Contrary to popular belief, Alexey and I don't often discuss anything having to do with gender because no particular issues come up. In this next blog entry, I will post the only conversations we have had since my first blog post in November. I do think the frequency of the conversations will shoot up in the coming years.
1. Age: 4 Topic "Roles for Winter Play"
Alexey: For this year’s Winter Play, all the girls will be snowflakes and all the boys will be gnomes.
Simone: Why can’t any of the girls play gnomes?
Alexey: Because they’re snowflakes…
Simone: Why are only the girls snowflakes?
Alexey: Because it’s for girls – they have a delicate song to sing
Simone (surprised at his choice of the word ‘delicate’): And gnomes aren’t delicate?
Alexey (on a tangent, spreading his legs): Look at how hard my penis is
Simone: I know, that’s normal – it’s often like that in the morning, remember?
Alexey: Because blood comes out of it?
Simone: No, as I taught you, there is blood inside your body and when you have an erection, when your penis gets hard and swollen, that means blood got drawn to that part of your body and then when it becomes soft again, that means blood went elsewhere…
Alexey:…And this one girl will be Snow White
Simone: I think for the Winter Holidays, I’ll be a gnome too - a large gnome and I will eat you for dinner, om nom nom
Alexey (Laughs): And Alex will be a gnome too, okay?
Simone: What will Ark be?
Alexey: He’ll be a tiny tiny tiny little gnome because he’s a boy too.
Simone: I don’t get this separation because of gender – why can only boys be gnomes and girls be snowflakes?
Alexey: That’s what Tanya said.
Simone: Well, it’s not like snowflakes have a gender – they’re snow, part of nature, as are we, so anyone can play a snowflake, right?
Alexey: …Tanya said…
Simone: Oh, Tanya said this and Tanya said that…
Simone: Well, your mother says otherwise, it’s so arbitrary..and gnomes…of course girls can be gnomes, they can be anything, delicate or not.
Alexey: Some people took off Halloween decorations and some people didn’t.
(Hey, no one said he stays on topic).
2. Age: 4 ½ Topic "Clothing in a Mini Boden catalog"
(Looking through the girls’ clothing section)
Alexey: I want this (pointing to a pink shirt with an ice cream cone)
Simone: Ok, we’ll put a star next to it
Alexey: And I want this dress
(I notice myself hesitating before putting a star next to the dress because I am not sure if he understands it’s a dress)
Alexey: And I want this girl
Simone: We can’t buy girls, Alexey…
Alexey: And I want these pants (blue loose fitting cropped pants)
Simone: I know, I liked those too earlier, I circled these pants
Alexey (seeing the pants on a girl in the next picture): but it’s for girls! Look, girl wearing…
Simone: So what, she’s a child, you can wear them too
Alexey: I don’t want to look anymore
Simone: Okay, but this dress from before, you sure you want it?
Simone: I can get it for you but you probably won’t be able to wear it to pre-school
Simone: Well you know your father and I won’t care and we don’t think that way but your teachers in pre-school will probably say ‘dresses are just for girls’ and I don’t want you to hear crap from the other kids, either…But, we’ll get you one anyway, you can wear it at home for sure…maybe, your grandmother and I can make you one later tonight, okay?
Alexey: Okay!...Can I draw now?
Simone: Here’s a Victoria’s Secret catalog (I know I’m horrible), draw on it
Alexey: Okay, I will draw a turkey and food for turkey.
Process: I felt like a coward letting him know that it's probably better to not wear a dress to pre-school and have to face all those kids and educators. He's at such a tender age, I just don't know sometimes. I also felt that my aunt who would be the first person to ask to sew his dress (as she's a seamstress) would think I'm insane and tell him so, as well. I think I will have more luck with my mom around this issue but only because my father is no longer alive.