Male chauvenist piglet
Most days, I think I’m raising fairly enlightened males. Both love to help with laundry and dishes – it likely has something to do with getting to play in water, but I’ll take it.
Big Guy always picks up his socks, carries his dishes to the sink after meals and never leaves his underwear on the bathroom floor. Oh, and he remembers to puts down the toilet seat. Loves chick flicks as well.
He went through a recent two weeks when “The Little Mermaid” was his favorite movie, though he’s moved on, to “Mulan.” Even better!
But just as all the self-congratulatory back-patting was about to dislocate my shoulder, lightening struck.
During the drive to work one morning, as we headed into downtown, we were talking about my office and bosses.
“Do you have a boss? Big Guy asked.
“Yes, I have a boss, but I am a boss, too,” I replied.
“You can’t be a boss. You’re a girl.”
Remain calm, brain said to mouth. Disengage rant mode.
Miraculously, my head did not explode. I didn’t shriek, “where the heck did that come from.”
“Honey, why do you think that?” I asked, calmly, I think, considering the circumstances. “Girls can be anything boys can. You know Mulan did everything the boys did in the army. And she did it better than a lot of them.”
“Uh, because …” He trailed off, perhaps sensing a mine field. Good self-preservation instincts that lad has.
Little twit had me fooled all along.
I used to beam inside when he called his allergist “the boy doctor.” His pediatrician, you see, is a woman, so it took some convincing to get him to believe that men can be doctors, too.
And the first flight he remembers taking had an all-woman crew. When we changed planes and he saw men stepping into the cockpit, he wasn’t sure he could trust them.
His favorite color is pink, for Pete’s sake.
Sure, he knows Mom stinks at some things. I can’t change the oil in my car, but, then neither can Dad. Is it a physical strength issue? Do I need to bulk up in order to be boss-worthy in his eyes? Dora’s not all that strong, either, but she rescued the prince from the witch in one episode.
Yes, I realize there are millions of people out there who believe girls can’t be bosses. But how does a 3-year-old pick up on that? Has he brain-washed Little Guy already? Is that what they’re really saying in their cute little made-up jabber? “Yeah, Mom says she’s a boss, but don’t buy it. She’s a girl.”
It makes my heart hurt. My sweet little boy, the one who loves to bake bread and decorate cupcakes, thinks girls can't be bosses.
To his credit, Big Guy did attempt to clarify his way back into my good graces that morning.
“Girls can be bosses. I meant you can’t be a boss because you’re a mommy.”
Nice try, but that’s not a whole lot better. One more false move, Big Guy, and “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar,” will be your new lullaby.
Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.