Barbie is the author of my son’s anguish.
See, we’ve been trying to get Abby interested in potty-training. Evan was doing pretty well at it by about two and three-quarters, but Abby at two and a half hasn’t shown any interest. I suspect that because she sees me evenings and weekends lounging on the couch like the Dauphin of the beached whales, she figures it’s perfectly reasonable to maintain a system in which she craps herself whenever and wherever she feels like it.
So Katrina bought some Barbie underwear to entice her. Big girl underwear! You can wear it! Look how pretty! Just as soon as you start to potty train! We figured we would put it over the diapers for a while until she got with the program.
She’s still not interested. She’s really not a terribly Barbie-ponies-hair-ribbons-frilly-dress type of girl. She’s more the girl you meet in the bar and make a rude comment to and then she kicks you in the nads and you wake up in the parking lot in a pool of your own vomit with two black eyes and your eyebrows shaved off. Or she will be, I think.
So she was not moved by the Barbie underwear.
But Evan was.
Evan saw the Barbie underwear and demanded it. No, explained Katrina, this is girl’s underwear. You have your Bob the Builder and Spider-Man underwear and Thomas the Tank Engine underwear.
Evan explained, using a tone of voice adults reserve for car crashes and getting genitals caught in their zippers, that he wanted the Barbie underwear. Katrina explained that they don’t make Barbie underwear for boys. Evan, using both voice and a form of communication resembling break-dancing, expressed his displeasure with this gender inequity.
Evan has expressed an interest in female clothing before. He’s stretched his sister’s fairy princess outfit out of shape. He wears his mother’s shoes. I’ve been assured by friends with older sons that this is typical. And, really, I’m a modern man, and it doesn’t bother me. Does it?
Meanwhile, I’m going to buy some G.I. Joe underwear and convince him that Joe is actually Barbie in drag.
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