|Should I tell him putting George in the fridge isn't going to win him any parenting awards?|
This past weekend, visiting with friends, The Imp was playing with a big kangaroo stuffie they had. I explained pouches and joeys and hopping and Australia, and didn't give it another thought. This morning before daycare, The Imp was quite adamant that he was a kangaroo mommy, and that George was a joey. Sure, why not?
But then he was using his kangaroo-mommyhood as an excuse to not get dressed and go to daycare. Time for a little chat, clearly.
Me: You're a kangaroo mommy?
The Imp: Yeah. George is a joey and I'm his mommy.
Me: Well, it's time to put on some pants, kangaroo mommy.
The Imp: (looking at me like I was an idiot) Kangaroo don't wear pants, Mommy.
Damn. He kind of had me there.
Me: (Trying a new tack) Are you a kangaroo at school?
The Imp: No. I'm a kangaroo mommy at home.
Me: You're just a mommy at home? Not at school?
The Imp: Just at home. Not at school.
In a split second, my mind was racing with fears that I'd somehow managed to give The Imp a skewed view of motherhood. "Oh no!" I thought. "I've somehow imparted to him that motherhood belongs at home. I've inadvertently taught him that femininity and masculinity belong in entirely separate spheres. I've indicated through my words and actions that women do not belong at school or work. Oh jebus, have I messed up the gender roles already? Or is there pressure from the other kids at daycare to be more masculine there? I'm a horrible mother for putting him in daycare when I work from home. Oh fuck. What have I done?!?" As showers of mama-guilt rained down upon my head, I managed to keep my game face on and ask:
Me: If you're a mommy at home, what are you at school?
The Imp: (without missing a beat) A light bulb.
Yeah. Maybe I was overthinking the whole gender-roles thing a little, there.
*I'm not worried about the gender discussion around who's a mommy and who's a daddy at this point. If The Imp says he's a mommy, he's a mommy. He'll sort out the gender stuff in the fullness of time, and be whoever he is.