August 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm , by Nick Shell
Today a fellow coworker announced to our office, “Who wants a new coloring book?”
“I’ll take it,” I instantly replied. Evidently it was a gag gift, having been cleared out from the desk of a recently fired employee.
What made this the ultimate goofy prize is that it was a pony fairy coloring book. For little girls.
But I figured, what’s the difference? I would just hand it to Jack when I picked him up from daycare and he would think I was some herofor getting him a new coloring book for no reason.
It’s not like he would care that the thing featured dozens of girly, winged ponies.
And I was right. But how exactly did he entertain himself with this princess pony coloring book in the back seat of my car?
By ferociously grabbing the pages and ripping them out like a T-Rex to his prey.
Jack does not like fairies.
Similarly, as Sesame Street plays in the background at our house during playtime on the weekends, Jack will stop what he’s doing and say, “Elmo? Elmo!”
That means the “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” segment is on. We have to fast forward to the next part of the episode that features Elmo, or at least a more traditional Muppet.
Again, Jack does not like fairies.
Well, except for that ball he has. On one of their more recent trips here to Nashville, my parents treated Jack to a trip to Target. He found this little dark green ball, about the size of a racquetball. So they bought it for him.
After getting back to our house, they took a closer look at this ball they perceived as a toy for little boys: “Disney Fairies.” Yep, there was Tinkerbell doing her fairy thing.
And speaking of less than masculine toy balls, there’s the fact that last week when Jack and Jill were visiting family up in Pennsylvania, Jill wanted to buy Jack a soccer ball. So she let him pick one out.
Which one did he chose? A pink miniature Nike soccer ball designed for little girls.
Jill swapped it for the red, white, and blue version.
So Jack likes to play with sports balls; even if they’re pink. He doesn’t discriminate. And you may be able to get away with sneaking Tinkerbell on the ball as long as the rest of the ball looks masculine enough.
But fairies in a coloring book or hogging up Sesame Street air time? That’s crossing the line.
For me, it’s interesting to sort of stand back and watch him on his own discern what is too feminine for his liking.
At 20 months old, his instincts are already guiding him as he figures out which toys are for boys, which are for girls, and which can be for both.
But this he knows: Fairies in plain sight are always for girls.