Part of what made the afternoon really nice was a long discussion we had about whether Princess Parties are a good idea. I was on the fence, but my girl is VERY girly. And truth be told, I like being a girl, too. Somebody said that the emphasis on making girls less girly (I'm not phrasing that right) is in actuality an emphasis on the masculine. If we praise girls for being tomboys, we're praising them for being boyish.
Gender is complicated, though. I think where I've settled on it is to let the kids choose stuff they like, and when they're older they can choose again. I think the girl should also like trucks and the boy should also like pink, and guess what, sometimes they do. My girl is the strong, physical one while my boy is sweet and gentle. But often they go with the societal gender roles. Which is also okay.
In what felt like funny timing, yesterday I was changing the girl's diapers when the boy was with me. He is still in Pull-ups for overnight, though generally, gloriously, finally, potty-trained for the day. He looked at me quizzically and asked, "Why do my diapers have trucks and E's have castles?" You nailed it, baby, I thought to myself.
"I don't really know, honey," I replied. "Do you like castles too?"
"Yeah. You know what else I like? Granola." he replied.
He'll work it out. Also, when he said he wanted to stay for the party, that was fine, and he did and had a great time.
Here's the gorgeous, truck-playing, pink-loving boy:
Me! That belt thing is actually a scarf I tied in a big fat bow in the back. I figured princess dresses need a big fat bow, right?:
I would be glad to hear your perspective on how you handle gender issues, whether you are a parent or not. I think we all have a lot to learn and understand about it and ourselves.