Thursday, July 29, 2010

Morning Story

Sleeping Bobby has been a hit this week.  It's been the morning story, the bed time story, and the book I find lodged between Miss C and the wall when I peek on her at night.
Which means that she's been getting out of bed and sneaking Sleeping Bobby!

Twists on old fairy tales tend to really make her mind do contortionist twists.
This page has gotten some wear:
It's where 12 Wise Women come to bring gifts to Bobby.  (In the Sleeping Beauty version, I believe it's 12 Fairies...but mythology experts correct me).
And the first time I read that, the line, "twelve wise women," Miss C inserted, "and 3 wise men."
Quick as a wink, as if I'd just left off that part entirely.

Because what would a fairy tale be if you didn't throw in a little nativity and mix it all up?
Jesus and Bobby and Aurora and the Virgin Mary: voila.

"Well, I think that's a different story."

"No, they are there..." she traces the page with her finger, searching for the wise men bearing gold and frankincense and myrrh for baby Bobby. 

Her finger lingers over one masculine looking wise woman, sort of like, well here's one that could go either way, then looks up at me, questioningly.

"Nope, that's still a wise woman."

"Well," she hems, "to me, that's a man."

And there she goes, just switching up the parts all willy nilly, re-writing the story to suit her own whim.

In moments like this, it pops into my head that sex is mutable for children up until about age 6, meaning that male and female are changeable, not yet fixed.

So, I let it slide.

And I figure, I could learn a lot by hanging out with someone for whom some things are mutable.


  1. we could all learn a lot from hanging out with someone for whom things are mutable! Great post - love the site. I've got a 2yo daughter - and am just waiting for the princess onslaught to start! I've tried (doesn't everyone?!) to provide trucks, etc, as well - to balance out the dolls and tea sets her grandmother sends. This week we were choosing name tapes, getting ready for preschool. I lifted her up to the computer to choose a picture to go after her name... I was thinking the flowers or the animals were cute. "The balls," she said - there was a sport selection. And honestly, I'm having trouble ordering them... I keep asking her if she's sure. Crazy, because this is what I've been trying to give her - the chance to love it all! I guess I need to begin seeing things as a bit more mutable...

  2. that's great. I gotta get that book!

  3. The thing about "trying" to provide "trucks, etc" that is ineffective is that society conspires, both explicitly and implicitly, to amplify traditional gender roles. Even the best-meaning of parents are so deeply ingrained with sexist ideas that nonverbal communications can teach their children what "girl things" and "boy things" are.

    Just giving a boy a toy truck doesn't teach him how to act masculine. Likewise, just giving a girl a truck doesn't magically break her out of her gender prison.

    True gender-neutrality in parenting takes a lot more effort than just buying different toys.