Our little man turned two today. A few weeks ago I took our boys shopping for the little one’s birthday present. We went to the ABC Shop and was looking at the Peppa Pig toys and clothing. The shop assistant came over to help me. I told her I was looking at Peppa Pig tops. She looked down, saw the kids and said “oh, you have boys? All the Peppa Pig stuff is for girls, but they can wear the Team George track suit.” But our little man is not into George. He loves Peppa. I bought him the Peppa Pig doll house. Yes, we bought our son a doll’s house…
Recently a friend of mine had an article published on Mamamia about her son and his leaning towards things that little girls like. You can read the article here. I wrote a comment of which you can read in the full context, but I thought I would copy and rewrite some of that here. I have amended and deleted things that don’t stand up on their own without hear article.
I have an older brother who mixed with other boys and therefore boys things rubbed off on me (and more than likely would even if I didn’t have an older brother).
We had a great family friend and her daughter is aged between my brother and I; he being almost 5 year older than me, her being just over 2 years older than me. I loved going to her house. When she was younger there were Dolly magazines (a magazine aimed at the teenage girl market) laying around. Later their was Cleo (by the same publisher, but aimed at young women after they’ve moved on from Dolly). I guess that’s where I found my love for hearing about personal stories and why I love being a regular reader of Mamamia too.
When I got home from school I was able to play footy with the boys over the park, or on rainy days play Masters of the Universe with them. And He-Man and his mates; they’re dolls too when you think about it, just with a little more aggression than Barbie. But I’m sure there are girls out there making Barbie and her best friend Teresa pull off some top rope acrobatic wrestling action like the WWE Divas.
But there were also days where I preferred to hang out with the girls on my street. They all had roller skates (and before roller blades, roller skates were even way too girly for me), and I would tow them on my bike. I didn’t have any problems playing My Little Ponies with them (but I didn’t have one myself), and those who are old enough to remember when Cabbage Patch Kids were first released a major competition was held for the first (I don’t know, let’s say 50) in the country to be given up for adoption for free. And I entered. I wanted one. I didn’t win one, and never bought one, but as soon as Pound Puppies were released…
I am sure that getting in touch with my feminine side through these magazines, toys, or playing girly games with girls has put me in good stead for what is happening in my life now. I am writing about being a dad in this crazy modern world where us men are expected to take on more roles that our fathers didn’t do.
And if we don’t have the grounding in playing with dolls, if we don’t have the acceptance at an early age that doing things that are normally reserved for the female of our species is fine with everyone, what right does anyone have in the future to tell the dads of tomorrow “you have to change that nappy,” or “you need to do more than just muck around with your kids?” Seriously, do we have the right to expect this of them when we didn’t allow them to change the nappy of a sooky doll when they were younger?
At parties I tend to gravitate towards women. Sure I like to talk shop with the other men (or dads now), and I am happy to talk about sport (go the Tigers), but I like to talk more about life, and love, and (now) the kids and how they are developing. I don’t have mother’s group as I work full time, but I’d love to be part of a group like that.
Whilst I was lucky enough to get an article (let’s call it fluff piece) published on Mamamia over a year ago, it is my writing for a parenting site on dads’s issues that is my calling. And recently, because of my involvement with the writing of these articles and the fact that I like to give advice to mums and dads (althought it’s 99.9% mums) on the Facebook page associated with it, I was recently invited to become an administrator. YES!!!! I was accepted into a female dominated industry. I’d like to be a pioneer for men to get more of my gender involved with parenting and parenting issues.