Archive for November, 2006

Don’t Think Pink

November 30, 2006

We’re anti-pink in our household. It’s not just that we don’t like the color (which, for the most part, we don’t). It’s also one front in our battle against the princessification of our daughter. We want Ruby to be an independent thinker. We want her to experience every color of the rainbow, and then decide for herself which one is her favorite.
DaddyTypes posted about this today:

The answer: far less than 2.5 years.

The question: how long before your soul is crushed and your kid’s soul is stolen by the whole pink-blue steamroller?

Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s worth resisting, and truth be told, we decided to let some pink into the kid’s life early on, rather than burn 75% of the gifts she receives. It’s a losing battle, but it’s not like you can just stop fighting and turn your kid over to the Disney Princess-o-lizer.

The source of the frilly pink-for-girls hegemony in our culture is still a mystery, and frankly, the first couple of waves of feminism haven’t really helped clear things up–or stem the tide, for that matter. My money’s on, well, money. Somewhere behind and under and at the root of it all is gender-coded capitalism, with products and marketing and design that are designed to reinforce gender-specific roles, but only/really as a means to a sale-making end.

Or turned around, if people didn’t buy more pink Pottery Barn kitchen toys, Pottery Barn wouldn’t be making and flogging it. If Toys for Boys and Toys for Girls weren’t a more profitable segmentation strategy, someone in the increasingly desperate toy industry would surely figure out a better way to separate you from your money.

With respect to the last paragraph, above, I think the inverse is also true: people wouldn’t be buying it if Pottery Barn wasn’t making it. The gentrification of the American shopping experience means that every mall has more-or-less the same assortment of national chains. To maximize profit, each of those chains attempts to find the fewest number of things with the broadest appeal to their designated market segment. Pink sells, so they sell pink. People buy pink because pink is for sale.

Stores also sell pink because it is a safe, easy choice. Is green a girly color? How light can the shade of green be before it’s effeminate? Can girls wear brown? Beige? By dividing everything into blue and pink, stores make our shopping experience quick and painless.

The best way we’ve found to spare our eyeballs from pink overload is to avoid shopping at the mall altogether. Local destinations such as our favorite used clothes and toys store and the Cotton Caboodle outlet store ensure that Ruby’s sense of style is preserved intact for her to enjoy when she’s older.

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Eating, Regressed

November 12, 2006

Well, apparently I gloated too soon.

A few months ago a (different) set of parents in our parents group talked about how their child was vomiting, and my question to them was, “how do you tell the difference between vomit and spit-up?” Well, now I know: if it’s green and stinks and keeps going and going, flowing out onto the floor of the Safeway produce department, then it’s vomit.

That was 2 hours ago, and Ruby had another much smaller spell after we got home. Now she’s lethargic and a little whiny, but no new emissions. Kate is putting her to bed and hopefully she’ll wake up feeling better.

On the bright side, she’s way more cuddly when she’s not feeling well.

Eating, Advanced

November 12, 2006

One of the parents in our parents’ group mentioned that his child won’t eat freshly prepared squash. He’s been eating jarred baby food and the flavor in the freshly prepared stuff is too strong.

greens.jpgNot so with our precious Ruby! The only processed food she eats is Cheerios. Everything else is freshly prepared by ours truly. Her menu board is now full of all the things she’s eaten, and I feel like there’s now enough stuff on there that I can get a bit adventurous.

For example, last night we introduced Ruby to collard greens. But not just collard greens, no! Instead, I prepared an Indian-style curried green puree with real spices like mustard, coriander, fennel, ginger, and garlic. She loved it, of course!

Ruby is starting to eat more and more of the same foods as Kate and I. A few nights ago I made pozole (mexican soup with pork and hominy) and we just scooped the pork and corn out, ground it up in our little baby food grinder, and that was Ruby’s dinner. Last night it was baked chicken (with a vaguely tandoorish marinade) and curried greens. Sadly, I think sausage and anchovy pizza is still a few months away…