The Pink Section

May 3, 2009

Yesterday I found myself once more in the one place I had sworn I would never be seen – the pink section of the kids’ toy department. I was on a mission for my son – to exchange a dress for his doll. His doll’s dress is falling apart and needs to be replaced. He had wanted a black,  grey or brown dress so I got her a jean’s dress, the closest thing to it. However, he had also explicitely indicated (at almost 5 he’s very good at giving orders now), that the dress must be soft enough to rub between his fingers.  Since the jeans material was too rigid it didn’t rub nicely between his fingers and he didn’t want it.

So once more I was in the pink section. I don’t remember pink being such a dominating colour in the time I grew up. For girls that is. One of the first thoughts I’d had when realizing that my second child was a girl was, “Oh, no, now I’ll have to deal with the pink thing!” I am so amazed at the proliferation of pink – and it used to be considered a “strong” colour for boys! Now I see the color pink, along with frills and dresses, as a way for society to train girls to stay out of trouble and be docile. Which is not really what I want my daughter to be.

We have a huge pile of stuffed animals and dolls. From this huge pile my son Aldo picked out a doll with a frilly pink dress to be his constant companion and named her Tatina. He rubs the end of the dress between his fingers when he’s falling asleep and it soothes him. But the dress is quite awful and I am glad to have an opportunity to exchange it. Tatina used to go with him everywhere and he has taken her along now to his sleepover. I hope the macho dad there doesn’t comment too negatively about it.

Last week we were visiting a household with four boys between the ages of 0 and 6. The one thing Aldo asked to take home was a milk bottle for dolls. They had two of them and couldn’t he have one? My friend was willing to give it to him but as I don’t want him to get into the habit of asking for and getting stuff I refused her offer and promised to buy such a bottle for him – for his doll.

So in the pink section I was also looking for a milk bottle. They’re actually really neat with the liquid moving in the double wall and even bubbles forming. I used to love them myself. I found a double set – with a milk bottle, a juice bottle, a bib and a pacifier. The juice bottle was for my daughter’s bear. Bears drink juice, not milk.

When I gave the bottle set and the new dress to my son he loved the milk bottle immediately and started feeding his doll. I showed him how to hold her properly so even should she wriggle she wouldn’t fall down. He looked very proud, feeding his doll. “She’s drinking well, Mom.” He’ll be a great dad, just like his own father. In fact, his father was the one who always fed him milk bottles at 5 am. This way Mom could sleep from 2 until 9 and Dad had the chance to do some deep night bonding with his son. It was brilliant!

Giving bottles of milk is definitely the dad’s job in this household. I wonder if the macho dad of my son’s best friend ever fed his son milk. It is such a gratifying activity to feed a baby. I wonder if all this emphasis on the breast is such a good idea (once people accept the basic idea that breast milk is good for a baby, which seems to be a  no-brainer to me). The advantages of expressed milk (or even powdered milk) given by the father occasionally far outweighs any possible negative aspects. In my humble opinion of course. But I like my sleep, and I liked being able to sleep for 7 hours in a row, every night, even when the kids were babies. And I like it that the father of my children is able to feed them and deal with the aftermath of feeding as well as, even better than, I can. I think my kids are better off with two capable parents than with one sleep-deprived Mom.

So, as much as I am against the overbearing pink section and what it stands for, if my son prefers a soft pink dress to a rigid jeans dress for his doll, I’ll get it for him, along with the milk bottle.

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Hello world!

January 17, 2009

Alternative thoughts about:

project management

career

children

husband

living internationally

why the world doesn’t function the way that would make most sense to me