Life Is Just So Daily

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Just Say No to Dora....

So, I've tried to be one of those moms who doesn't care if her son plays with dolls and high heels and pink baby doll strollers....I just don't care. It doesn't bother me. Whatever.

But today....today, I had to draw the line, and it broke my heart to do so.

....and now, of course, I'm second guessing myself. Maybe I should have just given in....

Setting: WalMart, in the shoe aisle.
I just wanted to breeze through & pick up some cheapie sandals or flip flop type shoes that are easy to slip on & off for Gage. I just wanted a little pair to keep by the back door, so that when we go to play outside, it's so easy to just grab 'em & go.

And Gage fell in love on the shoe aisle. There she was, with her cute dark bob hairstyle....teasing him with her eyes...that "come here & play with me" look.... That's right. It was Dora. Smack-dab on the side of the tennis shoe. Not only did he want them, he told me, "I just neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed 'em."

These shoes....they weren't gender neutral by any means. They weren't all white w/ Dora on the side. Those, I would have gladly purchased. These had pink all over them....girly embroidery or stitching. They were just tooooooo girly.

I drew the line. I said what I didn't expect to say so soon, "No, Those are for girls."
I said it.
I felt bad.

I tried to distract him by looking for Diego shoes. No luck.
I tried to get him interested in some fireman shoes. They were black & looked like they were covered in flames. There was a firetruck on the side, and when you step, the lights on the firetruck light up. They were.....busy. Not something I would otherwise consider buying....but, desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
I suggested those shoes, and Gage said, "No! They make my feet burn!" I just laughed, and we moved on. We ended up getting some Spider Man slip on shoes, that I decided to buy just a size bigger than his normal size so they'd fit longer (stupid, stupid me....what was I thinking?????).

And, the way home....
Gage: "I just neeeeeeeeeed her."
Me: "Who?"
Gage: "Dora. I neeeeeeed her."

....am I an awful mom? Should I TRULY put the gender stuff aside & let him just have the shoes? Clearly, I thought I was the mom who wouldn't care---who would let my kids do whatever w/ disregard to stereotypical gender designations....but, in the moment---my actions are complete opposite of the way I viewed myself....

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25 Comments:

At 4:25 PM , Blogger Chas said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with little boys playing with dolls and strollers and such...nothing wrong with it at all. I don't have a little boy, so I'm not speaking from experience, but there's no chance I'd let my little boy wear pink girly shoes...maybe it's wrong...maybe it's playing into stereotypes...don't care. It would just be weird.

 
At 4:31 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Oh my - our boys appear to be playing from the same play book...we had the EXACT conversation --- once about boots and once about slippers...what is it about DORA and foot appearal?!?!?!??!?!

I think you did the right thing...poor guy!

 
At 4:38 PM , Blogger Pokey Puppy said...

okay.. so here goes... i consider myself one of those un-gender-biased moms too. however.. i do as well draw the line at some things. look at it this way.. if little gage saw a pair of frilly, lacy dora undies would you let him wear them? no i wouldn't my son either.. sometimes "those are for girls" is okay... shoes and undies included... ;-)

 
At 5:34 PM , Blogger Pregnantly Plump said...

I don't think it was bad. Can you imagine how embarrassed he would be in a couple of years if you let him have those? Just tell yourself that when he brings them up.

 
At 5:34 PM , Blogger kimmy said...

Don't beat yourself up. I used to let my son play with dolls when he was little too. I also drew the line on clothing though...

Kimmy

 
At 6:29 PM , Blogger Judy said...

Aw, paint his nails and he'll be okay -that's what I do with my boys (seriously, I do)...Travis only goes for clear now, and only when my niece is over, but Tyler's all about the red polish.

Shoes? I would have done the same. It is okay to draw the line. And we have dolls here, too. But no Dora shoes.

 
At 6:56 PM , Blogger Life is Wonderful said...

He would def. have it out with you a few years down the road...can you imagine telling him when he is 15 that he wore pink Dora shoes...lol...

 
At 6:58 PM , Blogger Elaine said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. I think we all do our best not to feed into the social constructs of gender, but if you felt uncomfortable with the shoes, then you did the right thing.

Plus you saved him from YEARS of grief when his future spouse would see pics of him in Dora shoes :)

 
At 7:26 PM , Blogger Reid said...

Oh, thank you for the laugh! I am just waiting for Reid to do the same thing. I think Dora is every boy's first crush, don't you? Boys are so sweet.

 
At 7:32 PM , Blogger zirelda said...

You know... I did that for a while. It's not so bad when you have a girl, but boys...

Then again, I had a friend that let her daughter choose her own clothes even if they were horrendously unmatched. She said, "She'll get the picture one of these days and then I won't have to worry about it." I liked that.

 
At 8:12 PM , Blogger Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Ack! Laughing here, sorry. I don't think I would have bought them either. I know my dh wouldn't!
The toys, fine, I have no issue with that at all. Our boys had polly pockets and loved them. I even paint my 4 year olds nails sometimes when I do 2 year old girly's. But no pink Dora shoes!
Actually my niece refuses to wear anything remotely girly. She only shops in the boy department and loves anything spiderman. My sister is totally cool with it and deals with everything as it comes. Now as my niece is nearing 6 she actually chose to wear some pink skateboarder clothes the other day.
so I say do what you are comfy with.

 
At 12:36 AM , Blogger Fold My Laundry Please said...

My 4 year old son, Gideon has an obsession with the hispanic vixen as well. To appease his Dora needs, I found paper plates made by Dixie with various pictures of Dora and Diego on them. He gets one for every meal. I'm going to go broke trying to keep him in paper plates, but it keeps him happy!

 
At 5:43 AM , Blogger Leigh said...

Nah, you wouldnt want him lookin gback years later saying, mom !you dressed me in pink shoes. good call.

 
At 7:16 AM , Blogger Zephra said...

Boys wearing girls shoes...you were right to put your foot down but shame on the makers of Dora. Zain always wanted Dora things but they never had anything for boys. Diego is nice and all but you can't convince a kid to take Diego if he loves Dora.

 
At 9:02 AM , Blogger Burgh Baby's Mom said...

We all know how much I loathe Dora. However, I live with one of her minions, so we just go with it. Anyway, these here Dora shoes are less girlie. Just sayin'.

 
At 1:49 PM , Blogger Family Adventure said...

I could tell you that you shouldn't have cared about them being girly, and that you should have bought them anyway....but....that would be totally hypocritical, as I am pretty sure I would have done the same thing as you did, had one of my boys asked.

But it still sucks, and I would feel bad too :(

Heidi

 
At 2:17 PM , Blogger Marni Tiani Self said...

My son is a lot like that too. In fact, as I type he's in his room changing his undies and socks and everything 5 times. He's 2.5.

I so know where you are coming from. He actually tried to get me to buy the Dora Croc's too. :(

 
At 4:25 PM , Blogger gmcountrymama said...

My son once let his sister put fancy clips in his hair, all because he just adores her attention. I took a picture of him in the clips and when he saw it he cried "I not a girl, I don't like that picture!"
If he was just going to wear the Dora shoes around the house I probably would have let him, but out in public, no way.

 
At 6:23 PM , Blogger ~love said...

bad mom? um, no. it stinks sometimes having to do the not fun things....but i definitely think you made the right call.

 
At 9:48 AM , Blogger Claudia said...

Dora just scares me. Completely. Her head alone is enough to give me nightmares. You did the right thing. Trust me.

 
At 11:45 AM , Blogger Em said...

Billy plays with dolls everywhere we go and i gave in and actually bought him a doll and hes now not intrested, think its just when it something different they want it! But no chance will he be wearing girly shoes etc, my friends boy is always dressed as a fairy when we visit (his big sis's outfit) and yes i find it funny but i think they are now worrying about him, its when its that extreme you should worry lol

 
At 1:13 PM , Blogger Kate said...

This reminds me of the Free to Be... You and Me song "William's Doll"

I honestly think I would have done the same thing. Saying "that's for girls" isn't the same as shouting and shaming him and telling him things for girls are disgusting, etc. It sounds like you handled it well.

 
At 4:38 PM , Blogger Misguided Mommy said...

this reminds me exactly of the time brandon threw his entire body on a little mermaid bed set and bawled and bawled and bawled when i told him he just couldn't have mermaid. so he laid on top of the sample bed and hugged the giant mermaid on the bedspread crying saying i need mermaid i need mermaid. it was soooo sad i almost let him bring home a little mermaid pillow but i didnt want a divorce

 
At 8:31 PM , Blogger Ann(ie) said...

I would have done the same thing! Playing with something girly is one thing, but wearing something girly is another.

And hehe....love the comment about the hispanic vixen. LOL! She is pretty saucy!

 
At 10:35 AM , Blogger Jeninacide said...

That's a tricky one! I would probably have bought them for him. I hate gender stereotypes. My husband on the other hand.... eh he probably would have rolled his eyes and went with it...

 

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