Pink and blue

This morning I stood, paralyzed, staring at the shelves of training diapers in front of me. On the left, the pink kind; the one we always get for Sage, with the princesses on it. On the right, the blue kind; the one for boys, the one with Woody and Buzz Lightyear on it.

The one Sage asked for last time we were here.

I hesitated when she pointed to the blue packs and said, "oooh!" We were in a rush. I didn't feel like having the discussion. I didn't have time to read the label. And I seem to remember somewhere in the back of my head, some commercial that described different leak protection for boys and girls. God forbid Sage has the wrong leak protection.

"Those are for boys," I had mumbled to Sage, while grabbing the pink pack in one arm and her in the other, and scurrying off to the register. I felt crazy guilty about it. What kind of feminist am I anyway? The kind that doesn't want the wrong leak protection? Because that's what I tried to convince myself. More likely, I'm the kind that continues to grapple with her pink is for girls, blue is for boys issues.

(Although if you think about it there is something kind of ironic about a boys' diaper that helps promote a guy called Woody. In the same way I try not to think too much about my girls' underwear that says Hello Kitty on it. Double entendres and children's undergarments are two things that should never ever ever go together.

Let's just forget I mentioned it.)

This morning, I walked into the CVS determined to buy the blue Pull-Ups. I conjured up the wildly joyous expression on Sage's face when she first recognized the Toy Story characters on the packaging, and I made up my mind. But something still kept me unable to decide. I must have looked like a complete idiot, standing in aisle 1 for way too long, staring at the pink ones...then the blue ones...then the pink ones...over and over again. I have no doubt the CVS employees were watching me on the security cam, mocking me from some back room somewhere: Well, does she have a boy or a girl? Duh! How hard can it be? Stupid lady.

But it did feel very hard.

It felt very hard to get those blue diapers, the one "for boys," and pay for them and open them up and put them in her dresser drawer right next to the pink polkadot underwear and the heart pajamas. I wonder if it will be hard when I send her to camp in the morning with a spare pare of "boy" Pull-Ups in her backpack. I wonder if it will be hard when a neighbor or the mom of a playdate companion gets a look at the design poking out of her waistband and makes an off-handed remark.

What won't be hard is when Sage comes home later today and squeals, Wooodeeeeee! and dances around the house hugging her diapers. And that's just what she'll do.

Then I realize, I have it easy. It's my friend whose son want to wear the princess Pull-Ups that doesn't.



Blogger Truthful Mommy said...

You are a great Mom! Barring the protection issues , I don't think there is anything wrong with little girls and boys interchanging their diapers, Its a color for God's sake. Just like I think its fine for little girls to play with trucks and little boys to play with baby dolls. We,society, spend our time telling our children that they can be whatever they want..absolutely anything. We believe this. This is a good message. But when it comes to simple things like diapers,clothes, and toys we get all territorial. Its like we have this deep seated fear that our kids can be anything they like..as long a they adhere to predetermined social sexual roles.I think we are afraid of what others will say and think. But by doing this we are putting our kids in a box and limiting their potential. It's pretty hard to reach for the stars when you are tethered to a 1950's stereotype. You went and got your girl her Woodee pull ups...You rock! Good for you!
Truthful Mommy

6/9/10, 10:16 AM  
Blogger Amelia Sprout said...

I hate those damn princess pull ups. When M was in pull ups during the day, she regularly picked the (generic brand) ones with robots on them. Robots are way cooler.

She is a well rounded kid. She wears dinosaurs, plays with trucks, and LOVES pink. It makes it easier for me when she goes crazy for the pink things that I know the dinosaurs will get their turn too. You're right though, we have it easier as mother's of girls. It isn't fair.

6/9/10, 10:27 AM  
Anonymous St. Louis Smart Mama said...

Yeah, it's really hard when #1 is a girl and #2 is a boy. My 2 year-old boy would happily choose the Princess pull-ups I'm afraid. Whenever he prances around the house in jewelry and dress-up dresses I always feel really grateful that he also loves trucks and motorcycles and all things loud and powerful. Gender stereotypes are hard to overcome -for we adults, obviously not for the kids ;-)

6/9/10, 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My little boy has pink fairy wings, which he likes to wear with the bulldozer sundress I made him. He drives diggers all the time and mourns the fact that he is too big for his baby sister's dresses. He plays Peter Pan, and Papa is always Tink. We don't learn gender until someone teaches us.

6/9/10, 10:38 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Anon, your son sounds awesome.

But I do think while pink = girls is taught (and stupid), there are profound gender differences that we can't deny.

My hope is that if I'm doing my job right, I've armed my kids with information to make good choices and follow their hearts wherever that may lead them. Even to blue pull-ups and boy friends with pink fairy wings.

6/9/10, 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Alexa said...

Ha! I had an eerily similar moment the other day--I have been utterly unable to buy Simone the princess Pull Ups. She wears the Woody ones (though frankly it drives me crazy that there are "boy" and "girl" versions in the first place) and the other day at Target I was trying to get myself to buy the pink ones, just because it seemed so silly that I COULDN'T, and I must have been in the aisle lecturing myself about how it doesn't matter! They're just diapers! for 10 minutes.
(I still bought the Woody ones).

6/9/10, 10:47 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

My son picked out the Dora underwear in Tar.get a few months ago. Not only were they pink, but they were also a little frilly around the elastic. I said no. I'm cool with the pink and purple Dora sippy cups and hot pink monster trucks, but I can't put my almost 3-year-old in underwear with frills. And, the thing is, I was worried, like you, that someone would see those pink, frilly panties poking out of his shorts and make an off color comment, or assume I wanted my son in girl underwear, not that he had chosen them.

6/9/10, 10:49 AM  
Blogger Just Margaret said...

You are *totally* doing your job right. She'll be thrilled to find them!

If she's anything like my boy, she won't take any nonsense from someone who notices. Patrick sported bright red toenail polish and gave it right back to the neighbor guy when he asked, all appalled, what was on his toes.

6/9/10, 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Karianna said...

My (nearly) 6 year old boy loves his pretty princesses, dresses in pink pretty frequently, and selected a girls' bedroom set from Pottery Barn. He was ecstatic when I made a tutu for "Tutus for Tanner" and he wears it frequently.

His classmates actually bring him little play rings and jewels because they know he'll appreciate them. I think it helps that he is also a Star-Wars fanatic, and can play ninja like the best of 'em, too.

6/9/10, 10:54 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I have a 4yo son. The first time I bought pull-ups it had never crossed my mind that they were sold as "boys" and "girls." Diapers were diapers...i didn't have those options. When I grabbed one that night for bedtime I realized that they had Disney princesses all over them. Hmmm.
My son thought they were pretty awesome. I, like you, felt very torn about my resistance to them. Why should it matter? I felt angry with the manufacturers: why are they forcing gender stereotypes on our kids at such an early age? Why are they forcing me to make these decisions? Why can't I just buy gender-neutral pull-ups for God's sake?
We (bravely?) went through the whole pack of Disney princess pull-ups, but when it was time to buy more...I went for the "boys" version. I was thankful that my son wasn't attached to the Disney princesses. I'm not sure what I would have done in that case.

6/9/10, 10:58 AM  
OpenID rkmama said...

The first pair of undies my daughter picked out were Thomas the Train. Then she picked out My little ponies and I was totally bummed because boys underoos are thicker and hold in accidents so much better. My son has always gone for the boy undies but regularly sports his sisters tutus and princess dresses. This morning he helped me take the garbage cans out in a be-sequined leotard (at least it was blue, eh?!) I have never felt an ounce of guilt over this. What makes him happy makes me happy.
I do totally see your point about the inner voice that makes you stop and think about these sorts of things...I just tell mine to shut the eff up :).

6/9/10, 11:18 AM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

Honestly? At three years old, most people won't question a little girl with blue diapers. It is the little boy with with the pink ones that raises eyebrows. Which is kind of sad. It's much more accepting of girls to be tom boys, or just like 'boy' toys and stuff, than it is for a girl.

I'll be super truthful with you. When my son became infatuated with the Disney movie Cars instead of the princesses that have taken over my house, I was a little bit relieved. Not even because I care what he likes, just because it is easier to carry around a boy with cars in his hand at all times, than Tinker Bell dolls. I feel like a hypocrite, because I know it's more about what others think, than me actually caring. But there it is.

I think it comes down to, we want to be accepted and more than that? We want our kids to be accepted.

6/9/10, 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Allison said...

I am totally with Alexa. It irritates me to no end that there are boy vs girl Pull-Ups. How ridiculous is that?

I'm not too concerned about what happens when my daughter wants the 'boy' kind. What worries me is if my son will get any backlash when I let him wear the 8 billion 'girl' things he wants to try out.

After all, a girl being a tomboy isn't too weird. But what is a boy who wants to do 'girl' things?

Having one of each, the whole situation just weirds me out on a regular basis. My son is the older one. Right now his thing is nail polish. He wants some. Now the question is...would I let my daughter wear it at that age? If so, I better pony up and let my son wear it too.

It's not my own gender issues I'm worried about these days. It's worrying how others will react, verbally, to my children.

6/9/10, 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I had it a bit easier. I never did buy any pull-ups or put my children in training pants. When it came to potty training, I basically just put them in their undies when they were ready and reminded them to tell me when they needed to go. Yes there were accidents. But not many. My daughter took all of a weekend to realize not to go in her undies, and voilĂ  she had mastered the skill. My boys had a bit more of accidents, meaning number 2, but again not a big fuss. I must say, potty training in our house was short and sweet.

6/9/10, 11:33 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I have been waiting for the anonymous, off-topic "I never used pull ups" comment.

Thanks for that! Now I can relax.

6/9/10, 11:38 AM  
Blogger Dr. Confused said...

I have the opposite problem! My little girl has never dressed dresses and has an equal number of pink/purple vs grey/blue shirts. I hate the division of clothes and toys into boy/girl. We're potty training now and I was looking for underwear on e-bay. I was trying to figure out if I could put her in boy underwear, or if there was something different about the cut or something. It looked from the pictures that there was, that hole in the side there where boys can poke their penis through. But a girl could wear that too, right?

I ended up bidding on a set of plain pastel girls undies. If I lose the auction, maybe I'll go for the boys' ones.

6/9/10, 12:02 PM  
Anonymous dusty earth mother said...

Okay, the Woody and Hello Kitty section had me laughing out loud. Right?? Did they know when they were marketing it?? Was it intentional, as they tee-hee'd, wondering which savvy parents would get the joke? Or were they really that dumb? These are the sorts of things that keep me up at night...

Anyhow, good for you for going blue, baby. You have retained your feminist persona, leak control or not.

(And I loved meeting you last night!!)

6/9/10, 12:14 PM  
Blogger Cloud said...

Oh, man, the Hello Kitty thing had never occurred to me.

But I do always hear "Hello Kitty" in my head in that same freaky computerized voice that says "Hello, Baby" on my baby's keyboard toy. That has been weirding me out for months. And now I can add the double entendre to that. Great.

6/9/10, 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Booyah's Momma said...

My daughter is a tomboy, despite my thwarted attempts to get her to wear dresses and bows. It wasn't surprising to me that she picked the Lightning McQueen pullups or the Thomas the Train undies.

Even though part of me would love a girly-girl, the other part of me is pretty proud that she knows what she likes and isn't budging. I'm actually kind of dreading the day she comes home and asks for princesses simply because she sees the other girls at preschool wearing them.

6/9/10, 12:22 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I was in Walgreens the other day and I was standing there in a complete stupor trying to find the right size swim diapers for my son. Then suddenly his little arm reached out and snatched a package. I checked and it was the right size. Smartie.

He hugged the package all the way to checkout, but whatever, toddlers can be weird about things and I didn't think much about it. It wasn't until I got them home that I realized that he'd picked out the pink girl's swim diapers with the Little Mermaid on them.

Whatever. The pink diapers look a tad silly on him, but I am certain it's the shell bikini on the "Little Maid" that he loves so much.

6/9/10, 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

The first time I bought swim diapers, I didn't pay much attention and my boys have both worn the bright pink Dora Swimmers I picked up that day. I never heard any comments, although I guess the teachers could have all been remarking about how pitiful it was that I wanted a girl so badly that I dressed my boys in pink diapers....

6/9/10, 1:04 PM  
Anonymous BethH said...

I have two boys and it's definitely more difficult in society if a boy wants to wear or do "girl" things. My 4-year-old son loves all things trucks, construction, super-heros, etc., but one day at school, he saw some girls painting their nails (with paintbrushes and water) and he wanted in on the action. One of his boy friends shouted, "Boys don't paint their nails. Only girls do!" My son was crushed--you could tell by his expression. I quickly told him he could paint his nails, too, and he let one of the girls paint them. He hasn't really pushed it at home (probably because I don't paint my nails), but I know my husband would have a huge issue with me painting his fingernails, even with clear polish. Anyway, I, too, am a feminist and I struggle with this. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I don't want my son to want to wear tutus and get his nails painted and listen to Broadway tunes. Even though I KNOW that it's all part of exploration and I would try not to ever abruptly dismiss his curiosity about anything--be it "girly" stuff or not. And even though I'm totally open-minded and it's totally fine if he turns out to be gay. Still. I don't want him to be. And even if he's not, I don't want other people to think he is. And ultimately, isn't that what some of us are afraid of?

(Obviously, there are many many people who AREN'T afraid, and I admire them soooo much but I have to admit--as enlightened as I am, *ahem*--that a voice in my head whispers, "If you let him wear girls' underwear and dresses and paint his nails, will that influence him and lead him to homosexuality?" And I KNOW that's stupid, because I believe it's something you're born to be. But still, the voice persists.)

6/9/10, 1:07 PM  
Blogger heels said...

My son liked the princess ones because he thought the girls were pretty!

6/9/10, 1:16 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Speaking of Toy Story, I bought my niece a Toy Story 3 Barbie... and wouldn't you know there's one called Barbie Loves Woody? No joke. Do you think the product managers giggled when they came up with the name?

6/9/10, 1:19 PM  
Anonymous 6512 and growing said...

My son (5) loves to dress up in his sister's fluffy, frilly duds. Because my kids are the same size they share yellow flowered underwear as well as blue, train-themed undies. Like anon who said "we don't learn gender until someone teaches us," I didn't want to be the one to tell him our silly society has decided that pink is for girls and blue for boys. And so when he asked to wear a dress to school at 4 yrs. old, I said "sure, but you should know some kids might think it's funny."
And then I surprised myself yesterday when I steered him away from the pink sun hat and towards the blue one. I guess I am part of silly society after all.
Good for you for going back to CVS to get the blue pull ups.

6/9/10, 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Kami (@workingmomfence) said...

Every Friday after swim class, my 4yo and 2yo sons stare longingly into the ballet studio filled with little girls in leotards and ballet skirts. "Mommy, can you sign me up for ballet next session?" my 4yo asks. I feel his question in the pit of my stomach. I was dancer in my previous life. I know how hard it can be for boys in that world. But I would never stand in the way of my kid doing something he really wants to do. So, I'm torn. Just like you standing in the pull up aisle. We're taking time off classes during the summer. In the fall, if he still wants to, he'll be the kid breaking down barriers in the all chicks ballet class at our Y. Oy.

Sage is awesome.

6/9/10, 1:47 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Kami, there are quite a few 3 and 4 year old boys in Sage's ballet class.

Come on down to Brooklyn! They're welcome any time.

6/9/10, 1:52 PM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

I spend much of my time explaining to my daughter that there is NO SUCH THING as "boy" colors and "girl" colors or "boy" toys and "girl" toys.

Thank you society and your f'd up messages for making my day just a bit more challenging.

6/9/10, 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It drives me batty that kids stuff is so cut an dry. Hearts and princesses are for girls, superhero's and dinosaurs are for boys. Except no, they're not. My girl wants to be a dinosaur riding super hero (of a long neck dino though because t-rex's are very mean) and there aren't any pink or purple or anything girl designed with a dinosaur/superhero on them. Or girls running shoes with Diego on them, or boys shoes with dora on them.
So we buy the boy's runners with diego and the heart underwear, but someone has to come up with some crossover designs!!!

6/9/10, 2:05 PM  
Blogger Denice said...

I have been buying my daughter the blue Woody pull-ups for more than a year now, because she LOVES horses, and she wants the HORSIE KIND!!!! It was hard the first time, and now I don't even think about it. It's a diaper!

6/9/10, 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Kami (@workingmomfence) said...

Liz, here in Natick, MA, boys play ice hockey & football. Do you think I'd have this problem if we still lived in Brooklyn? ;)

6/9/10, 2:08 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Anon - Sure, it's a t-rex that the girl is riding, but it's a GIRL riding a dino t-shirt! (and it's pink!) Take a look:


6/9/10, 2:10 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Ha, you beat me to it Amy!

We featured the dinogirl shirt on Cool Mom Picks last week. It's a winner!

And these baby onesies from UK's Twisted Twee kill me every time.

6/9/10, 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Ewokmama said...

My ex-husband was quite a sensitive guy, as are most males in his family. As far as stereotypical male traits vs. female traits, I've always been the guy and he was the girl. When I had my son, it wasn't surprising to me at all that he was a lot like his dad in that way. My son LOVES princesses even though neither of his parents do - he just caught on to it from the girls at daycare. I've told him stories about princesses and princes and he always wants to play the princess (she gets to dress up, after all). He has no qualms about putting on a princess dress and I have bought him princess pull ups as well as the Woody ones. I love that he doesn't care about blue vs. pink and I've never heard him say "that's for girls" or anything like that. He is equal opportunity (he loves Transformers and dinosaurs just as much as princesses) and I couldn't be prouder.

6/9/10, 2:47 PM  
Anonymous ozma said...

Wow, I barely even register that Toy Story blue is for boys.

I just get my kid whatever shit. I know all the toys/diapers, etc. are gendered. I ignored that. Why? Because it is UTTERLY RIDICULOUS.

Hm. Now I'm starting to see why my kids sometimes insists on wearing (boys) Star Wars underwear.

Please, parents, please don't pigeonhole your kids into specific gender stuff. I really think it limits what they can do imaginatively and in life. It's a bit cruel. How do you know your boy won't want a princess doll? Get your boy a princess doll. If he doesn't like it, then give it to some other little girl. But at least give him a chance to see.

6/9/10, 2:48 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Emilia much prefers Toy Story or Diego or Cars for her (nighttime) training pants; in fact, she prefers Cars *anything* over Princess *everything*, and has been known to swipe her little brother's pajama tops to wear as t-shirts (lucky for her, she is skinny and he's a brute, so the two year age/size gap just means a snug fit.) And Jasper, well... let's just say he looks good in a tutu.

6/9/10, 2:51 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/9/10, 2:59 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Gender-colored necessities are the bane of my existence (the other day at Target, I wanted life vest for my 7yo, and all they had left were pink girly ones!!! At 7, my son's too afraid of being teased). There is, however, a very girly Dora sleeper, making it through the boys around here. Came from my friend's son cause she said WTF when he wanted them...my oldest son wore it happily and now it's off to a new boy's drawer... If the kid's fine with it, I'm fine with it. That's how it goes.

6/9/10, 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

My guy was only in pullups for a short time so I have a whole package left over. I'm cheap so I didn't throw them out, figuring of course we would use them.

The next kiddo in line to potty train is my sweet girl. I admit every time I open that drawer with the leftovers I think, but those are boy pullups! And every time she wears one I am sure I will think the same thing.

My only hope is that she doesn't think that way, because that would make me sad. And also mad that I had to buy pink ones, because like I mentioned, I'm cheap.

Off to buy a dinogirl tee...

6/9/10, 3:01 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

Princess pull ups were all that we considered here...the girl loved her princesses.

But when we were ready to buy the big girl panties? She totally picked out Batman, Spiderman, and Justice League undies from the boys' section. We have a great mixture of frilly girl panties and her beloved "Batman Panties." (Full disclosure...her daddy has a pair of Batman PJ's that sparked her interest in all things Batman. She has since picked out a pair for me too!)

6/9/10, 3:08 PM  
Blogger The Yellow Door Paperie said...

My two year old loves the Ariel swim diapers. And his blues clues diapers. So, I don't think your doing anything wrong. Go you for breaking barriers!

6/9/10, 3:59 PM  
Blogger Momma Hunt said...

This is a hard call. One of the things we discuss in my psychology classes is gender stereotyping and what this means for children and the positive and negative effects of this. My husband and I had this discussion because my son wanted to wear my daughters bows in his hair. Tough Call with that one

6/9/10, 5:34 PM  
Blogger ScientistMother said...

I bought my son the pink pull-ups by accident the first time. No one batted an eye at his daycare they just put them on backwards. Boys training pants have more absorbancy at the front because thats where they pee.

Mind you - I"m extremely lucky in that one of monkey's daycare providers is a gay male - and he's aweome for breaking down stereotypes. Monkey wears pink and nailpolish and plays with dolls. his paternal uncle got all weird about it but shutup when I asked him to explain why monkey can't learn how be a parent? He's practicing being a dad when's playing with dolls.

6/9/10, 5:47 PM  
Blogger ScientistMother said...

I bought my son the pink pull-ups by accident the first time. No one batted an eye at his daycare they just put them on backwards. Boys training pants have more absorbancy at the front because thats where they pee.

Mind you - I"m extremely lucky in that one of monkey's daycare providers is a gay male - and he's aweome for breaking down stereotypes. Monkey wears pink and nailpolish and plays with dolls. his paternal uncle got all weird about it but shutup when I asked him to explain why monkey can't learn how be a parent? He's practicing being a dad when's playing with dolls.e

6/9/10, 5:47 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Q. said...

Phe did the same thing! She wanted the ones with Lightning McQueen and then Toy Story. She was so thrilled, she danced around, pointed to her crotch and proudly showed us her woody. Ahem.

At one time, Lucas also wanted the ones "with the pretty ladies on them."

Thank goodness we are done buying those damned things.

6/9/10, 6:55 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I'll start off by saying I'm not a parent, I a pre-school speech therapist so I see daily kids learning from their parents or other kids what boys and girls do. When we are learning about our colors, I stand on my head to convince them there are no boy or girl colors. I do answer gender questions when they arise. I have short hair and don't dress that feminine, so at that young age, kids often think I'm a "boy". We talk about some girls have short hair, some boys have long hair. Some boys wear pink, some girls wear blue. I actually love it when I see parents allowing their children to wear what they want, even if that means something that has more opposite gendered stereotypes. I was one of those truck loving, boy clothes wearing kids. God, I would have killed for star wars boys underwear like my cousins. Keep doing the good work, all you parents out there!

6/9/10, 7:36 PM  
Blogger kateypie35 said...

My son wears the hot pink Dora swim diapers. He picked them out. They peek out of his spiderman swim trunks at the Y. Coupled that with his long red spiral curls, and people are utterly perplexed. I love it!

6/9/10, 7:40 PM  
Blogger Bramble said...

I say to hell with the blue is for boys crap. Of course, I have had to put my money where my mouth is--regardless of where leakage is best covered--because my son is IN LOVE with princesses (aren't they BEAUtiful??!?), Dora the Explorer, and pink things. Yes, he likes traditionally "male" stereotypical objects as well, but I will admit that he likes the "female" stereotypical objects just a little bit better. OK, a lot better. I had no idea how far his preferences went until we walked into Bed, Bath, and Beyond and I told him he could pick out what he wanted to decorate his room with (exclusively Dora). But none of this should really matter to any of us if our children end up confident in their own preferences, happy with their choices, certain of who they are and what they believe, and absolutely sure that we love them regardless of what color their underwear is! I was a little pink-dressed girl that took piano and dance but wanted to be an astronaut---and didn't end up with half of that.

6/9/10, 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Steph said...

My daughter was in full on "boy" mode for the first 3 years of her life. She was in to trucks, sports, etc... Wow was I bummed, not because I care that she loves cars and she's a girl, but because she's a little girl and I had visions of playing little girl stuff!! I bought her a kitchen for Christmas last year while my nephew got a tool bench. She preferred the tool bench and he the kitchen!! He now has the same kitchen and she now has the same tool bench!! I have to admit it never even crossed my mind that she shouldn't do these boy things. I was just sad she wasn't in to playing kitchen and dolls with me!! Shortly before she turned 3 she decided Tinkerbell and the Princesses were cool and now she's all girl all of the time. I cleaned out all of her trucks a couple of months ago because she wasn't playing with them. Now I'm sad because boy toys are cheaper than girls!! :) Seriously though, I am having so much fun playing dolls and if the dolls occasionally fix things on the tool bench that's OK too.

6/9/10, 9:05 PM  
Blogger Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

So basically I'm going to have to get a sitter every time I want to shop once Alexa is old enough to care. Or order it all online :-)

Am so not looking forward to girl vs. boy stuff talks. Just wish all my real life friends were as open minded as you. Sadly, I think some of them would openly mock me if I bough "boy diapers". Ugh.

BTW "Hello Kitty" is never gonna feel the same. My poor collection, HAHA!

6/9/10, 11:59 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Wow. I must be the last mom in the world that didn't realize that swim diapers were different for girls and boys. I just picked up the first pack I could find! They are blue, but they have Pooh and Nemo on them so I thinks that's pretty non-offensive for people that really care. I on the other hand don't care, but I have a girly girl who only wants things that are pink and purple, and if there is a princess on them...that's a bonus!

6/10/10, 12:08 AM  
Blogger Mama said...

As someone with three boys who put a pink Dora swim diaper on her youngest this morning, I understand your dilemma. Obviously, I went with the same conclusion. The two year old loves his Dora and his Kai-Lan. Whatever works!

6/10/10, 1:52 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Well, Mira is one of those girls who loves everything pink, but sleeps with Thomas the Tank Engine blankets in Thomas PJs and has her entire room decorated in trains. If she could get a pink Thomas, she would. She also loves cars and Toy Story and dirt, but screams at the sight of a bug.

And then there's Cordy, who loves the Disney Princesses, but wishes they had more in blue, because she doesn't like pink at all. But her princess dolls like to go on adventures and dig for buried treasure - no tea parties for them!

Cordy has princess underwear, but Mira's new big girl underwear are actually boys' Thomas underwear. She doesn't understand what the opening in the front is for, but we can discuss that another day. Screw leak protection - go with what makes them happy.

6/10/10, 4:21 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Wheee - let me tell you, THIS is why I bought 7th generation pullups. Well, at least a part of it. The green-ness of them was fairly low on the list - I wanted no marketing on the pullups at all.

Had I allowed it, though, I'm sure my son would've wanted Dora or princess pullups. Like you, I would've had a hard time doing it, but I would've bought them, for the same reason that I didn't stop him from pirouetting around an outdoorsy store with his blankie wrapped around him, saying, "Don't you love my new dress?" He was 3. He's got plenty of time to learn about 'gender roles' and society's acceptance. For now he's just a kid, doing what kids do best - playing.

6/10/10, 4:06 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

Your last sentence nails it. I really do think girls have way more choice in so many things. It's kind of fascinating.

6/10/10, 4:23 PM  
Blogger Emily, Bob and Etta said...

Why does pretty much every. single. kids toy have to be gender specific? Seriously? And even if they aren't completely, obviously gender specific, they are pretty directed. I wear blue. I wear green. I wear yellow. I hate wearing pink. We have been really blessed by having people honor our wishes and not buy our girls all pink things. Wish it were easier though.

6/10/10, 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Wow, I have to be honest. I think you put too much worry into this purchase. Maybe because I have a boy and two girls it is easier. We buy one kind and everyone in a diaper wears it. I trade off who gets the ones they want. Honestly - who cares what other people think? Will they really even notice?

I do have to be honest though, I do find it much harder to put the boy in girls stuff than to put the girls in boys stuff...

6/10/10, 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Diana said...

I was thoroughly annoyed when my daughters were in preschool that all the Thomas the Tank Engine underwear were briefs. Not that it would have mattered but I couldn't quite manage to buy them! And the whole leak protection thing had me totally confused--really? Does that make a difference?

6/10/10, 10:12 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I have a daughter and a son. And it thoroughly annoys me that it's OK for my daughter to wear 'boy' things, but the converse isn't true. I am a feminist, and I recognize the way that society subjugates women. But I suspect that at least part of the answer might lie in loosening up the gender rules for men and boys.

6/10/10, 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

So what I want to know is, is there a difference in leak protection?? Or is it just a marketing ploy?

6/11/10, 12:04 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Her joy will outweigh the alleged leak protection. Every. Single. Time.

Though I will confess to the same internal argument when my DH came home with "Cars" themed ones for my princess-obsessed daughter...

6/11/10, 2:42 PM  
Blogger Tatiana said...

They're pull-ups. The goal is to NOT pee in them.
My son wore the pnks ones for a while. He was three and oblivious to the comments. ANd there weren't many.
The probelm was all mine and it soon faded.

6/11/10, 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

I'm cheap and I bought the generic gender neutral ones my local super market had - I think they had Shrek on them... My daughter's first pair of undies were boys Thomas the Train ones - she adored them and proudly would lift up her dresses to show them off - anyone who knew her, knew her love of Thomas! :) Recently she wanted day of the week undies...poor kid is going to have to go to therapy for wearing her Tuesday undies on Monday...lol!

6/12/10, 10:48 AM  
Blogger mannahattamamma.com said...

Bingo. That last sentence is the one that kills me (as mother of 2 boys, both of whom exist on the mauve-ish end of the spectrum). Because girls can wear Woodys, as it were, but boys in princess pants? Nuh-unh. BAD. WEIRD. And, of course, those words, by the time 4th grade rolls around, morph into "gay," and "queer," and "sissy." Which really, really sucks.

6/12/10, 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Korinthia Klein said...

I have two girls still in pull ups and I get them whichever ones are ugliest because any incentive to get them past wearing pull ups is good in my opinion. Each time I grab a pack with something like motorcycles on them my daughters say, hey, aren't these ones over here pretty? And I say yes, don't want the ugly ones? Get up and use the bathroom!

And the sad thing to me about people having a problem with boys wearing anything associated with girls is that it makes girlie things seem somehow contaminated and a sign of inferiority. If something is good enough for my girls, why is it not okay for a boy? Whenever you see men and boys trying to insult each other, the worst thing they can do is compare each other to girls. I find this deeply depressing and a sign of something very unfortunate.

6/14/10, 11:16 PM  
OpenID Wild Irish Roses said...

I probably don't belong here, since I'm not a mom, but I just wanted to chime in.

Not only does it irritate me that there are such things as boy/girl pullups (something I didn't know before I read this ...) but it irritates me that they have Disney characters on them. I mean, they're peeing into the things for god's sake, why do they need cartoon characters on them?

On a broader note, my parents always dressed me in handmedowns, whether that was a blue velvet outfit for a little boy that fit me just fine, or whether that meant a "girl's" outfit. I actually have far more baby pictures of me in navy blue than I do in pink, and I know my mom especially was proud of me when she allowed me free choice and I chose a green, gender-neutral bed set for my first one. And even though I grew up with just one sister, we had car sets and train sets and lego, and we played these just as often as we played dressup.

I wonder how that would have been different we'd been boys. Would there still have been a dressup box, filled with old halloween costumes and flowery headdresses? Would my mom have taught my brother and I how to make a collage? I would like to say that when/if I have kids of my own, I can be that pragmatic, especially over the boys/pink issue. I firmly believe that people are born with a certain gender (that's why transgender people exist) but that simple colors, activities, or decorations should not be associated with one gender. It should not *be* taboo for a little boy to dress up as a princess in a sparkly tutu, if that's what he wants to do, just like it shouldn't be a problem for girls to play with cars and trucks.

I have to say, I follow Eddie Izzard on this one. Total clothing allowance is the way to go.

6/15/10, 6:58 AM  
Anonymous mom, again said...

I wish I'd never used pull ups. They weren't yet invented last time I had to potty train someone. Our problem was less the pink and blue issue, more that the characters were Cars in the first package or two. Yay, he loves cars, without even knowing they are Cars (TM). Wheels are good. But then, suddenly, they are all Toy Story. He didn't know who these people were. His adult sisters took on the task of showing him the DVD and taking him to Disney (we live nearby, they have annual passes) and teaching him that Woody and Buzz are cool.

(Every adult in the house has made the comment about Woody. Moving on.)

Eventually, I decided it didn't matter, we were getting no where. disposable underpants were too diapery for both him and me to move on from. I know HOW to train a kid in cloth pants that actually feel wet, and even leak a little which helps you know what's going on. By then, I couldn't find any in his size. He was a really big 2 and a half year old, at just turned 3 he wears size 5 clothing, and I'm already buying some things in the big boy dept. I just bought shoes in the boys sizes, not the children's sizes. I have a cousin who is 6'10". I am scared.

We wasted a few more months the disposable pants, but I finally found some that fit on-line. The company I found the best price with sells either a pink or a blue version, no plain white. Irritating, but I know there won't be a younger sister or brother, so it doesn't matter. They arrived yesterday, and are currently being washed and dried. We'll have a big boy by this time next week.

6/15/10, 3:08 PM  
Blogger Mari said...

Loved this! I have twin girl toddlers (3.5). One truly believes she is a princess; the other truly believes she is Woody and that she can grow up to be a boy. To encourage potty training, I bought "Woody" boy underwear. Cars and Thomas the Train. Did it bother me? Just a big. But she loved them! She's now just wear "girl" panties, but she refuses to wear dresses or skirts.

6/17/10, 2:23 PM  
Blogger Integrative Mom said...

My son has a pink stroller that he pushes everywhere. He also has long hair and wears an amber teething necklace, so this does confuse people occasionally. After I gently correct them about his gender, they say, "why don't they make blue strollers?" to which i respond, "why does it have to be for a girl just because it's pink? who designated pink for girls and blue for boys?" then i remind them that until the 1940s pink was a boys color because it was considered strong and masculine. oh- and he also has a (hand-me-down) pink booster seat.

6/17/10, 2:54 PM  
Blogger the new girl said...

I get really frustrated with the lack of imagination of the manufacturers. Do they really, REALLY think that no little girls like Toy Story? It seems ridiculous to me that there isn't a variety for *each* gender...I don't know.

Just seems weird.

Curious, though, how IS the leak protection? Because that was the only reason I didn't buy them for my girl.

6/17/10, 4:38 PM  

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