My daughter likes pink… And it bugs me!

My daughter likes pink (Or Kink, as she calls it). Big surprise in our culture eh? So why does it irk me? I don’t want her to ever feel limited by the fact she’s a girl (and nor do I want Monkey to ever feel limited by being a boy) or that it means she is unable to do something. I want her to have and do whatever she wants, and she wants pink. So why am I uncomfortable about that? Is it just because it is so stereotypical?

I have to admit that I have tried to stay away from the predominantly pink clothes that are available for girls. Yes she wears pink (mainly because we have a lot of hand me downs from friends but also because I like pink and don’t want to avoid anything completely) but actually she wears all the colours of the rainbow. But her choice is always for pink. she prefers her pink coat, her pink shoes etc. So she does wear pink quite a lot at the moment.pink clothes

The same goes for toys, she has pink toys but she also has a lot of more multicoloured things and a lot of boys toys thanks to her older brother. I got her a red balance bike rather than a pink one… But she won’t go on it and I have to admit I am wondering whether she would be more inclined to use it if it were pink?

She shows such a preference for all things pink that it drives me crazy at times. With Monkey he was always about red and yellow when he was little, though he has moved over to blue and yellow as his main faves recently I think. With LM it is pink and purple. Anything pink or purple and she coos over it. I’ve just bought her a pink drinks bottle to stop the tantrums she had whenever she saw a friend with a pink cup and I tried to get her to use a blue or clear one.

It’s not that I want either of my kids to be brought up ‘gender neutral’ as I don’t really agree with that. We are born a gender and I don’t see any problem with identifying as that gender, to a point anyway. I also disagree with the boys will be boys mentality or that girls have to wear dresses and be graceful and dainty. As with most things I tend to like the middle ground. I’m a girl and I do like some pretty things and to look nice. But I also like to not bother with looking nice sometimes. I enjoy mental arithmetic, and I like cars. I want my son to know its ok to cry sometimes and for my kids to know that there aren’t different jobs for men and women.

So what does it matter what my little girl’s favourite colour is? Really? I’m a big fan of the “let toys be toys” campaign and I dislike the pink aisles for girls toys. But with a girl who loves pink so much without any prompting… I wonder if there is something about pink that girls love and that’s why the toys are pink and they know the will appeal to them? But then I am reminded of the fact that in the 19th century pink was more associated with boys than girls so it must be cultural, right? That even though I haven’t encouraged her to like pink, so much that she sees associates pink with girls.

I like Skye in the paw patrol as she is as much a part of the team as the boys, but again why is she pink to show she’s a girl? Dora wears pink, Millie in Umizoomi wears pink. Again is this because girls like pink or do girls like pink because of this constant reinforcement that pink is for girls?

Does it even matter? I have no idea. I’m going to continue to do what feels right with my kids. To play with the same things with both of them. Because girls can build and play cars and boys can play with babies and cook. To let them be who they want to be, and play with what they want to (within reason obviously, not kitchen knives lol) even if that means swallowing my own opinion or ideas. To guide them to be adults who know that men aren’t better than women and women aren’t better than men. That we have our differences, but that they don’t make either one less than the other. And I imagine that while I am doing that, that my daughter will be wearing pink.pink 1

Arguments about pants and the world through the eyes of a Threenager

These are apparently not the right pants

These are apparently not the right pants

Every day starts with an argument about Pants at the moment. Actually that’s not entirely true. Every day starts with hubs and I taking it in turns to get up with LM when she wakes up, anywhere from 5.30 to 7 am. Then when Monkey’s gro clock clicks over to the sun at 6.45 he comes and joins whichever of us in still in bed for a snuggle. Then there is an argument about pants.

Monkey is in pull ups at night at the moment. He has the occasional dry night so we know he can do it but he says it is hard work. We are trying to incentivise this by offering the star wars lego he wants when he is dry consistently, but so far we are not there yet. So anyway first thing it is time for a wee and to change into pants. The argument arises over which pants. Namely his “Dash pants” (Dash being the character from the incredibles) which he has decided are the only pants he ever wants to wear. They are often in the laundry basket and he has even been known to fish them out, massively excited at having found them. Cue explaining why you can’t wear dirty pants and trying to find some other pants that are acceptable.

Why am I going on about pants? Well this argument is similar to so many others we have every day. Trying to argue or explain to a three year old whose response is “but I want it. ” A three year old who thinks that that is enough and that no matter we say, the fact that he wants it trumps everything else. “Sorry darling but you can’t always get what you want. ” “But I want it.”

Sigh.

This face... looks like butter wouldn't melt but oh he is strong willed!

This face… looks like butter wouldn’t melt but oh he is strong willed!

The same also happens with the opposite. “But I don’t want to.” Monkey has become a master procrastinator and can always find a hundred excuses why not to do something he doesn’t want to do, like tidying toys. “I can’t bermember” (yes bermember, not remember, bless him!) “oh I can’t do it” “oh it’s hard work” “I can’t lift it” (a piece of duplo?? Come on) “I don’t know how.”

And oh the tantrums “no, you do it!” Um I beg your pardon, I don’t think so. Or my favourite “I’m the boss, you’re the child” and “I’m in charge.” Nope, sorry darling you really are not.

I’m not sure where all of this is coming from. We have been in quite a good place since Christmas, his behaviour has been great and we haven’t needed to do more than occasionally threaten the naughty spot. Now the threats are frequent and the times sat on the naughty spot have increased. He’s obviously not all bad, in fact there are so many times where he is absolutely adorable… But he is really testing us too. He doesn’t listen to me and ignores me. He is stroppy and everything is “I want” which I hate as it makes me feel like a slave, so I am on endless repeat reminding him to ask nicely which he does usually do with only a little prompting.

The threenager year has been an odd one with some real ups and downs. It is exhausting having the same arguments over and over again. The trouble is I know that some of it can be down to the way we are with him. Yes some of it is just a phase and he is pushing boundaries and figuring ut his place in the world… but I know he is better when I am better. When I have time to properly play and listen to him more. When I don’t let him watch too much TV. But the trouble is that parenting 2 small children is very tiring. His little sister inevitably takes a lot of my attention and when I try and do activities that both of them enjoy I invariably fail.

I try to give Monkey 1 on 1 time but that is easier said than done. Generally I am shattered in the afternoons when his sister is asleep so while I try to play with him there are a lot of times when I opt for a sit down in front of the TV with him instead or at least after a bit of a play. Then LM wakes up and chaos rules again. She is at a particularly trying age so Monkey doesn’t get the attention he craves and at times I expect too much of him.

There’s not much point to this post really other than a reminder to myself I guess that I can help change his behaviour, and not only via discipline, but by trying to listen to him more and think about the way he sees things, rather than just the way I see it. I read this very well timed post by the lovely Tarana at Sand in my Toes who put my feelings into words. This is how I wish I had the energy to be all the time. I don’t have the energy to do that but I am going to try harder to be more like that!

In the meantime, because I want to end focusing on the positives of this age, here are some of the cuter conversations we have had with Monkey lately.

“Mummy, Jack said something at playgroup today.”
“Ok, what did he say?”
“Um I don’t bermember. Daddy do you bermember what Jack said?”
“Um no I wasn’t there.”
“Oh. But do you bermember what he said?”

Having an argument with Daddy about his porridge at breakfast which he normally loves. “No! I don’t want it, no I won’t eat it.”
Daddy – “ok, calm down, what would you like” “Hmm. urrrm. I wooooould like….. porridge and honey”
Daddy – “that’s what you’ve got!”
“Oh yeah!” “Sorry, I made a mistake. ” (He says this a lot and I’ve only just twigged today that he is imitating the dragon from room on the broom!)

He loves Umizoomi and I do enjoy hearing him answer their questions. For example when they asked if he liked playing in the snow. he replied “Um not really, it’s actually a bit chilly”

Monkey as Darth Vader - hs "friend"

Monkey as Darth Vader – hs “friend”

“Dogs have bones but they don’t eat them, they hatch and have baby dogs in them.”

“Oh. That’s odd.” (He says this all the time and it is so funny as it rarely makes sense!)

“Daddy, I wish I could go into space so I could see the whole earth.”

“When I’m older I can go in Daddy’s office and work with him.”

He is obsessed with Star Wars and frequently says “Darth vader is my friend.”

His is also fixated on the days of the week. So every day, at least once, there is “what is it today?” so I tell him, and for example if I say, it’s Thursday, he wil tell me “tomorrow is Friday and then Saturday, Sunday, Monday..” sometimes telling me the whole week bless him.

While having a hair cut “I was looking in the mirror at my cutiful eyes.”

I’m not sure where this one has come from, but Monkey’s version of an expletive is “oh buffers” lol. Could be worse I guess?

And finally, possibly the cutest of all, is Monkey’s current obsession with his baby doll (she was actually bought for LM but who cares) who he sleeps with every night. She has his name and is his age but he is adamant that she is a gorl “She grew in my tummy then she gre out. She’s 3 like me now!” He adores her and sits her places so she can watch him and he cuddles her in bed at night. I absolutely adore seeing how caring he is with her and who said dolls are only for girls anyway?monkey and dolly

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Fun with a cardboard box

It never fails to amaze me that with kids, most of the time, simple things are the best. Last week I got a new toy – a lovely big food processor. This meant Monkey als got a new toy – a lovely big cardboard box. He had so much fun in there and just made me laugh so many times throughout the day.

To start with it was a den – I love his cheeky face poking out

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Then I laughed out loud to see his feet poking out the top when it was a bed

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It was a bus for a while

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Then he had so much fun making it a den again this time with just a blanket over the top and playing peepo.20150819_175559

Especially when the box then fell over with him inside!20150819_175659

Then LM had to get in on the action – she wasn’t quite as sure about being covered with the blanket

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Then it became a climbing frame (it was getting a bit squished by this point)

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And finall a great hiding place (can you see his fingers on the top? The only clue I had to where he was lol!)

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Kids and cardboard boxes eh?

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

Let Kids be Kids linky 12/08/14

The lovely Karen over at Let Kids be Kids is away on holiday this week down in gorgeous Cornwall, and she has asked me to host this week’s Let Kids be Kids linky! I jumped at the chance as this is one of my favourite linkys to join in with!

There are always so many great posts with fab ideas for good old childhood fun, both indoors and outdoors, I always get so much inspiration from everyone’s posts!

We have been loving this summer and having loads of fun with outdoor play lately, although the cooler weather seems to have set in too this weekend with a lot of rain forcing play indoors! Hopefully we still have some summer fun ahead of us yet though :)

Right, on to the linky!

This is a linky all about letting kids be kids, getting back to basics and having great childhood fun. We live in such a fast paced modern world with so much technology and stresses round every corner, we often need to be reminded to just ‘play’ and have fun, it’s healthy for us all (yes, that includes you parents!).

Please join Karen (and I) in spreading the word, for encouraging children to step away from the technology for a while and go out, run around, use their imaginations and just have general basic FUN!

There’s not many rules, just link up your posts (screen free), old or new, about genuine childhood fun (of any age). It may be fun outdoors, jumping in puddles, nature hunts, riding bikes or making mud pies. Or it may be fun indoors with arts and crafts, making dens, cooking, messy play or reading. Or how about visiting a farm or fun at a fete. Or a discussion about children growing up too fast, etc.

Whatever basic fun you have been having or discussing, link up and share your ideas, visit others to get inspiration and comment on as many as you can to give each other encouragement and support, but most importantly, HAVE FUN!

This linky will open every Tuesday for 6 days, so there’s plenty of time to add your posts.

Please spread the word and grab the badge below!

 

If you tweet me your link (@BecomingaSAHM), I will happily retweet.

Monkey’s Musical Medley – 22 months

I don’t very often post videos as I find pictures a bit nicer, but if you have a spare minute this one is worth a watch!

When Monkey is happy, for a long time he has obviously been singing in his head as he stops what he is doing and ‘winds the bobbin’ doing all the movements. He can be doing anything, watching something he loves on TV, playing at the park or on the mud, doing some messy play, and he stops and winds the bobbin.

Lately though it has become something more and he adds all orts of extra movements in, and in a seemingly random order. I’m not entirely sure what this sounds like in his head but he clearly loves it! I managed to catch a bit of this during some painting the other day and I think it’s hilarious.

Funny Monkey!

Ethans Escapades

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Containing the mess – finger painting in the bath – 15 months

We recently moved Monkey out of his highchair and onto a booster seat at the dining table for mealtimes. He is loving sitting at the table and meal times have been a bit better so it was definitely time to make the move. One of the problems with this though is when it comes to messy, creative, activities. While he was sat in his highchair, the mess was basically contained to him and his tray. At the table it gets spread all over the place. Plus he used to sit so comfortably in his high chair but now is such a fidget bum (one of the reasons we made the change to booster seat) and once he’s eaten, he wants to get down. He’s not really happy sitting anywhere for any length of time really!

So what to do? I don’t want to stop doing all the creative, messy things, but my heart flutters when I think what those little hands can do with a load of finger paints in our lovely house! So I have been trying to work out what best to do. Obviously there is outside. We play with his chalk outside, which he loves, and he is learning that it doesn’t get any further into the house than the conservatory. We also play with sand and water etc. outside. But finger paints add a whole other layer of mess don’t they? If I get a bit of sand or water on me while cleaning him, then no big deal, but I don’t really want to get covered in paint. Also, where do I clean him? The outside tap is on the front of the house so it would mean running round the front with him, but let’s face it, that water is pretty darn cold! Do I try and carry him in the house, hands under his arms, dangling him in front of me trying to avoid paint getting on everything?

It is these things that have led to the finger paints staying firmly shut away for a while! Then after getting a comment from Gill last week (I hope you’re reading Gill :)) I had an idea! The bathroom! If I set him up in the bath with the paints then he can make as much mess as he likes and then I can just hose it (and him) down afterwards with the shower! Definitely worth a go,

Note: I do this with homemade paints where the colour is food colouring and so washes off things easily. I can’t recommend doing it with bought paints unless you want to do a tiny patch test somewhere first to see if it comes off!

I set aside some time at home one day to give this a go. Unfortunately though, because the finger paints hadn’t been used in a while they had gone mouldy in the cupboard (yuk). So whilst Monkey ate his snack I quickly whipped up some more. The recipe is here, sooo easy.

Anyway, I have to say it really was a success, as you can see in the photos! He only lasted in there about 15-20 minutes, but that’s about as long as he does anything for, so not too bad. I know it’s a lot of effort to go to, both before and after, but it was definitely a lot of fun. He also hated being cleaned afterwards, but then he never likes to be cleaned so nothing new there.

Most importantly though, it came off the bathroom tiles with no problem. There are some ever so slight colour stains on the grout but nothing that concerns me or hubby too much. I’m sure it would probably come off if I bleached it anyway but you can’t even see it unless you really look. I used a load of old towels for the rest of the bathroom and had to wipe my hands on those a bit but basically the mess was contained! Woohoo! Here is our little artist having fun with his paints in the bath! He ended up a bit blue afterwards but again it’s only food colouring so I’m not too fussed :)

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