CJ is, in many ways, in compliance with conventional expectations about little boys; he likes construction sites, vehicles of all kinds, dinosaurs, and roughhousing. But he breaks those rules, too. One of his favorite games is to cook in his toy kitchen (though note that cooking is Daddy’s job in our house.) Based on his loose understanding of human reproduction, he sometimes tells us that he has a baby in his tummy and he’s going to take care of it. And when I recently took him down to Budget Bicycle Center to buy a helmet, he chose the pink one with hearts all over it above the blue helmet with cars, the black helmet with trains, and many other more boy-coded options.
When I was a kid, my favorite color was pink. OK, I’ll admit it, hot pink. (It was the 70s!) And I liked all decorations to be as floral as possible. My parents brought me to the department store when I was 4 or 5 to pick out wallpaper for my room, and I chose a print of pink roses, which created some consternation; my parents felt, possibly correctly, that at 7 I’d feel it wrong to have my room done up in pink roses, so they bribed me with the offer of a giant cork board to accept a more gender-neutral wallpaper. It was a kind of blobby orange-and-brown plaid. Did I remember to mention it was the 70s?
Anyway: should I maintain a rigid neutrality about all such matters? Or is it all right that I feel a little pride in CJ’s pink helmet?