Thursday, March 20, 2014

Uterus Envy

What a great title to this post. Ahhh... I just love it. 

Well, I thought i'd write something though I wasn't sure what. It has been a while and I do have Philly pictures but a) does anyone really care? and b) do I care enough to slap them up?  Only time will tell.

But also, I've been thinking just a bit about gender roles, in part because I'm very interested in them and also in part because I'm being smacked in the face with them on a constant basis on Facebook with articles about this and blog posts about that. Geez Louise. I'll be honest, I'm pretty of tired of it. I can't read everything in the world! And I refuse to click on anything that has a bait title-- "Blah blah blah, and what made me decide to do it."  BOO.  Guess what? I'm fine with a little mystery in my life. So these days I rarely click on anything unless it's a good Buzzfeed article because c'mon.

But while I'm at it, let's talk about Julian just for a minute. I asked Sean the other day if he and Julian had good moments together. Like, bonding moments. If they had their own special thing.  Sean replied, "Well yeah. I mean, not like you.  We're pals, but not lovers."  And this is true.   And with that, I've been realizing lately that we are at the stage where he is mine. MINE.  i can do whatever I want with him.  In many ways.  But in particular, I can sculpt him and shape him and indoctrinate him in whichever way I please.  This is both scary and awesome, as power is.  I feel like He-man holding up his sword, "I...haaave...the... POWER!   Battlecat!"   If you don't know what i'm talking about, I feel sad for you because you will never understand why the 80's are the best ten years of all time.  No, here.  Go see it.  Also, because I'm talking about gender issues, here is the equally awesome She-Ra.  

The kid soaks up everything I say. He's sharp as a whip and I find myself frequently trapped in explaining to him things I 60% understand, like how volcanoes occur, evaporation, why there are earthquakes, etc.  I told Sean the other day Julian had asked me question after question about volcanoes. It went on for the longest time and I was totally talking out of my arse in my explanation. Just complete hot air (HA) about volcanoes spouting out (can't stop) words like "geothermal" and other nonsense and asked if i was at all right. I was pretty close! I had forgotten the part about the plate tectonics. But for someone who thinks about the science of volcanoes once a never, I was pretty proud of myself.  Anyway, the point is, Julian asks and when I speak, he listens. ( Another point: It's amazing what you pick up in 8th grade earth science class without even realizing. What ELSE do I know??) And like I said, I feel powerful. I could almost become giddy and maybe rub my hands together and give an evil chuckle.  It reminds me of when he was learning to speak and I was like, "I could teach him to say ANYTHING.  I could make up my own language and teach it to him. He could learn Elvish! Klingon! Or I could just totally screw him up and instead of "thank you" teach him to say "apple."   "What do you say? What do you say?"  "Apple."  ha ha.  Anyway.

In terms of gender stuff, I only have a couple of thoughts to share. They're short but I like them.

1. His pediatrician is a female and then there are female nurse practitioners. There may have been another doctor we visited who was female, but i can't remember who. Then last year we had to go see the ENT who was male and what glee I had when he exclaimed, incredulous, "What?? A BOY doctor??"  HA HA!  I replied, "I know, right? Boys can be doctors too!"  :D

2. Julian loves to learn and has a lot of questions. Over the years he's been inquisitive about body parts. This is fine. The body is fascinating! I am very frank in all my answers. We've also talked about how women carry babies in their bellies and how that happens.   I told him they have a special organ called a uterus that is amazing because it's this big normally but can stretch to THIS big--say whaaat?  Only girls have them, not boys. And since day one, he has insisted he has a uterus too.  He is determined that he have one.  The boy has uterus envy.  Which is both awesome and ridiculous because, let's be honest. But yeah, it's pretty great.  

The gender stuff is interesting because I actually feel a lot of hypothetical fear about having a girl. I see girls. I see what they do. And I'm scared.  And I am one and know what society is like.  There are legitimate worries. Now, girls are lovely, I know this. But i only have a boy. I only know a boy.  I have read articles about what kinds of lessons people want to teach their daughters and I agree, it's all very important, and I would do that too if I had a daughter.  But, you know, I would do it too because I have a son.  You and I both know that gender issues and gender equality isn't just for girls. And the more we talk about things and have open dialogues about whatever the hey, the healthier a person. Julian is the most emotionally in-tune little kid i've ever met. He can speak his feelings that can completely fly out of his control. But he knows them. He identifies them and has tools to handle them. This is just a small example but it's such a wonderful thing and it makes me think about other important things that i would want to teach my son. I want him to grow up respecting women, being knowledgeable about things others might deem inapplicable or irrelevant to them.  He definitely has "boy" things about him-- doesn't give a rat's bum about what he wears, he is major obsessed with cars and trucks, he's active and uses his body, etc.  But I just know these are the exciting moments when I can teach him everything I'd ever want, gender-related or not and he will just suck it in.  And it's pretty great.   

That's pretty much all I have to say about it. But, one last shining, proud as punch moment from the other day:

Julian was telling me about some show he saw and he said,

 "I wonder if there's a book about that that we could find?"  

me:   *head explodes with joy*


Brooke said...

Jen, I like you. And, I like Julian. And I love that you have such happiness in teaching him. :)

suvi said...

That is good. Real good. I just read it out loud to Paul. That boy of yours is great. I'm excited to teach this little boy of mine about gender equality too.

Linsey Laidlaw said...

I love this post. High five Jen, High five Julian. (Ok, ok, fine— one for you to Sean: High five.)

)en said...

Aw, high five to YOU