager attempt to help you? Don't let me stop you! 

We live the life of leisure and we love it. We will take advantage of this as long as we can.

Raia, on the other hand, demands to do it all herself, even though her desires and her abilities aren't yet on par. Try to help her get dressed and risk a tantrum the size of China. Try to feed her, but duck as she swats the utensil right back at you. Try to lift her into her car seat - and brace your back for her trademark deadweight succumb-to-gravity plank that will be sure to rip the muscles out of your back!

We are all aware of our individuality and our special differences and character traits, all of which trump gender. But suffice it to say that Raia is redefining child rearing in our home lately. 

Never a dull moment over here! 

Do not help me eat my doughnut!
Do not help me eat my cake!

Center of attention, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. An essay on three indy films, "Tree of Life," "Beasts of the Southern Wild, and "Margaret." The author discusses modern life, primitive life, life in the 1950's, alternative lifestyles, finding justice, self-acceptance, forgiveness.

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