This is my little man Q. He’s 4 and a half years old. He’s a fun loving little guy with a copious amount of energy.
On any given day you can find him dressed up as any one of the following; Spiderman, Captain America, Optimus Prime, and/or Bumblebee. He is what one would call “all boy”.
Like his daddy, he likes to wear pink… or at least he used to. You see, Q is in Jr. Kindergarten, and to make a long story short a few of his classmates have decided that pink is no longer socially acceptable for boys. If you touch pink… you’re a girl, if I make you touch pink… you’re a girl, if I throw pink blocks at you… you are a girl. This message has been so ingrained into these little guys that many have started refusing to use pink at home. Q will no longer drink out of a pink cup, colour with a pink crayon, or pass his sister her pink hair brush. In fact, not only will he not touch it, but he acts as if these items have been cursed with a strange mutating spell (“ew,ew,ew!”).
We’ve spent the last 10 days in Myrtle Beach, and over those 10 days, I slowly started to see Q shift back towards pink. He started wearing his pink shirts, he wanted to try on his sister’s pink goggles. Without the pressure of his classmates, he was able to like what HE likes. It was nice to see.
This morning Q was getting dressed for school and he picked out his pink golf shirt (pictured above). And I hesitated. I knew that if he wore that shirt that he risked getting teased for the whole entire day, but I also knew that if I convinced him to change his shirt, that those 3 four year olds would not only succeed in bullying and manipulating my son and his choices, but me and my choices as well. He wore the shirt.
He was happy and content walking to school, I on the other hand was not, I was nervous as hell. Not only is Q a fun loving little man, but he’s a very sensitive being. And this Mama Bear wanted nothing more than to protect her baby boy’s spirit from being crushed by a couple of 5 year olds.
I walked him up to his classroom door and he lost it, sobbing “I want to go home, I want to go home.” It was out of the blue, and completely unexpected given his excitement earlier that morning. Perhaps it was the sight of the other kids, or perhaps (and more likely) it was my own nervous energy he was picking up on. Either way, it sucked.
And there I left him with a big hug, and a big kiss… heart broken, in a pink shirt.
*Disclaimer* I have to add, that Q’s teacher is AMAZING! I have no complaints with how she has been dealing with this issue, but with a ratio of 1:24, it’s not only difficult, it’s downright impossible to catch ever little comment these kids will slur at the other boys