Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why can't my son be a Princess for Halloween?

What is it about being alone that makes my house suddenly start making noises like a poltergeist has been lurking in it undetected for the last year? Matt is out of town for the next few days and last night was night 1 of his trip. My house decided to come alive with creaks, groans and banging piano keys{I forgot to close the piano lid and my lovely kitties decided to jump onto the keys with gusto}. Thanks to my overactive imagination, the absence of my love lying next to me and the piano serenade that haunted my dreams, I slept very little last night. 

Today, I am participating in Wednesday Wishes with the lovely Anne @ Love the Here and Now.

Love the Here and Now
We have been asking both Littles for the last few weeks what they would like to be for Halloween.

Every.single.time. that I ask, Mason tells me that he wants to be Elsa and that Ellie can be Anna{from Frozen. Both of my Littles are OBSESSED with all things Frozen.}
This was something I wasn't ready for as a parent. I don't mind that Mason wants to dress up as Elsa for Halloween. There are so many parts of me that want him to dress exactly how he wants. I want him to be exactly who he wants to be and if that means dressing in a Malibu blue dress and trick or treating in a tiara, then I want him to feel comfortable and supported. In fact Ellie gets to wear superhero capes, play with trains and cars, get dirty in the mud and scrape her knees racing her brother to get first dibs on the blocks at the library. This doesn't make her any less of a "girl" Why can't Mason put on a princess crown, make necklaces and bracelets, take care of a baby doll, or walk around the neighborhood with a plastic pumpkin in a Frozen costume? Why does this immediately make him less of a "boy"?
He is free by all means to do so, but how can I prepare him for the looks, the stares, the jeers, the comments about his costume of choice? How can I prepare myself for the same? I don't mind his costume of choice, but others are not quite so gracious or understanding.
He is only three after all, so I am ultimately in control of what I buy, make or allow. As a parent, I know that it is my job to mold and shape him, but that doesn't give me license to ignore who he is so that he will fit into who I think he should be. Where is the line? There is no easy part of parenting. If I don't allow him to be Queen Elsa, will this be the moment in his life that he remembers that I stifled his individuality and made him be something he didn't want to be? If I do allow him to be Queen Elsa, how will I handle the judgement as a parent? There is no easy choice. 

My wish for today is that we make a graceful choice. I also wish that there was some sort of Parenting Instruction Booklet we could refer to right about now. 

How do you deal with difficult parenting choices?

All My Love, 
Meg

13 comments:

  1. That is a toughy - My son, when he was 3 (heck, even up until recently), will ask for me to paint his nails... I always opted to only paint one - the pinky, because it's totally rock n roll. And always BLACK.

    But, the other day in the store, I was looking for a dress and I was peeling through the racks - I had worn a sweater dress and it had gotten to hot (weather in ny from fall to summer 0 seconds flat), so I was holding it in my arms, while rocking the underneath t-shirt and leggings... SO, I needed an extra hand, so I asked him to hold my sweater dress. His first thought - was to put it on.

    7 years old - walking through Joyce Leslie - with my pink tank-sweater dress on. Without a care in the world.

    Got the stares - People whispered - and I did an awful thing. I told him to take it off. And when he asked why, I told him the truth - because people don't understand his free spirit. He took it off and smiled. I was looking at shoes moments later - and I asked him what he thought - he told me "They're too BOYISH" - Same two people laughed and whispered some more. This time he heard it, and looked at them "You're not nice."
    Which just stopped them. Blankly they stared - realizing how cruel they were being to a small child - Instantly there were apologies.

    When we got in the car - I told him I should have never asked him to take off the sweater dress - and I'm proud of him.

    It's hard to make the right choice - having an open mind at home, doesn't mean it's going to be accepted publicly.

    I say - Let him rock it - Queen Elsa.... His confidence and security at 3 years old out shines many adults.

    Anyone says anything or makes him feel uncomfortable - you Mama Bear them.

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  2. Ahhh Meg!! This is so tough! I completely agree with everything you said, I have no idea what I would do in your situation!

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  3. I can't imagine the spot you're in. I saw the title of this post and was like "he totally can!" but I get what you're saying. I think if he wants to rock the princess outfit than he should. We all rocked some questionable things for halloween as kids and if there is any day where it is okay to get away with dressing up as things it's Halloween. Frozen is such a hit that I'm sure he's not the only one. I would high five him if I saw him because Itoo love Frozen!

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  4. I really like your point about your little girl not being "less of a girl" because she wears super hero capes. There's a bit of a double standard there from people isn't there? I agree, it's a tough one, but I'd let him do it. Maybe take a cue from Kateri and her little one and go all mama bear and tell people they're not being nice if they say anything (probably is a nice/graceful way though). How will people change if not one says anything about it?

    Good luck!! :D

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  5. Oh, mama what a difficult thing this is. My son is 4, and we've always let him play with dolls (his younger sister is 18 months). we don't snatch something away because it's pink. to the same point, Ainsley plays with the "boy toys" so yeah... why can't your son be a princess? I think it's completely fine if it's HIS choice. I see too many moms forcing their sons to wear dresses etc because they wanted a girl or something like that. but if he's asking to I say let him do it. let him express himself. hugs!

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  6. Being a mom is so hard isn't it? We question and doubt ourselves all over societal standards. Do we give in to our kids' wishes to be what they want or do we shelter them from the looks and stares like you mentioned? I say let him be who he wants. And think nothing more of it. If he's happy then let him be.

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  7. You're an amazing parent. I understand your concerns and it's sad that we have to have those concerns in the first place!

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    1. Also! I found you through ember Grey. I live in Columbia mo!!

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  8. Oh gosh...that's a tough one, especially if he may be teased by other kids. You sound like a great mom, I'm sure you will make a good decision.

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  9. You ladies are all amazing! Thank you so much for the encouragement!

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  10. My 3 year old son also wants to be Elsa for Halloween and I bribed him with an over the top astronaut costume that costs $200+ He too is OBSESSED with Elsa but he is also into spaceships.

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  11. My 3yo boy also wants to be Elsa for Halloween. He loves anything Frozen but no male character will do, not even Ana. It has to be Elsa. If he could, he would go with wig and all. He like all sort of boy things and rough housing, but he also likes to put on dresses at school and play with the girls. We are in a very traditional neighborhood. I'm bracing for the looks and prepared to stare down and freeze anyone who has a hurtful comment. But it is an issue, so not knowing what to do, I asked for advice of a friend who happens to have a phd in psychology. This is an extract of her thoughts to me.
    1. Kids tend to play and change sides of the dualities. One moment they want to be the good guy/hero, next they want to be Darth Vader. One time they pretend play they are daddy, then play mommy roles. Too early to think of gender issues, it is just kids exploratory, healthy, play.
    2. If the environment at home punishes behaviors that do not conform with gender related issues, the kid will try to adjust, maybe to be something he is not and that will only make them unhappy and set them to low self esteem and suffering, translating later into trouble in relationships.
    3. Let him express himself freely. The clothes will not change who your son is. Neither will do repression.
    4. Your support and love is fundamental on giving your child the tools to grow wholesome, with self esteem and respect for himself and others.
    Note: we already had the conversation about anatomical differences, he knows he is a boy and seems fine with that. So he is a boy that likes pink, dinosaurs, dolls and toys in general. He is one happy and creative child, he is happy with that so am I. I mentioned to him some of his friends could get confused with him wearing a girl's costume. My sweet 3yo said, mommy, my friends know me, they will not be confused. Enough said... he is going to be Elsa.
    I hope you find the answer that suits you and your kid! Love.

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  12. Your post made me cry! Finally an answer straight out of love. My 3yo has been making Elsa capes since he has seen the movie over 6 months ago now. He sings "let it go", twirls and pretends to run to the High Mountains. My husband and I thinks its so cute and have no problem lettin him be. Halloween coming, it was not hard to see him run to the last Elsa dress of the store and finally own a real Elsa costume! Elsa he will be on the 31st and with all the Love in the world my husband will be Anna!

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