How To Make Being Cheap Sound Like An Intentional Statement Against Societal Gender Rules For Children

NikkiZ has two pairs of sunglasses, so she can lend one to her brother, right? I mean…he’s just a bit over one. He has no concept of style and has no opinion about whether he should prefer more masculine accessories. In other words, he does NOT care if he’s wearing sunglasses with bows on them. Right?

I also use the same logic when talking myself out of buying the boy version of many things we already have girl versions of. Now, because we hoped to have more kids, we bought non-gender specific versions of many of the big items. Like carseats, strollers, baby seats and playpens. So, AndyZ has felt no stabs at his masculinity for those items. But, there are many things I have refused to buy because we have perfectly good items AndyZ can use that belonged to his sister. And he is too young to care right now, so I’m going to take that as far as I can. At some point he’ll be old enough to voice his angst over being forced to use his sister’s hand-me-downs. But for right now? I’m saving cash left and right by letting him use things she used.

Of course, many of them are quite girly. Like her dishes. He has been eating his dinner off a Strawberry Shortcake plate, his breakfast out of a My Little Pony bowl and his favorite sippy cup has Tinkerbell on it. That sippy cup goes everywhere with us.

To me? It’s not even something I care about. If he gets old enough to complain? And does, in fact, complain? Then we’ll look for a solution. But I’m the one with a daughter currently hooked on the old-school GI Joe cartoon. (Thanks to her Dad.) We obviously don’t force stereotypical gender interests on our children. So, if this same principal can save us some buck? I’m totally for it.

So, if you think you see us out and about? Check out what our kid’s have with them. If there’s a girl with GI Joe figurines and a boy drinking out of a lavender cup with fairies on it? That’s us.

21 thoughts on “How To Make Being Cheap Sound Like An Intentional Statement Against Societal Gender Rules For Children”

  1. That’s why I said IF he complains…because if he doesn’t? Even better for me! LilZ loved Sailor Moon, I’d be THRILLED if AndyZ was a Tinkerbell fan!

  2. My daughter LOVES choo choo trains and big trucks – no baby dolls for her. No reason to be gender specific until they ask I think. They will pick what they like automatically. As long as there are no bows in his hair I think he’s fine!

  3. Hmmm, now you have inspired me to try to think of some really subversive-sounding justifications for a being cheapskate! Great idea. :)

  4. My son spent the first 3 months of his life sleeping in a frilly pink bassinet. He also loves to feed his animals in the toy kitchen while my daughter stops around the house like a dinosaur.

    Doesn’t bother me any. I have plenty of other things to worry about.

  5. My son currently has painted toenails and my daughter’s sleeping bag is Disney’s Cars. Our pediatrician asked about the toe nails and wondered if my husband was okay with it. My response: “Oh, please, he has six sisters – he TOTALLY gets it.”

  6. Kim: Rude Cactus had a post earlier this week about his son’s love of his daughter’s dolls. It fits right in with what you are saying. http://www.rudecactus.com

    P.S. I’m sorry if my first comment sounded critical. It was my lame way of saying I agree with you.

  7. My son is wearing the same shirt today! Ahhh, Target :) We were at the doctor’s office last week and the receptionist gave us a weird look when he insisted on the princess sticker. He proudly wore it on his shirt, right next to the Spider Man sticker. Hee hee. Love it.

  8. “Masculinity” comes from the inside, not the outside. I suspect that most boys (and maybe girls) worry about conformance when they are young-ish (10 to 14 say), because the pressure to be like everyone else is high. But it’s not really going to matter.

    I remember playing with and using my sister’s fingernail polish…. :-)

    At age what, 18 months? doesn’t matter. If I see you guy out and about I’ll most likely think that the kid is seriously cute.. ;-)

  9. My parents let my brother use my pale pink, flowered big wheel when he was little, thinking that it was perfectly good and if he complained they would figure it out. We moved to a neighborhood full of little boys and circular driveways that they would obsessively race around. The pink flowered big wheel ended up being the most popular one because it was the fastest and the problem my parents ended up solving was how to break up fights over who got to ride the “Flower Power” big wheel.

  10. My daughter is into dinosaurs and you’ve never heard anything so cute as a two year old girl singing every line of the Spiderman theme song. (Is he strong? Listen bud, he’s got radioactive blood…)

    Now that she’s 3 1/2 she’s asked for a couple of pink things and we’re sorry that we probably won’t be handing down the shiny pink and silver sandals to her brother. We don’t care about most stuff but we don’t tend to dress him in her girly outfits. Cups though? Wouldn’t have occurred to me not to give them to him.

  11. Our 4 yr-old twins – a boy and a girl, BOTH LOVE pink. My husband comes from very “traditional” stock, so this was a bit of a stumbling block for him (and it might be important to point out that these are my step children, so I TRY not to be overbearing with the child-rearing advice). The best I could do was get him to let Riley play with his sister’s pink things, but he would not BUY anything pink FOR Riley. Well, the other day we bought some new cups, and when we asked them what colors they wanted, they both yelled “PINK!” And he tossed two pink cups in the cart. I asked about his change of heart and he said, “Riley wants a pink cup, so he should have a pink cup.” I was so proud of him.

  12. I love it! I have an older daughter and younger son. As it turns out, he’s not that much smaller, so he can wear her clothes now. The other day, he was trotting around in purple flower shorts.

  13. Amen for Cheap! and Amen for “who cares about stereotypes”!
    My 3 year old son has a purse. It is an old one of mine that his sister doesn’t like… and he uses it to carry his cars… but it is HIS purse and he likes it.
    :-)

  14. This is a pretty great entry! And I completely, completely agree with not enforcing gender stereotypes on one’s children AND being smart about money.
    Good for you!!! :)

  15. He is so damn cute, it doesn’t matter if he’s accessorized pink or blue. My health teacher in college was this great big strappin’ hunk of guy, and he quite often wore a pink dress shirt. He looked fantastic in it, and was one of the most secure men I’ve ever met.

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