Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Cagematch: Ariel vs Iron Man
We have had some meager success at the potty training process. What I mean by success is that I am quite adept at mentally spinning our latest debacles into some sort of positive progress. I delude myself, Link continues to go about his merry way & largely we are happy.
While at Target yesterday, I decided that our small (fabricated) victories deserved a reward: new big kid underpants! I had visions of him feeling proud to sport his favorite character on his rump & knew that his loyalty to McQueen or Thomas would surely motivate him to go in the potty.
I pulled the cart up to the display & asked him which one he would like. I started pointing out all of the choices: Mater, Thomas, Spiderman. "Princesses." Yup, there next to The Hulk were Jasmine, Belle, Ariel & Cinderella.
I strongly believe in dispelling preconceived gender bias. Link has dolls, sometimes he asks for a pink cup at lunch, he has a pink shirt--I'm all for it. When Coraline becomes less susceptible to choking & gouging out her own eyes, she can play with cars & dragons & dinosaurs all day long. But, given that we are on such tenuous ground with potty training & the fact that he has previously been a little bit afraid of underwear, it seemed a bad idea to stack the deck against him by giving him clothes into which his little boy parts just weren't meant to fit. I asked him to pick something else, hoping he would just move on but he was resolute, "I want Princesses."
*Sigh* I tried to pick my words carefully. While avoiding "those are for girls," I tried to logically explain that those wouldn't fit his body & were made to fit girls' bodies better. Wouldn't he be more comfortable in underpants that were made to fit big boys? Unfortunately, my logic & reason could scarcely be heard above his escalated pleas. With much gnashing of teeth, he wailed, "I NEED Princess underpants." Repeatedly.
I abandoned reason & tried distraction. I started wildly waving McQueen & Percy in his face. At this point, I was having one of those parenting moments where I was absolutely 100% certain that everyone in the whole store was looking at me. Due to the topic of conversation, I also knew that the looks were coming with a heaping helping of judgement as to how I was responding. Half of the store was vilifying me for having a son that would even know who the princesses are...the other half was irate that I was raising another misogynistic male.
Now that we are home & out of the critical eye of Target patrons, I have to say that I am absolutely not above drawing a tiara on Captain America or a wand in Wolverine's claws...whatever gets us in those undies & out of diapers!