I used to love dress ups as a girl. My brother and I spent hours playing with Mum's old wedding gown, and a friend and I used to create plays for her younger siblings after raiding their dress up stash. There's something about putting on different clothes to what you normally wear that unleashes hidden creativity and imagination! Something amazing happens.
So of course, I want my son to likewise enjoy it.
But he's not really been that interested. They aren't cars. Or a sandpit. I've come to the conclusion that dress ups is something some kids are interested in and others aren't. That's not to mean they shouldn't be offered it, but simply that some children like to dress up and imagine. Some do it every day, and have a collection of dresses and animal costumes. Then there are others (like my son) who show periodic interest from time to time, in between their main interests.
But the interesting thing, is that the dress up item my son is most interested in is a bright pink set of butterfly wings and matching headband, given to him by a beloved grandparent.
Not your usual 'boyish' outfit.
So what do you do as a parent when your child chooses something that society tells us is 'not appropriate' for their gender?
Well, I guess you could do quite a few things. But I've decided to leave him be. He's not yet four, and I'm sure he'll be told often enough what people expect a boy to do.
But it does concern me. Not that he likes butterfly wings, but that we expect him not to. That we offer girls tutus but not boys. Yet boys can dance too! This might be one of the great ballet dancers of all time, but how would we ever know if we told him that dancing is for girls (or sissies!)?
So my boy wears his pink wings.
And dances around the lounge. Sometimes wearing a tutu.
And sometimes we wear crowns and capes while getting ready for bed.
I'd love to get him a kids hardhat and flouro vest though. That would be sure to go down well!
For his birthday he has requested a bright pink bike. I am ashamed to say that I did try to offer him a different colour. I just felt worried about what other people are going to say about my son riding a pink bike! Isn't that sad. But he was adamant. He does not want the red one, or (surprising, considering blue has been his favourite colour for ages), the blue one. He wants pink. So pink he will get. Pink is for boys too!