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Gender issues have settled down in Twinlandia now that school is in full swing. We are having minor friction with G.'s mother, however. She thinks April's hair is too short -- don't tell her that April was talking about shaving her head and leaving a tuft -- and that we should have a talk with Simone and buy her some dresses. Of course, she has plenty of dresses, she just doesn't want to wear them.

Simone says that when kids tell her she's not a boy, she says "forget it!"

We had a pumpkin carving party last night to which many folks came. Apparently my children have graduated from the "glue felt face shapes onto a pumpkin" stage so I have tons of black (and green, and purple) felt left over. Instead I let them draw faces on the pumpkin and then carved for them. Other pumpkins got plastered with stickers and googly eyes. Speaking of which, gluing googly eyes to pumpkins is harder than it sounds. Pics will be forthcoming.

I spent today devising ways of discouraging the squirrels from eating our carved pumpkins. My most recent attempt involved a bottle of Tabasco, though the peppermint soap seemed to be doing a fairly good job as well.

Also today I put up some round chalkboard panels in the kid's room for them to scribble on. I let them loose on them in the afternoon and suddenly realized I have set myself up for years of chalky clothing and hands. It's probably worth it.

Comments

One thing I do regret was not letting Frank have that mohawk he wanted, or the green and pink hair, when he was five. But I did let him have the third choice, which was a long rear tail.

I wonder why G's mom thinks little girls wear dresses much nowadays anyway? At our preschool they seem to wear dresses once or twice a week. And none of the clothing choices you've described for Simone sound very shocking for a child with a double X chromosome setup, whether she is a boy or a girl.

This summer we were looking at family photos and my daughter saw a school photo of me in kindergarten and she said "Mom, you used to be a little boy!" -- the clothing in the picture was a dress with a Peter Pan collar, because there was a dress code then, and two X chromosomes meant a dress every day.

I actually don't know why she read the photo as boy, exactly, but it was in the period during which I was pretty sure I was one. In my case, that changed over time, which I don't think erases the fact that it was like that then.
The hair thing is somewhat complicated because the kids' hair (esp. April's) grows so slowly. So any change we make is a weighty change. Semi-permanent hair color is OK by me, though, and a good intro to the concept that "changes to your hair last a long time," so pink and green hair is on the table.

I think G.'s mom is OK with girls in pants most of the time, but kind of has this idea that we've let things "go too far" in the sartorial casualness department and now she's gotten the wrong idea about her gender. You and I know that's exactly the opposite of how this came down, but she's not here every day and has the usual set of unexamined ideas on gender, and also cares about her grandchild enough to want to spare her future grief and confusion. So do I in regards to the latter, of course.
Yeah, I was always a bit concerned as to what was going to happen along those lines. Frank did get flack when he was six for wearing "girls' clothes" (that is, identical to the other clothes but in the wrong colors) and having long hair. We had a couple conversations about what he wanted to do about it, and he decided to ditch a couple of items of clothing, but not everything, and nobody was going to touch his hair. The thing is he had this flack and he was always pretty simply boy in presentation and identification except for a few items of taste. But not much flack, overall.

But I also raised them in Santa Cruz, where kids do get more slack than they do elsewhere.
Oh sweet Christ, the grandparent gender wars. Not looking forward to that phase.
Eh, these are more mildly exasperating than anything else. G. took a picture of Simone in her fairy wings (a birthday party favor) and promised to send it to Grandie so as to shut her up for a while.