If it were my kid, I’d buy him the damn sewing machine.

By now, virtually everyone has seen the storyline from this week’s Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry buys a screamingly gay kid (played by a hilarious Eddie Schweighardt) a gift he thinks a gay kid would enjoy, and the kid’s in-denial mom freaks out.  If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it here:

This episode put me, and I’m guessing a lot of people, in a very awkward position – that of agreeing with Larry David for probably the first time ever.

Sure, the kid’s only 7 years old, so technically, he’s not anything-sexual yet, let alone homosexual.  But that’s not the point.  The kid wanted a sewing machine, so what kind of heartless parent would take it away from him?  I’m hoping in 2011, only a fictional mom would be so cold.  (The storyline did seem a little dated, at least when it comes to Manhattan moms.)

My kids are only 2, and I wouldn’t begin to speculate on who they’ll want to marry, date or live platonically with someday.  They’ll work out those issues for themselves during their painful adolescences, no doubt.  Good luck, kids!  Let me know if you have any questions!

In the meantime, they can play with whatever the hell they want.  We’re in kind of a unique position, having boy-girl twins.  We don’t have “girl toys” or “boy toys”, just toys.  Sometimes, Sutton likes to roll the trucks around, and sometimes, Bennett plays with the dolls.  I don’t mind, and I don’t read anything into it.

I know the world will tell them soon enough what it thinks boys and girls should and shouldn’t do, but our kids are not going to get any judgment from their dads.

Yes, their dads.  That’s the tricky part.  Our home is a mom-free zone, so if our little girl really wants to explore her feminine side, she’s kind of screwed.  It’s not that we wouldn’t support it.  It’s just that Drew and I are kind of clueless about that stuff.

For my money, there’s nothing cuter than a little girl in pigtails.  But you might as well ask me to splice an atom as to put them in.  I mean, I wouldn’t even know what equipment I’d need to start.  We’ve had a number of attempts at pigtails, but they always end up in screams, tears and, eventually, a pathetic asymmetry.  My daughter deserves better.

I’m not even sure where a barrette is supposed to go or why the hairbands always look so weird when they come down across her forehead, Olivia Newton-John style.  Isn’t that where they go?

One thing we can pretty much guarantee, though… if Sutton gets some fancy thing in her hair, Bennett’s going to want one, too.  And seriously, could you say no to this?

Thankfully, Drew got a tip from another gay dad he knows, a guy with twin daughters of his own who had no idea at first how to pretty them up.

“It’s all on YouTube,” he explained.  “Girls teach you how to do their hair.  That’s how we learned.”

8 comments on “Pigtails

  1. You hit a nerve there with me, Jerry. I despise the whole labelling business, this is for girl, this is for boys… I hate it that people think my little monster is a girl just because he’s wearing an orange t-shirt – not that I’d love him any less if he was a girl of course.
    He just got a hand-me-down play kitchen and he absolutely adores it. I have to drink tea about 70 times a day at the moment. And why not? He will be cooking for his wife (or husband or partner or whatever) one day just like my husband cooks for us. So why not let him practise today?
    Similarly with the dolls. What if he ends up gay and having such an awesome family as you? I think a bit of hands-on experience with the whole nappie (I apologise, I believe on your side of the pond they are called diapers) changing and dressing a little one couldn’t hurt, so why not let him play with dolls?
    I’d say, 50 years ago, the toy segregation would have been at least understandable, if not acceptable, from a societal norms point of view. Today it’s just… well, outdated.

    • Sounds like your son has a great tea party guest! Toy segregation isn’t just outdated and closed-minded, it’s exhausting. Because I have both a boy and a girl, we have “boy” and “girl” toys, and the last thing I need to do is go around policing who’s “supposed” to play with which toy. If something keeps someone occupied and quiet for a few seconds, it’s OK with me!

  2. Buy some of the kids spray in de-tangler stuff, and a baby hair brush. (The kind that don’t really have bristles. In the baby aisle of Wal-mart, next to the baby nail clippers across from the bottles.)
    Spray her hair until it is wet- I mean, soaked! brush one side with the baby hair brush, put in the elastic. Repeat on other side. Practice on a doll first.
    Spraying the hair first keeps it where it needs to be, and makes it easier to hold onto. Using the de-tangler (theoretically) prevents (a majority of) the fighting and tears.
    And if Bennett wants some too, so be it. It’ll be cute, in a Pebbles-and-Bam-Bam kind of way. 🙂

    Get the hard plastic, wider headbands. They stay on little noggins better and help prevent Olivia Newton John looks.

    (I’ve been a nanny for seven years. You pick up tricks along the way.)

    By the way- love your blog!

  3. Well, this was so long ago, you’re probably doing all the girl stuff in your sleep now; if it was a fresh post, I’d just say man up already, like this guy

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