Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ponytails

K & O this morning before school

For the past two days K & O (mostly initiated by K) have been insisting on wearing their hair in ponytails. My theory is that now that they're back at school they're seeing all these cute girls with cutie hair (ponytails, braids, barretts, ribbons, etc.) and they want all that cutie stuff too. And really, why not? Even though no other boys they know wear their hair like this, they seem to still have no clue whatsoever that this would not be within the range of 'normal' for boys their age in mainstream society. And I, for one, am not going to be the one to alert them to that--- at least not anytime soon. And I'm not going to tell them they shouldn't or can't wear their hair this way. At least not now. We don't go out of our way to encourage this kind of thing, but we don't discourage it either. And luckily (luckily luckily luckily) K & O go to a school where everyone there seems to genuinely accept and embrace their ponytails as if this were within the range of 'normal.' People don't make a huge commotion of it in a positive or a negative way. That's one of the things I love about their school-- as long as you're kind and careful (truly full of care) then you're loved and embraced no matter who you are and nobody is really ever singled out for any reason one way or another. I don't know what K & O will think of these photos when they're 18 years old, 6 feet tall, 250 pounds. But that's not going to stop us from the ponytail up-do's for the time being. We do, however, draw the line at "sparkle shoes" (they'd do just about anything right now for two pair of sparkly glittery pink shoes with sequins all over them). Actually, I should say, we did draw the line at sparkle shoes (when they first were drooling over them in the shoe store when we went to buy school shoes a couple of weeks ago). I thought they'd forget about them once we got home. But they're still bringing it up almost daily and I'm starting to maybe be caving into the pressure. I'm not going to make a special trip to the shoe store, but hypothetically if we just happened to come across two pair of cheap sparkle shoes sometime soon... I think it might be really hard for me to not spring for them. Don't worry... I promise, if it happens, I'll post a photo.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can always buy glitter and sparklies and some glue and have them put them on an old pair of shoes. That way they are custom-made and an art project.

Brittany said...

I second anonymous. I'd get them each a pair of tennies and let them decorate. But then, I remember they didn't like art projects...maybe you could do something with beads on the tennis shoes.

Raina's Pack said...

Isaac frequently asks for skirts or jewelry like Amaya has and lately he says he doesn't want to be "handsome" he wants to be "pretty".... Last night he insisted on wearing a headwrap to bed just like Amaya does! I think he is just jealous of all the pretty and wonderful accessories girls get to wear! If you want some sparkly shoes check out Target. They have sparkly ballet flats that we use for our dress up closet and both the big kids have fun wearing them!

Ani said...

The pic is priceless... I have NO idea what my son's school would say if a boy came in with ponytails. Most probably it WOULD be an issue since boys are required to wear their hair above the shirt collar. Sigh.

glamah16 said...

Its a phase. Yeah, let them decorate some old shoes. It will be fun, and then they will be tired of them within a week.

Rebekah Hubley said...

That's awesome!!!!!! We have friends that will not even let their boys play with 'girl' things, or carry a purse around like their mom does. The dad, especially, thinks that they will grow up feminine, etc., if he lets them do this. I know, that is a whole other topic...

It makes me so sad, because to me it crushes their freedom, creativity, and puts our beliefs and misconceptions on them!!!!!

One time I saw the dad take the play purse from the 5 yr.old boy, and he told him that "only girls play with purses!" You could see his little spirit just sink...

I have always let our boys (luca is really too little to understand) play with dolls, purses, dress-up, make up, etc. When Luca was a baby, he wore the baby gowns, and Hannah wore night gowns, and one night Micah wanted to wear a night gown to be like the other 2. It was sooooooo funny, because he chose the most sparkly, feminine, girly nightgown to wear. You should have seen my husbands face, it was priceless! But, luckily I am married to a man that lets his little boys do these things.

Sometimes he thinks it's crazy, but he still lets them have this freedom, and to that I am very thankful!

I still paint Micah's toenails sometimes, but Ryan does ask me to use blues, or less vibrant colors. :-)

To me, it has nothing to do with them wanting to be girls. It has to do with them just wanting to experiment with all the "fun" stuff that girls and moms get to play with. I think it is so cool and innocent that my boys don't think twice about playing with 'girl' things. For Micah's 5th birthday, he wanted a black baby alive doll that eats and pees. He was soooooo excited, and it was the most popular present among the boys and the girls.

The family was there that I wrote of earlier, and it was all that the dad could do, to not tell his boys to not play with the doll. It really is sad...

Okay, I could go on and on about this. I think I am going to blog on this topic tonight. Sorry for the long comment... :-)

I can't wait to see a pic of the sparkle shoes.

We do draw a line too. If Micah wants to dress in Hannah's clothes, etc., he can, but if we are leaving to go out then he has to change. But the toys: I don't care if he chooses to take 'girl' toys with him to play with!

I know that I am raising a self-confident boy to be a very self-confident man.

This Mama said...

I think the dos look great! ...but hey this is coming from a Mom who gladly puts her son's hair in pigtails and lets him borrow from his sister's wardrobe whenever he wants.
When they are 18 and look back I hope we will have reached a point in our society when we have changed our view of constructing gender, I really hope so...and I think it starts with families like yours and mine who are willing to let our children grow and experiance things the way they should be able to :)

Anonymous said...

I have some glitter paint in various colors that I could bring next time I visit. They could have a field day with it.

Thanks so much for the laugh after all the dire Wall Street news!

Gail

Anonymous said...

In the UK, it's incredibly common for black men and boys with locks to wear them in pony tails, pig tails, half up, half down etc etc... Although I'm not in America, I see the same thing in US Music and TV -- so I wouldn't be concerned at all... the glittery shoes however.... :-)

Here's some links of photos of men with locks tied back:

- http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee136/suwarnaadi/foto2.jpg

- http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/17122/37880525-main_Full.jpg

Rachel
in London

Stella said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Claudia and John said...

I think that is awesome. I have pictures of Shawn when he was 8 years old with makeup and nail polish on.

We were visiting hubby's sister and family in Iowa. Our niece and Becky wanted makeovers and Shawn didn't want to be left out. He even wore pig tails (what they were able to put in his hair as it is short).

I love that K & O are very creative.

Love and Hugs,
Claudia

- Beth said...

I have been reading or quite some time, but I just *had* to post today! I have an AA son adopted domestically. He is 7. He LOVED sparkles at their age and we always allowed it. He dabbled in makeup. He now is just *dying* to have a pair of tap shoes.... black ones with heels.

I have no problem with it, but he has to save his own money to buy them or wait til Christmas.

You have to love open minded little boys! :)

Anonymous said...

mmmm mmm mmmm, i love these boys!!! i think they look adorable with their hair like that!

xoxo
lori

Tracy R said...

The hair and sparkly shoes are simply preparing them for maybe being the fathers of girls some day. My husband regularly walks around with curlers in his hair, sparkly makeup and feather boas, thanks to the styling talents of his two five year olds!
Tracy

Kathrin said...

You get the most posts whenever you bring up gender. Interesting.

Phyl said...

Many years ago when my mom was taking care of my older son while I was in the hospital giving birth to his baby brother, she witnessed him pushing his toy shopping cart on the front walk with a teddy bear stuck up under his shirt mimicking a pregnant tummy.

We all thought it was very sweet!

i think your boys are perfect just as they are!

Heza Hekele said...

That is so interesting. It never would have occured to me to not just say, "that's a girl thing and your a boy." I wonder how many times I have said such a thing when it would have been just fine to let my son figure out such boundaries on his own...

Malia'sMama said...

Girls get all the fun stuff, don;t they. K & O would fit right into all I saw in Europe :)

rhea jill said...

It's just hair! Have fun with it!

Jane (England) said...

I particularly love how proud Kyle looks. He's a young black man and he is totally owning those pigtails!!