Charles is a typical 4 year old. He likes to play pretend, he enjoys reading books, he likes crafts and has his own particular sense of style. Like most boys his age, he loves to play with LEGO, toy cars and enjoys dressing up in his policeman or firefighter costume. He adores to play with his foam lightsaber (he packs one heck of a hit!) and likes to throw imaginary fireballs at his imaginary attackers.
On the other hand, Charles also loves to play with dolls. He regularly asks me to paint his nails. His current favourite colour is pink. He likes to wear pink and purple beaded necklaces and bracelets and loves it when I do his hair. He plays with dolls and princess stickers. Last week, he was disappointed when I told him that he couldn’t wear his sister’s socks because they were too small for him. He wanted pink and purple socks. I brought him to a clothing store for him to be able to pick some out, he was elated and so very proud to put them on.
From the getgo, I’ve wanted my children to be raised in an environment unhindered by gendered stereotypes. I was lucky enough to find a daycare provider who has the same philosophy.
Last Monday, he decided that his sister and he should dress similarly. He loaned her one of his hoodies, then asked me to put his hair up in pigtails and convinced his sister to let him wear one of her headbands and bracelets. They were so cute!
I love the fact that Charles is still young enough to not even be aware that any stereotypes exist. In his mind, boys can love pink and nail polish and princesses and girls can totally love cars and monsters and Batman. And that’s the way it should be, right? I know that eventually someone will come along and burst his bubble. I only hope that when that day comes, he’ll be able to defend his interests, no matter what they are at that moment.