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.

I had only one option.  I tossed a package of Superhero undies into the cart & then, like any good American, I decided to employ the ultimate distraction: food.  If there is one thing Link loves above all, it's food.  Thankfully it was clearly more fun to pick which color of grapes to bring home than to continue crying about Princesses. 

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!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you are blogging! I have always loved your writing. :-)