It’s official–I’m a boy mom! “Boy mom” is a term I learned about on Twitter to designate that special species of mothers who parent a little boy. The #boymom knows all about frogs and snails and how crazy active little boys are and how sometimes it looks like they’re going to kill each other or themselves with their roughhousing, but then by some miracle they don’t.
Boymoms’ floors are covered with oodles of itty bitty Lego pieces, but they don’t mind (except when one gets lodged in her foot in the middle of the night). Boymoms are used to existing in a sci-fi, superhero world, because to them, their sons are somehow superheroes in their own right, or they will be someday. And boymoms are used to having their refrigerators cleaned out, because boys NEVER. STOP. EATING!
My son is only four months old, so most of this is stuff is far into the future for us (except the “never-stop-eating” part). And it all sounds like so much fun, I can hardly wait. Needless to say, I’m over freaking out about having a boy in the first place. I met Leo, and it was love at first sight. Now I can’t let him go.
But even as my son has become an appendage, one thing I haven’t quite figured out is what to do about the pink stuff: that is, my daughter’s pink stuff that she had as a baby. Because I still have a lot of it. Do I not use it, simply let it collect dust, because it is pink and I have a boy? Is it just too unseemly to let my son be seen in something pink, or is it considered weird? There’s something about that idea that seems so arbitrary and even unfair…that judgement would be passed on my baby, or me, for letting him wear/come into contact with a color that is randomly associated with girls.
I’ve said before in a piece I called “The Pink Load,” that I thought the gender assignment of colors was silly. Yet retailers are laughing all the way to the bank, because they are the ones who invented this as a brilliant marketing tactic. There are two of every item for babies at the baby or toy store: one version is pink and/or purple, and one is any other color, but probably blue. And because I have a boy and a girl, I’ll have had to invest in two of everything over time. The baby carrier that I just HAD to get in pink due to my excitement over having a girl is now seemingly useless.
Our rules of gender are so rigid that they are color coded. The girls’ aisles are the pink ghetto of the big box stores, totally off limits to boys, who have their own aisles in navy blue and gunmetal.
Am I brave enough to break the rules, and dress my son in pink, or walk around with him in the pink carrier? I’m thinking about it, but it’s hard because society has made it clear to me that it’s totally taboo. He’s only a baby, and I hope I will be ready to break the rules in time. And if my son ever asks me if he can wear something pink because he wants to, I’m going to say yes.
Are you a boymom? Do you let your son wear pink or not? Sound off in the comments section!