Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little Peter's Pink Leggings

...well NOT in this house dear friends.

I live in one of the, if not THE, most gender equal countries in the world. Dads pushing strollers and wiping bums, taking their Government-given paternity leave. Moms changing the oil and heading out for a night of drinking and dancing while Dad stays home to tend to the little ones. All the household chores and bills split right down the middle (though I'm sure they factor in who makes more money). Proof.

But with all that, chivalry is dead in the water here. No opening of doors. No ladies first. No "Dinner is on Me". Seriously. The man is not expected and the woman might even go as far as to be insulted, if the man offered to pay for dinner. (Caveat: This is a generalization, obviously. Sweden has a lot of Middle Eastern immigrants)

There was even some talk recently about all of this gender equality emasculating Swedish men?! Again, seriously. Gotta find that article for you. It's a hoot. This woman is an idiot.

Anyway, I'm more of a traditional gal and though I admire and respect all of this equality, I like to run my house. I like doors open for me. I DO NOT pay for dinner on a date. I like to be treated like a lady in the more traditional sense of the word. But that's me. And yes, I would have been standing in protest way back when for the right to vote.

Now, finally getting to my story here. The other day was an observation day at my son's school so I was able to go for the morning and be a not-so-silent observer of the day-to-day goings on at the Montesorri school. It was pretty cool to see my son in his element.

While observing, I definitely observed a little boy wearing pink tights with flowers on them. Double-take. Yup, that little boy is wearing pink tights with flowers on them. It was a cold day and some of the kids only had leggings/tights/longjohns whatever-you-want-to-call-them, on underneath their winter gear.

Were his blue or boy-coloured leggings dirty that day so Mom or in this country, Dad, decided to thrown on a pair of his sister's? Or maybe the little guy likes wearing pink flowered leggings. I do not know the story. I just know what I saw. And then there's the little boy in the park wearing his sister's hand-me-down snowsuit, a lovely purple hue and again with the flowers.

I have a little boy. I love little boy clothes. If I had a little girl, I would love dressing her up in little girl clothes.

I'm not sure who it was that decided there were boy colours, girl colours and unisex colours. But they did. And we use this colour-coding scheme with infants so that cooing adults know to say, "Oh what a beautiful little INSERT SEX you have!" Now if you dress your baby in yellow (the colour for those who don't wish to know the sex of their baby beforehand and end up getting piles of yellow clothes at baby showers), all bets are off. If I make a mistake, it ain't my fault. So anyway, pink and blue STICK. They kind of follow us through life, don't they? Again, I didn't make this decision. Someone way back in the olden days did. I, like millions of others, just live by it.

And if one day my litte man decides it's tutus, Mommy's make-up and high heels, well to quote Seinfeld, "..Not that there's anything wrong with that". I will love him just the same and stand alongside him in the Pride parade plastered in rainbows. But until such time as my little boy can decide for himself what he likes to wear, he'll be decked out in trucks, trains, aliens and cars--in all the boy colours of the rainbow. Because I control the closet and for now, he's MY little boy.


H F W said...

Not in this house either!!!!!!
Although, EJ does have a pink paci because it's the only one he likes nipple wise ... we have yet to find a different colored one!

SwedishJenn said...

@HFW So glad you feel the same. Of course there are always exceptions ;-). After reading this post, Hubby thought I should have pointed out the difference between cultures for public awareness sake and let everyone judge for themselves. I had one thing to say to that: My son will not wear pink so long as I can help it..ha!

septembermom said...

I love how you say that you control his closet "for now". It doesn't hurt for you to select his colors. I have a friend who has a four year old son who is obsessed with all things girlie. She lets it go but worries about whether this fascination will stick through the school years. She hasn't had much luck pushing him in the truck direction. He loves his Barbies!

SwedishJenn said...

Too cute septembermom. Does this little boy have an older sister perhaps? Our little guy has had no real opportunities with dollies or Barbies as he hasn't been around them. sure he sees them in the toy stores but to be honest, he really does love all the things boys stereotypically love, cars, digger trucks, you name it. If he ended up loving the girly things in life at such a young age, I honestly don't know how I would handle that. Honestly, I would likely try to push the boy stuff at him and if it didn't take, well Barbies it would be :-). And this is all, FOR NOW. Things could very well change tomorrow :-).