It is one of the ironies of my life that, in the midst of my efforts at gender-neutral parenting, stands a six year old girl who refuses to wear trousers.
It is made only slightly less ironic by the fact that it has absolutely nothing to do with any gender perception she has of trousers and everything to do with a pathological hatred of buttons.
From the age of two onwards, I could dress Boogie in anything – curtains, a suit of armour, barbed wire – she didn’t really give a shit as long as it didn’t come with buttons. Trousers, invariably, have buttons (or poppers, which if anything, she hated even more), or at least the ones she had in her wardrobe when this whole thing started did and by the time I experimented with an elasticated waist, it was too late. Trousers, with their devilish penchant for round fastenings, were out. Totally, totally out. And you could not even mention the word ‘jeans’ in our house. Boogie will actually back away from a pair of jeans in a shop like she’s backing away from an errant grizzly bear – hands out, eyes down but watchful. Boogie is actually scared of jeans.
Or I should say: was scared of jeans.
Because this – ta-dah! – is a picture of the lovely Boogie wearing jeans!!
Believe me, I understand that this is not a universal thing. This is not going to be one of those instances where you think you’re all alone and, when you finally break the code of silence, you find you’re not alone at all and that so many people have been suffering silently with you there’s going to be an Oprah special on it and you’re the star guest. It really isn’t going to be one of those things.
This is a picture of Boogie. In jeans.
There were times I never thought I’d be able to write those words.
See? This really isn’t resonating with you, is it?
Trust me, I have been hugging myself for two days. Why? Well, not because I think jeans are the answer to anything, but because we have moved forward. Boogie actually said these words: ‘I’m not scared of jeans anymore.’
My mind spins! Who knows, maybe progress will continue until she finally stops asking to go and see Alvin and the Fucking Chipmunks, Part II: Even More Misogynistic than Part I.
I can dream, amirite?