So. It turns out I did not outsmart my daughter after all. Those pesky kids have a way of seeing beyond the scope of your bubble.
You see, yesterday as we were getting dressed she proclaimed that the orange and blue striped shirt was a “boy” shirt – she would rather wear the peasant flowery top, thank you very much.
In all fairness, I am quite certain that you would never find this shirt in the “girl” section of any store, so technically she is correct. More importantly though, at 3 1/2 years old, this is the very first time I have heard her proclaim something is meant for a “boy” versus a “girl” – a categorization that was inevitable, yes, I know, but one that I was hoping to push as far out as I could. I fully understand the need for children to assign roles – it allows them to make sense of the world – but after reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter, I am more purposefully avoiding the princess phenomenon and everything associated with making my 3 year old look, dress and smell (yes, they have fragrances made specifically for toddlers now) like a teenager. I am not opposed to dress up or wearing pink, I just want there to be some balance to it all. (Outfit above, case in point, and not at all my doing.)
So there I sat, a little shocked and, I won’t lie, disappointed that my daughter had finally graduated to the age of gender-assigning. I couldn’t help but laugh though when I realized what she was wearing on her feet – the most hideous dinosaur slippers which she had insisted on purchasing from the thrift store the other day. I tried to coax her into a more sensible plain blue pair but she wasn’t giving up on the camo green and beady eyes.
Now why a striped shirt was meant for a boy but the dinosaur slippers are just fine for her is beyond me. Maybe she hasn’t fallen down the rabbit hole quite yet after all.