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Pretty is as Pretty Does

Last week I had some important paperwork that required my undivided attention. Seldom is my attention ever undivided. But this job involved the use of math skills. And general level headedness. In other words, I couldn’t just put myself on autopilot, as usual. I had to think.

Autopilot is the reason I find my reading glasses in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator.

So, I needed to get rid of the children.

I asked the girls to keep Jensen occupied back in their rooms until I could finish. “Sure Mom!” And they all trotted happily down the hall, turned the corner, and were out of sight.

I grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat quietly for a moment, enjoying a moment of dread. You know, that minute just prior to digging into a task you really don’t want to do. And then I got to work.

As I was figuring, scribbling, and muttering, I could hear intermittent giggling from all three children, back in their rooms.

No cause for alarm.

Total silence is a reason to panic. Or blood curdling screams, followed by “I’M ON FIRE,” might give me pause. But, not intermittent giggling.

A few minutes later, the snickering drew closer. I looked up to see Jensen shuffling down the hall wearing his sister’s black lace pumps, clutching his Blues Clues blanket. Following him at close proximity were his personal designers, Mutt & Jeff.

My eyes went from the pumps northward. He was decked out in a blue floral, floor length sleeveless cotton dress. With a brown v-neck crop top. He sported silver hoop clip-on earrings, and other assorted gaudy jewelry. In his brown hair were two beaded barrettes and a lavender headband completed the ensemble.

His smile was radiant. He knew he was pretty. Of course I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple of pictures.  You know, for his baby scrapbook.  Or whatever.

And then, suddenly, I watched reality set in. The testosterone, of which he has an abundance, took over. He looked down in horror, and began clawing at his clothes. “DRESS OFF. DRESS OFF.”

I chastised the girls, while stifling a giggle. And got Jensen stripped down to his Elmo diaper. His usual favorite attire. And he ran down the hall squealing with glee. Still wearing the forgotten headband.

The pictures mysteriously disappeared from my camera after telling Fiddledaddy of the incident. So, there is no evidence.

Save for this post.

Which I will show him when he is a teenager. And I will then allow him a free pass to play the revenge card on two older sisters who may or may not be of dating age.

And I will lean back, in my barcalounger, sipping my Metamucil, and enjoy the show.

Yes, I think I’m going to enjoy them when they are teenagers.

(Originally posted April, 2008)


Follow up: one year later

The other day Jensen was able to spend some quality time with his boy cousins at their testosterone laden house.  They were horrified upon learning that Jensen’s favorite color is pink.  The 8 year old cousin was particularly disturbed when Jensen wanted to play Barbies.  Thusly, it became their personal mission to indoctrinate Jensen into All Things Boys by hauling out every car, super hero, and item of weaponry at their disposal.

I’ve been given strict instructions to send Jensen over weekly for some quality boy time.  Sans the two older sisters.  And their frufru Barbie playing ways.  The lessons are beginning to take hold.  I know this by the fact that the pink Barbie jeep is no longer used as transportation.  It has instead been transformed into a killing machine.  Mowing down every innocent Barbie (plus  accessories) that has the misfortune of getting in his way.

And his new favorite color?  Camo.

Job well done boys, job well done.


9 Responses to Pretty is as Pretty Does

  • Poor kid. I have a younger brother who was forced to “dress up” in his younger days. We still have pictures to prove it! I’m glad to hear that Jensen will turn out just fine. My brother sure did. 🙂

  • Are these the same darling boy cousins that taught my sweet daughter to make noise with her armpit at either AWANA or our old co-op? If so, give them a hug. I love those guys (:

  • When my oldest son asked for a pink polo a couple years ago, my husband (who is a bit of a clothes horse) bought him one. My son wore that shirt to Sunday school one week and his buddies teased him because it was a girls shirt (it wasn’t).
    In typical Jackson fashion, he looked at his buddies and said “Hey, pink is the new black!” LOL Not another word was said.

  • My son started out playing with Barbies and wearing his sister’s princess costumes. Now that the testosterone level has risen to a normal level, he is now in love with anything camo and knows more about weapons than any seven-year-old should. (even if those weapons are made of plastic and foam) It’s amazing how they figure that all out, even when they had all that “princess” influence in the beginning!!

  • I have a picture of my younger brother in a dress and a hat and wearing my mom’s high heals. But know that I have boys..it’s all about camo and trucks and cars and baseball, and outside creatures! Thumbs up for the cousins!!

  • I am literally laughing out loud right now…*wiping tears*.

    Having a mix of boys and girls does make for some interesting play time…

  • And here I sit with a (almost) 3YO girl who is quite proficient at making shooting sounds and truck noises. And who has been in speech therapy for a year, but you’d better believe she correctly pronounces words like “poop” and “stinker.”

    Oh, the joy of having two older brothers.

    She needs a sister. Because I grew up with one brother, older, and I never learned about things like “tea parties” and “dress up.” Sigh.

  • I kinda think it wouldn hurt for there to be some kind of gender relaxation training for us moms when we find out we are going to be living in a home of all boys…you know things like droplets of blood aren;t so much a problem….pools of blood are….
    camo shirts are normal as are the fascination with everything motorized and a preference for going” like light speed mom”
    it would help if we also understood that they see everything round as a ball(like my pretty red tomatoes that got used for baseball practice.

  • pink v. blue – give the kid a break – your description is adorable regardless of any gender norms we online adults choose to superimpose on his so-called testosterone/estrogen levels.