The best laid plans of mice and me…

Often go awry.

After a couple of crazy weeks, during which I worked full time hours whilst being officially “in charge” at work (whose crazy idea was that?) and picking up a couple of freelance copywriting clients*, I was so looking forward to going back to normal.

I was dreaming of my regular part-time shifts, lowering my stress levels, exercising more and getting my sleeping pattern back on track.

I was going to be early to bed and early to rise and I was gonna be healthy, wealthy and mothertruckin’ wise, damn it!

Then, just as I made all these resolutions to look after myself and get on top of everything, I got hit by the Cold of Doom that seems to have taken over half my twitter feed**.

I had one day off work where I was basically incapable of anything other than sleeping or watching the Kardashians do… um, actually, I’m still not clear on what they do. Luckily, it’s only a couple of days later and I’m well on the mend, but now the Captain and Munchkin both have it too.

So this is basically a bullshit “this is why there’s no real post” post.

I really will get on top of things one day! Maybe. Some of them, at least.

*My writing on this blog is in no way indicative of my professional writing. This is one big stream of consciousness. Sorry!

**At least three people.

Hard headed

I am unashamedly a feminist, and the Captain and I strongly encourage Munchkin to pick things she loves, regardless of their intended gender. Honestly, the whole idea that a child “should” like one colour or another based on their genitalia is really bizarre to me. A child is more than the sum of what’s in their pants, and just as adults have diverse interests, likes and dislikes, so too do children.

So far, Munchkin LOVES dinosaurs, animals (especially dogs and cats, since we have those in the household), bugs, spiders, big machinery and trucks, “driving”, twirling, dancing, playing daddy’s drum kit, water, climbing the slide by herself, helping us cook, cleaning (she’s shaping up to be better than I am), and generally making mess and noise.

She’s not a huge fan of drawing, prefers painting herself and us than anything else, loves playing in dirt but is a bit hesitant about dirt on her hands at first.

Her interests are so broad, and we see no reason to discourage any of them, particularly based on outdated gender stereotypes.

Yesterday, the Captain took Munchkin shopping for a bike seat and helmet. When it came time to pick a helmet, the shop assistant took them straight to the pink helmets. Now, there is nothing wrong with pink. It’s an awesome colour, one of my favourites. But other colours are awesome too! Blue, green, purple, orange, yellow, red – there are so many great choices for kids, that I don’t know why the choices have become so narrow.

Capt’n insisted on letting Munchkin choose her own helmet, which the assistant seemed a bit dismissive of. But she knew what she wanted! She left all of the pink helmets and went straight for a really cool bright blue one with animals on it.

However, even after she had made it clear that was what she wanted, the assistant kept pushing the pink ones on her. This makes me pretty mad, not only because her choice of something to go on her own head should be respected (as long as it’s safe), but because by questioning her choice, the message is that the blue helmet is not something she “should” like. She “should” want the pink ones. Why? Because of her genitalia. That’s it. Not her brain, not her interests, not her passions.

We need to stop reducing our children to one small element of what makes them who they are. They are amazing, diverse, curious little creatures and that should be encouraged, not discouraged.

Luckily, Munchkin is a bit young to understand the social pressures on girls and boys to like different things, but that won’t last forever. There will come a day when she begins to understand what is being pushed on her, and either start to conform or (like me) rebel against it. Neither of those is a good option, because both of them mean that she is not free to be herself.

Free our children up to love what they love without fear of judgement, and watch them shine.

Meet Loki

You might know Loki from Norse mythology as the God of Mischief, or from the Marvelverse as the… God of Mischief.

But today I’m going to introduce you to a whole new face of Loki… a pink, polka-dotted bunny rabbit.

Loki the bunny

The day we got Loki, we made the terrible mistake of entering a baby shop. Trust me. Baby shops = massive amounts of money mysteriously disappearing from your bank account.

We went to buy a playpen, and were leaving with far more. I almost hyperventilated over the adorable mini-armchairs, but managed to not buy one.

When we got to the checkout with our armloads of crap totally necessary baby stuff, there was a deceptively adorable, totally irresistible hoard of knitted bunnies.

I was good, I swear, but Munchkin was captivated! She practically launched herself out of the Ergo on my chest and grabbed for them. I had never seen her show any particular interest in a toy before, so that was super exciting. Plus, I was deeply mired in postnatal depression and felt like the world’s worst parent, so I decided to alleviate some of that guilt with this sweet little polka dotted bunny. Needless consumption for the win!

Anyway, I was so excited to have bought this adorable little bunny that she wanted so badly, so I gave it to her straight away. She stretched out her arms with a huge smile on her face… and then proceeded to beat this poor, innocent rabbit senseless, Hulk-style.

Over the next couple of weeks the bunny took so many of these vicious beatings that I started referring to him as Loki, and the name kind of stuck. Eventually he did get a cuddle, so despite his rough start in life I think he’s going to be fine. At least, I hope he is. Otherwise, that’s just one more thing to feel guilty about! Ain’t life grand?