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9to5to9: Boys versus girls

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published Sept. 12, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

It’s almost fall, so it’s spend, spend, spend season at our house. New lunch boxes. New clothes. Halloween costumes – no, Big Guy, I am not paying $40 for the really cool SpiderMan, because you’ll take one look at the built-on mask and refuse to wear it.

I console myself, though, that at least I’m not facing the gymnastics expenditure a friend ran into recently. Oh, I have the bill for the class — Big Guy’s begged for a year, so I finally did some budget gymnastics and signed him up. But he can wear whatever. Her 5-year-old daughter has to have a leotard, at a cost of $28 for less than a yard of fabric.

The programs are a little different – Big Guy’s is at his school, hers is at a studio. But I looked over the brochure for Big Guy’s program and saw that for dance lessons offered by the same group, girls have to wear leotards. Boys can wear sweats or shorts and T-shirts.

I could buy a lot of shorts and T-shirts for $28.

We’ve come a long way, baby?

When I found out I was pregnant, I vowed that, if it was a girl, I wouldn’t push girly-girl clichés down her throat. No froofy pastel wardrobe, and light on the ruffles and bows.

Amid much criticism from, well, virtually everyone, I immediately planned a baseball motif for the baby’s room. It didn’t seem odd to me – I’m a girl, and I’m a baseball fan. So what’s the problem?

Perhaps the world – and my kids — lucked out that I never got to try all this. First came one guy, then another. No girls, girly or otherwise, for me.

But many of the things the guys and I enjoy, we’d still enjoy if they were the gals. We’ve learned to travel freely between each other’s gender-assigned worlds: They help me bake apple pies, I help them make mud pies. It’s a fair trade.

And I’ve found that the guys’ world has a lot going for it:

  • Thomas is way cooler than I ever thought a toy train could be.
  • I’ll always know where my eye liner and lipstick are – at least, until the glam rock revival hits.
  • The only hair I have to do in the morning is my own.
  • Pink, my least-favorite color, is at a minimum, and Disney Princesses are an endangered species.
  • I hear no pleas to redecorate in a “Hello, Kitty” motif. I’d rather pull off my fingernails with white-hot tweezers than do that.

Still, I wonder sometimes what life would be like if they were the gals.

  • Yeah, Thomas is cool, but I could deal with a few baby dolls.
  • Someone else around here eventually would appreciate “Gone With the Wind.”
  • Dad wouldn’t freak out when our oldest skips around wrapped in a towel singing “I’m a pretty little girl with a pretty little dress.”
  • I could buy cute Halloween T-shirts and it wouldn’t matter if they all had ruffled collars and sequins.
  • I’d have an ally “toilet seat down, please” campaign

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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