Come on Barbie, let’s go party!

We at Naptime are doing our best to raise two feminists. Our boys know that grownups do dishes, laundry, sewing, construction, parenting, policing, fire fighting, paying, cooking, driving, and fixing. Both know men with ponytails, boys who wear pink, girls who like mud and bugs…any gender stereotype our society fosters, we fight. Hard.

And one pervasive social pressure I’ve been working to eliminate since I was pregnant with Peanut (honestly, because I thought he was a girl and didn’t want her buying into “should”s) is the oppressive body image issues that American women, especially, are saddled with. I don’t talk about body size or dissatisfaction.

Peanut pointed to my belly about a month ago and proclaimed that I was probably going to have another baby because my uterus was making my tummy pretty big. I shuttered slightly, then smiled and explained casually that after a baby sometimes it takes a while for tummies to get small again, and that sometimes they never do.

He also came home from year two of preschool and asked what “fat” meant because they heard a story at school where fat didn’t seem to mean part of the fat/protein/carbohydrate triad.

I think it’s important that my boys grow up to be men who see people for who they are and what they do, not what they look like or how they can be labeled.

Well, my chickens came home to roost on a run today. I was pushing ButterBaby in a jogging stroller, and Spouse was behind me, pushing Peanut. Halfway up a moderate hill I hear, “Mommy, it looks like two monsters bonking each other. But it’s just your bottom.”

I laughed. Hard. For about half a mile. He seemed pleased.

Look, I have at least double the rear end I did before gestating two kids. But I don’t know what it looks like from behind. Running. And my self worth is not wrapped up in how my almost-five-year-old describes my ass. Maybe it does look like monsters. I asked him later how the monsters were bonking each other. On the head? Side to side? “Of course not,” he answered. “They were bonking each other on the mouth.”

Honestly, that baffled me a bit. But I went with it. It’s his story, not mine.

Because what I realized pretty quickly, is: this is not about me. This is about Peanut’s storytelling skills. He often spins interesting yarns and interrupts himself halfway through to say, “This is only in my imagination.” He gets the distinction between fiction and non-fiction. And is his version, my bottom is two monsters. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say when he gives them voices.

13 thoughts on “Come on Barbie, let’s go party!

  1. I can’t tell you how much I love this: the feminism, the body acceptance, the wrestling pants monsters.
    And how much I hope you share this story on Peanut’s wedding day when giving your toast.

  2. And you did not pee yourself when you heard this?

    Peanut is going to be one hell of a story writer, my friend….Keeping writing these little antecdotes to use as artillery when he is a “serious” growup,. dishwashing story writer.

    As for what the bonking monsters would say, I would venture that children in kindergarten will be more than happy to teach him the “organics” of that language!

  3. Once again, you’ve hit the nail perfectly on the head. Parenting is so not about us. Children are the ultimate parasites, constantly nibbling and pecking and hammering on our souls. If you can keep this understanding in tact through these heavily induced drudge years, you will find yourself swimming alongside the dolphins in a rainbow painted tapestry of happiness. If not, and you find yourself succumbing to the natural disasters of the emotional rollarcoastering of parenthood, take a breath and know that you are not alone. Many of us will be right alongside you.

  4. Pretty hilarious! I don’t even think about what my bottom looks like anymore. It’s mainly for sitting on. So nobody in my house is checking it out all that much. ;)

  5. Letmestart, I’ll be honest and admit I had to massage the interpretation a bit to salve my pride, but I’m sincere.’

    Ink, the bow is all Peanut’s. Cuz if I bend over, the monsters may mutiny.

    jc, we love you infinity plus two.

    Maria, of course I wet myself. Monsters aside, stress incontinence is just a fact of motherhood. ;-)

    Kitch, my monsters are in line for your next month of shrinking recipes, but thanks for the appreciation. P still talks about you and Hubs fondly. And lucky for you, does not mention your bottoms.

    MacDougal, if I could be that level headed through this bullshit it’d be a miracle. But blogging helps because I have to pretend more often. ;-)

    Sarah, did that and did that. Then rationalized it into a post.

    Steel, good to hear from you. Hope all is well and nobody is calling your rear end names.

    faemom, right back at ya!

    Fie, and a big amen to that lack of prioritization, eh, because if my rear were at all important I’d be in a world of hurt.

    Hey, Meg, did I tell you that when Peanut was little he told me I couldn’t pull my hair into a ponytail because ponytails were for men? Thus began our “there is no ‘just for men’ or ‘just for ladies” discussion. Rat King is not a Queen when she says she’s a King. Yes, Ma’am, she’s the King.

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