Ages 2-5Ages 6-9

Young Love

To facilitate the constant cycle of clothes into and out of my son’s dresser, we have come up with a plan. When the dresser drawers won’t close, we dive in. As each item comes out of the dresser I ask him:

        “Does this fit?”

        “Do you like it?”

        “Are you going to wear it again?”

Saying “No.” to any of these questions results in either donation or the trash. This system works great, or at least it did.

The Soccer Pants. He loves the Soccer Pants. We got them as an emergency pair after an accident at a friend’s. They were too small for her daughter, and way too big for my son, but good enough for the ride home. He fell in love. It was a pre-school love, a little boy and pants with glittery pink writing and tiny ruffle just above the butt. He wore them all the time, everywhere…until he started school.

School changed everything. The girls came to school swimming in pink, his favourite colour, and it was never to be found on the boys. The teasing for his long hair came early and often until he came home crying and I talked with his teacher (she was awesome btw). He decided, with no discussion, no more pink or sparkles unless we were staying home.

We are in 1st grade now, and it was time again for another trip through the dresser. Almost done, we come to the Soccer Pants. “Do these fit?” “Yes” (Finally, 2.5 years later); “Do you like them?” “Yes!”; “Are you going to wear them again?” I got a nervous look, he knew if he said “no” they are gone, and we both knew that “yes” wasn’t the truth. After a moment, I smile. “I bet these would be comfy pajama pants.” He got a big grin and wore them to bed that night.


I'm thirty-something and lucky enough have a job doing SCIENCE! I live in Madison, WI with five chickens, three dogs, two partners and one munchkin. Someday I would love to live on a big compound with my whole poly-family and goats.

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  1. I have a friend whose son is colour-blind. Pink is one colour which he can distinguish properly and he loves it. Or did, until he went to school and got teased mercilessly. It’s ridiculous and sad. Glad your son, has found a way to still enjoy his soccer pants!

  2. Oh yes, my eldest loved all colours until she started kindergarten. Then slowly pink crept into our home. More and more and more. And it didn’t even have to be said. If 4 girls wear pink, the fifth one, if she wants to identify with her gender, will wear it, too. Girl #6 will get the message about approved colours quickly…
    By now I live in a pink nightmare and it’s getting pinker every day. Parents with boys are worst. Apparently, since they were ever allowed to buy anything pink and sparkly they need to do so for my girls…

    1. I really try to mix it up when I by clothes for the daughters of friends and family. My BFF’s daughter is very feminine, but pink doesn’t work the best for her. I try to find outfits that show her that there are options other then dripping in pink when she wants to dress up.

        1. I actually did something similar for Pickle (I’m his father’s boyfriend). I bought a BRIGHT pink t-shirt and have worn it with him a few times and will continue to. I would not wear pink normally, but for this kid I’ll do pretty much anything.

  3. Poor little guy 🙁 My son’s last pair of sneakers were pink and purple with Dora and he loved them so much. And then all the other preschoolers asked him about them, looked confused, and generally gave him the message that the shoes were inappropriate. Now he only wants boy’s shoes and he explains to me that pink and purple are girl’s colors and blue and green are boy’s colors. (However, he can’t come up with an explanation for why his sister and I are almost always wearing blue and green when he says this.)

    I just *hate* the stupid color stereotyping. Of all the ridiculous things for us to have to worry about…I even got a lecture from someone when my infant son was covered in a pile of receiving blankets and the top one happened to be pink! Blankets! Because it was freezing outside!

  4. So this post made me cry – largely because I know those pants and I love this kid to bits. But also because it feels like we (grownups) have such a limited time in which we can really heavily influence kids…. then they go out into the school system and start to interact with the fucked up world we live in and the awful perspectives of those around them. I wish we could protect Pickle from that forever and I also know that we can’t and we shouldn’t. He will learn, in the long run, what social pressures he wants to give in to and which he wants to push back against. He is, luckily, surrounded by adults who actively want to help him push back against the bullshit in the world. Unlike some of us, he will have his family standing behind him in support no matter who he turns out to be.

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