Olive is pretty perceptive, so I guess I should have known that it was just a matter of time before something like this happened.
The other day she was playing with her Aunt Loulie (my sister, Lizzie) and Lizzie said something about a boy wearing pink, or choosing pink.
Olive’s reaction was immediate and certain. “No!” she giggled, “Pink is a girl colour!”
When Liz relayed this story to me, a little part of me died inside. It’s happening. It’s happening. Olive is becoming aware of the world outside this strange Eco-friendly, feminist bubble I have created, and now it’s all going to fall apart. It’s only a matter of time before she realizes that other moms buy cool flavoured cartoon toothpaste instead of making it themselves out of goddamned baking soda!
The exchange was funny in a “crazy stuff kids say” sort of way, but it was also genuinely disheartening. I feel like I have tried so hard to present a balanced view of masculinity/femininity, to encourage her to choose clothing and toys and books based on what she is interested in regardless of whether it was found in the girl’s section or the boy’s.
This conversation was so small, and some might say insignificant, but for this overthinker it suddenly felt like our culture had managed to slowly chip its way into her psyche and overwrite my beliefs with its own. It feels like this tiny shark-boots-wearing, independent loudmouth little person will be lost to me soon, buried under the meaning of pink and blue.
What’s that? Making mountains out of molehills, you say? Why that’s so unlike me! It’s like you guys don’t know me at all!
The next morning, however, redemption! A conversation happened that restored all hope for this little weirdo of mine. She often comes into my bed in the morning when she wakes up, so we were lying there talking, and I asked, as I usually do, if she had any dreams. She told me a terribly convoluted – most likely made up- rendition of her dream that ended with this:
Olive: …And then the bunny got married.
Me: Oh my goodness! What a dream! Do you think you will want to get married some day?
Me: Who do you think you will marry?
Olive: A boy and a girl.
Me: A boy and a girl! Will you love them?
Olive: Yes! And kiss them!
Me: And then you’ll live happily every after?
Olive: No! ‘Cause I’m not a story, mummy!
You guys, she’s two and her views toward relationships are already more open and realistic than those of some adults I know.
You go, Olive! Pink and blue be damned.