We have a set of plastic plates at our house. They're the same ones that most people in the Western world own, thanks to IKEA selling a set of six for $1.50. In fact, I believe that I already blogged about acquiring these plates about a year ago, and paying like $10 for the set off eBay, so mine weren't exactly the screaming deal everyone else in the world got them for. The set of six comes in a rainbow of colors: dark blue, light blue (aka "cerulean" at our house), yellow, orange, green and pink.
Annie, like most little girls, has been either genetically or culturally programmed to adore the color pink. Her bedroom (I've also blogged about her bedroom), screams little girl, with light pink bubblegum walls above the chair rail, dark pink bubblegum walls beneath, and a pink-striped quilt. There's not much in the room that isn't pink. Pink has been her color.
Until a couple of weeks ago, when she went to art camp and came home in love with the color blue ("blue has so much more variation, Mom").
Now, pink is on the list of things she does not do (like eat vegetables, share willingly with her little brother, or wear socks with seams). I tried giving her the pink plate for lunch the other day, and she got huffy with me. She said, "You always give me the pink plate and I think it's because I'm a girl. It's not fair. You never give the boys the pink plate" (it's true, I don't).
She then told me I was being "sexist" and told me that if I didn't start rotating the plate equally (Bryce, in the other room, yelled in, "I'm not eating off that thing") then I should put it at the bottom of the pile. I told her I'd just let Maren use it. But that idea didn't fly either. "She shouldn't get stuck with the pink plate because she's a girl, either." To think that a month ago I was divvying up the pink plate, bowl, cup, and utensils among Annie and her friends so that each one would have a representative amount of pink in their table service.
I guess my baby girl is growing up. And teaching me to think a little bit more about the ways I model gender identity in my house. Or else she's just being a bratty five-year-old. Either way, I've got to admire her spunk.