Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sugar and Spice is a Boy thing too...

What are little boys made of?  What are little boys made of?  Snips and Snails and Puppy dog tails...that's what little boys are made of.  

What are little girls made of?  What are little girls made of?  Sugar and Spice and All that is Nice...that's what little girls are made of.

I recently read this poem to my 7 year old.

He frowned at me and told me he thought it wasn't fair that girls got to have all the nice stuff.

I agree.

As the mother of sons...I agree.

Boys, in my experience, are tender.  They are the most huggable little loves...if you let them be that way.
I've witnessed women and men chastise my boys for wearing pink.  Grown ups.  Adults. People who should know how to watch their mouths and keeps their bigoted opinions to themselves.
Nervous about displays of male hugging.  Disaproving over colors that anyone who hasn't been brainwashed might enjoy.  Irritated at the birthday gift of a unicorn or a silk cape in a lovely shade of rose that lit up the eyes of a brown eyed 5 year old.

What IS this?

When we demand that little boys are only allowed to like certain colors, certain toys, and certain ideas, we create exactly what is wrong with our world today.  A universe of little boys dressed like big men with big tough exteriors that beg to not be torn down or peeked inside of.  Little boys pretending to be the men they were told they HAD to be.  And they forgot who they were...they forgot that they were allowed to be gentle.

We create men who don't know what they feel, or why they feel, or why anyone else is allowed to feel.
And it hurts us all.

Why do we do this to our boys?  Why do we allow our girls to tell our boys that the toy they are playing with is a "girl toy"?  Why do we stop our children from being who they really are simply in the name of a fear...or, in all honesty, a prejudice.

If the fear is "turning your child into a gay person"'s important to understand something real: You can't make a person what they are not by allowing them to be who they are.  Enjoying certain colors, toys, hobbies or jobs does not make someone who they are not.  In fact, a recent study I read in a psychology class indicated that most gay men have been shown to have had un-supportive or emotionally unavailable fathers. This is NOT to say that every boy who has an emotionally constipated father WILL be gay; correlation doesn't equate to causation..but there is a correlation that should be looked at...wondered about.  And I had to wonder in light of this...why don't we shudder when we see a father being dismissive to his child in the same way that we shudder when a little boy gets to wear the pink sequined chuckys he's been coveting for months?  Why don't we think it might screw with a child's sexual image when dad plasters his face to a football game all weekend instead of playing with his child in the same way we might when we find out that an 8 year old loves cooking above sports?  Why don't we cringe when we see a little boy get a tonka truck when he REALLY wanted a rainbow unicorn or a baby doll?

I'm just pondering here....because I see a world wherein my sons are being allowed to feel.  And I see that they are being raised differently than their male peers.  The results?  I have a 14 year old who WILL stop in the middle of a soccer game if a kid on the other team gets hurt to make sure he is o.k no matter how much his peers chastise him for being sensitive.  I have an 8 year old who wants to hug me for several minutes, without being patted away impatiently:  Comfortable with how it feels to nestle up to his mother, without fear of being teased as a mama's boy.  I have a 12 year old who nurtures all things soft and fluffy and who isn't afraid to admit that he doesn't care for the gun games his peers play or the sports they covet watching on t.v...  I have a 7 year old who adores pink, and green, and blue and anything sparkly and can often be found wearing all three at the same time bejeweled with any glittering thing he can find.  All of these boys are quick to select pink frosted cupcakes with hearts over sports themed cupcakes.  All of these boys are immediate in their efforts to console one another over heartbreaks and life disappointments. 

Sure, they joke and use occasional potty talk and tell jokes about farts too. They play in the mud and adore bows and arrows.  They like rock music and are clear about their opinions about girls. As the 14 year old stated yesterday..." I feel sorry for skinny blonds.  They look so pale and hungry.  I'm more into girls that look like they don't starve themselves...they have more to look at and enjoy."

Smart lad.  I guess wearing pink socks hasn't altered his feelings toward the opposite sex.  But honestly, even if he wasn't in to wouldn't have been the freaking SOCKS that determined it.  And, I'd love him as fearlessly as ever. 

All in all...I guess what I'm saying is that while I have zero experience with little girls, and so can not KNOW if they really are sugar and spice and everything nice...I DO know that my little boys are everything sugar and spice and everything nice.  They know how to be sweet.  They are sassy and clever.  And...there is nothing sweeter than the little boys who look up at you, even into their teens, as you kiss them goodnight and tell you..."Mommy...your the best in the whole world."

If that's not everything nice, I don't know what is.


  1. Great post. I HATE these generalisations about what is appropriate for boys. My extended family are forever ribbing my nephews about liking pink and being 'big girl's blouses' and it annoys me no end. As I hope to have a son one of these days, I guess I'm going to have to confront them about it! I already get the feeling that they aren't that comfortable with the fact that I gave J a Tonka truck for Christmas rather than a rainbow unicorn :)

    And as you, the colour of your freaking SOCKS isn't going to make a blind bit of difference to anyone's sexuality. I just wish that people would leave kids alone to play with the toys that they WANT to play with, dress in the colours that they LIKE wearing. Anything else just seems ridiculous!

  2. Kudos to you! As a Mom of 2 boys and a Daycare Mom of 5 boys, I think boys are sugar and spice and hugs and consideration and fun and energy and love! My boys were and still are allowed to be whatever they want and if they want to wear pink, well.... real men wear pink! And ITA, pink socks does not make a boy gay when they grow up.. but there are plenty of ignorant people in society that think so.
    Great post!

    Happy Homeschooling Mom of 2 in Oregon since 2008.


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