What are you wearing under there?

September 3, 2008 at 6:16 am 10 comments

     I have tried hard to make sure C knows he can be anything he wants to be and love anything he wants to love. We provide examples of women doctors, male teachers, and, most recently, the possibility of a woman President. When he asked why we have never elected a woman President before, I responded that we “just haven’t.” No long explanations into traditional men’s and women’s roles, no discussion of sexism, and nothing of the perceptions of strong women vs. strong men. We simply haven’t elected a woman President thus far. But we will, C, we will. Just not this time.

     So from the time he was 4 and his favorite color was pink, and he wanted to wear Dora the Explorer clothes, I have supported his interests, no matter how non-traditional they may be. I have tried not to convey to C the possible inherent societal backlash of such choices. Yet I have changed. Elementary school has changed me. I now recognize the importance of fitting in at least somewhat  in order to continue to try being an individual, however strange that may sound. While I don’t try to sway him from something he loves, I do gently try to guide him to something else he might love as well. It disturbs me greatly that I find myself conforming to ridiculous cultural norms, but I will do just about anything to ease C’s journey through this world. As long as he doesn’t seem to care, I will try and help him make what is considered “acceptable” choices.

     In this same vein, while standing in front of the boys’ underclothes aisle yesterday, I debated with myself the wisdom of continuing to buy C Thomas the Tank Engine underwear versus more age appropriate underwear. I envisioned him standing in the boys’ bathroom at school, pants down, and having another kid tease him about Thomas being for babies. Given his slight easing of the Thomas gridlock that has consumed his life thus far, I went with the camoflage underwear. Very, very cool, but it helped that his C-endowed-near-godly-status Uncle T was here visiting to reinforce the luck of a kid who gets cammo undies.

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Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , .

My sweet boy It’s about that time

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pixiemama  |  September 3, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Hey, I’ve been known to allow my boys to wear girls’ jammies because they LOVE Dora, Teletubbies, etc. etc. We’re weaning off the Thomas, too. The other thing that really stinks? When boys pass 5T, everything becomes (in my opinion) inappropriate. What’s with the size 7 Tshirts of skulls dripping blood? And – my boys hate stripes. I over-striped them when they were little (to avoid footballs, baseballs and racecars) and now they are OVER IT. Getting dressed is a tricky deal these days.

    Oh, I SO agree about the skill and crossbones – it’s horrible. Perhaps we should start a boys’ clothing line, huh? It’s hard to find stuff for them. C’s wardrobe is just solids and some stripes. Totally boring.

    Reply
  • 2. mama mara  |  September 3, 2008 at 10:00 am

    It is a hard balance. My younger son, Taz, went through a phase where he wanted to wear faux leather fingerless Michaal Jackson gloves and a necklace with a gigantic plastic gold dollar sign medallion (garage sale finds I regretted buying). I told him (big lie) that these items were prohibited at school, and that’s why no one else wears them.

    Bravo on the camo drawers. Taz is wearing them today too. (I lied again, claiming undies are required in middle school. He prefers to go commando).

    Stop by my blog if you have a mo’. I wrote this a.m. about my older son, Rocky and his emerging fashion sense.

    Love the Michael Jackson look. I hope you took pictures. Am on my way to visit you now!

    Reply
  • 3. robinaltman  |  September 3, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Cammo undies were the perfect choice! Brilliant!

    When Kevin was 5 his favorite color was pink. Adam told him that it was sort of a girl color, and if people asked him what his favorite color was, he should consider blue or green. Then Adam tested him, “So, Kevin, what’s your favorite color?” Kevin thought hard for a moment. “Not pink,” he said.

    See, that’s what C needs, an older brother! That is pretty funny. And I think I’m now going to search for some cammo panties for me too so I can be cool! 🙂

    Reply
  • 4. embracingspirit  |  September 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Love the camo undies! I am thankful that girls panties sometimes have days of the weekprinted on them in some cute glittery writing—talk about helping out with the ol’ rules of changing daily! god forbid it is Tuesday and ya got on Wednesdays–how confusing! oh well, we gotta do whatever works, eh?

    Reply
  • 5. FXSmom  |  September 4, 2008 at 8:56 am

    lol embracingspirit…I had never thought of the DOW skivvies in that way. I don’t need it for my girls though…I need them for the boys. They think it is okay to wear their undies 3-4 days at a time…YUCK!!

    I totally agree! I’ve always wished they’d have DOW undies for boys – C would LOVE them (unless one pair ripped or something…then we’d be in trouble!). Maybe we should market some???

    Reply
  • 6. kristi  |  September 4, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    It is hard, huh?? We want them to be themselves but we have to decide how to let them do just that but SOMEWHAT fit in as well.

    Reply
  • 7. looksgoodinpolkadots  |  September 4, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    My 8 year old son has a drawer full of camo undies. They are oh, so cool. He tops them with his new pink, white and grey Nike Skate Shoes and a pink striped Gap dress shirt. Daddy doesn’t like him wearing pink so much, but he loves it and I am all for independence.

    Cheers!
    Jamie

    Reply
  • 8. awalkabout  |  September 4, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I let the Captain pick out his own clothes all though elem school, but now that he’s hit junior high, we have an awful lot of discussions that start out, “You know, other kids in your class won’t be wearing X. You certainly have the choice to wear X if you’d like; but you always say it makes your feelings hurt when people make fun or you or won’t be your friend. Maybe on school days, you could be like the other kids. That’s what everyone else does.” Some times it feels like we’re really selling out to all the badness that is junior high. I prefer to think of it as constructive lessons that the NT kids pick up just from reading reactions. I really would love for him to have a whole houseful of friends, you know?

    I think that’s a really good way of putting it to him. And I know what you mean about selling out. But then, like you, I remind myself that we’re just helping our kids, like parents do, but we’re just helping them with the things that come naturally to some.

    Ahh, the houseful. Let’s build a big house and all of us live there with our great kids. Because we know our kids won’t turn down a friend, right? They could all be friends with each other. 🙂

    Reply
  • 9. goodmum  |  September 4, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    How cute! I love that Uncle T was your reinforcement. 🙂

    Reply
  • 10. Goldie  |  September 27, 2008 at 5:33 am

    OH my goodness, pixiemama, I thought I was the only unhip mom who felt that way! WHY do Boys’ clothes have to look UGLY? Can’t they just be nice but not baby-ish? I do NOT want a biker boy, and don’t need a lil prep, just something in between… but apparently that doesn’t exist.
    I ALREADY have angst that firstborn is now a BOY an dnot a PRESCHOOLER (my BABY! *sniff*) But that is now complicated by the fact that I can find NOTHING for him to wear!
    I’m in on the clothing line designing!

    BTW, ANOTHER Thomas fan huh? Is it all boys, or especially boys on the spectrum?

    The only plus side about boys’ clothes is that you don’t spend a fortune, because there’s NOTHING to buy them! I can’t stand all the stuff with skulls and crossbones too! YEECH! And oh, yes, we live, breathe, eat, sing, dance, sleep, play THOMAS. I can’t wait until he grows out of it – at least I’m hoping he’ll grow out of it.

    Reply

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