Monday, October 19, 2009

Well she was always going to be the chatty one

Here's Leah's list of words so far:

Elmer - the first word
Apple (well Aaaah-plll)
Row (as in row row row your boat)
Boobies (thanks to Izabela)
Hide (said in a whisper and often accompanied by a dramatic Ssshhh)

She'll also have a go at pretty much any word you ask her to but this has to be my favourite so far:

She also has quite a repetoire of animal noises, some easily identified, others not so easy - her cat's miaow is pretty much impossible to catch unless you're closely related.

I'm pretty sure I think every phase Leah goes through is the best phase so far (OK maybe not the developing tantrum phase) but language acquisition has always been of huge fascination to me. Little did I know just how much fun it was going to be.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The colour-coding of our children

The shoes on the left are for toddler-girls, the ones on the right are for toddler-boys. But if you can, take a closer look. The shoes on the left are nearly all open-topped Mary Janes and without fail are either pink, or are stamped in pink hearts or flowers. The ones on the right are brown, blue, red and green. There are no opena areas.

So what's the big deal? Well aside from the colour and the pretty-pretty flowers and hearts the boys shoes are practical for playgrounds, sand-pits and splashing in puddles. The girls shoes will get your kids feet wet or full of sand as soon as they're put to use in any of the places kids like to play. The result....the beginning of starting to hold your girl back from running free, exploring and experimenting.

These are some photos I took in the Early Learning Centre. After nearly having a feminist fit at pink vacuum-cleaners, washing machines, kettles, food mixers, toasters and tills (cash-registers).

WTF are they making them pink to make them even more attractive to girls??? What kind of sick conspiracy is this? I opened my eyes wide enough to see that right next to the pink home appliance section there's a blue home appliance section. That's great you say, everyone's equal, there are boy vacuum cleaners and girl vacuum cleaners, what's the problem? The question is, why the colour coding and separate sectioning at all? Why not red, black, green vacuum cleaners? Let kids pick the one they want without separating things into a 'boy' section and a 'girl' section.

Now anyone who knows me knows my pink aversion and my decision where possible to not dress Leah in pink. But most people think that I'm being silly, that I'm making a fuss about something trivial, or the worst so far...that I actually wished I'd had a boy. These are the people who told me I'd change my mind once I had a little girl (and that I'd change my mind about not wanting to get married). It's not just the colour, it's the encouraging of our girls to be pretty, to be neat, to be clean and to be tidy reinforced by totally impractical clothes that half the time don't even enable our girls to do the same things as the boys and that's even supposing they don't have a parent cringing in the background at the thought of grass stains, scuffs, tears or wet or sandy feet.

I've also been told on many an occasion that some girls are just born girlie, and that the pink thing is inevitable so bother fighting it? Well until Leah goes to school and the peer pressure really kicks in I want to give her every opportunity to try as many different activities and encourage her to be as bold and as adventurous as possible and I'll dress her appropriately.

I don't wish to offend anyone, particularly my friends who have girls well and truly in the pink / princess phase. If this happens to Leah I hope that I will do my best to manage it appropriately and would welcome any tips from those of you trying to create balance for your girls. Just don't tell me that my feelings about this are silly or pointless.

Roll on Soccer Tots in January!