I colored today. You know, as in a coloring book, with crayons. I was at a school fundraiser/fair with my kids, and they were coloring, and I was just sitting there watching them, twiddling my thumbs, and then I thought – “Why the heck not?” Sometimes we think that as adults certain activities are reserved for kids, or else we have forgotten how much pleasure we once derived from it when we were younger (swinging, in my book, is right up there). Plus, the crayons were all brand new and sharp, which I just can’t resist. If they had been the worn-down ones, I might not even be writing this entry.
There were several pictures to chose from. Kaiden chose a scary looking dragon, and I, of course, picked a girlie one – a mermaid. I was thoroughly absorbed in my coloring, doing my best to stay in the lines, when I looked over at two 8-year old girls across the table. They, too, had selected the mermaid picture, and you know what? The three of us were all coloring the mermaid the exact same way – purples and blues for the tail, yellow for the hair, pink and light blue for the embellishments (I swear, I wasn’t copying them). That made me think – as females, are we all programmed to like certain colors, or have we all just watched too many Disney movies?
As a mother of a boy and a girl, it has been fascinating for me to watch the innate differences between the sexes. So far, when it comes to the nurture vs. nature debate, I’m siding with nature. Kaiden is drawn to pirates and skeletons and the color black, and Kaya, she just wants to watch princess movies and twirl in her ballerina outfit. Sometimes, though, I have to watch myself, because I have caught myself saying to Kaiden, “Oh, you don’t want to play with that, that’s a girl toy.” At moments like those, a little psychologist appears over my left shoulder and whispers in my ear, “Tsk, tsk, tsk. Don’t enforce gender roles. Or else you’ll give him a complex every time he picks up a Barbie.”
I guess I’m destined to screw up my kid at some point, I’d just like to prolong that eventuality as long as possible.