This morning, in the kitchen over breakfast (as per his request, "toast, orange juice and FIZZY!") I had an unexpected discussion on gender roles with the little man, triggered by last week's acquisition of a collection of Squinkies (and if you click that link, you'll get an exceptionally potent visual reinforcement of Fuss' argument). It went something like this.
"Dada...Squinkies are just for BOYS."
"Uh....no they're not. Girls like them too."
"Dada, but I have BOY Squinkies."
(background: Fuss became obsessed with these little rubber nuggets when Cousin Fiend, his favorite person on earth, had a bunch she let him play with. The Wife searched the selection at Target for the least commercial, least gender role reinforcing package- ixnay on sports, Marvel Superheroes & Transformers- and got him a package of random non-branded figures.)
"Hey, girls like all kinds of different things."
"But they wouldn't like my BLACK squinkie!"
"Because it's a NINJA! Girls wouldn't like Ninjas!"
"That's not true- Pucca loves ninjas."
He paused, nonplussed. I started loading the dishwasher.
A while later, turning his Ninja squinkie over and over in his little hand he noted thoughtfully,
"Pucca KISSES ninjas."
A nice change of pace, being bailed out by pop culture.
Although I fear my efforts at instilling enlightenment are doomed once he hits the general population.
Hopefully, these kinds of chats with dada will plant seeds which sprout someday, providing mental padding against a society inspired more by the Swedish Bikini Team than Simone de Beauvoir.