Latest Words

Some of Griffin’s latest words (in no particular order)

Moon. Griffin LOVES the moon. He looks for it every time he goes outside, and he often finds it. He even found it trying to shine through the snowy sky last night as we were taking a walk, and the look on his face when I saw it, too, was priceless.

Tar. Actually “star.” We have a wooden star that we took out for the holidays that he loves seeing lit up, and now he’s pointing out stars at night, too.

Bay. Translated into “play.” As in, “Don’t be changing my diaper right now, it’s time to BAY!”

Reeeeee! READ! We do so very much reading. It’s one of Griffin’s favorite activities.

Bup-eee. Puppy. One of Griffin’s favorite stuffed animals right now is a giant one-eared yellow lab who used to be in my classroom. I brought the dog home to pillage him for stuffing sewing projects (cruel, I know), and Griffin found him and fell in love with him. So he’s a little skinny and has a missing ear, and that makes Griffin’s love for him all the more adorable. Lately, Puppy has wanted to wear a diaper (Griffin hands Puppy to me and signs ‘change diaper’) and go pee-pee on Griffin’s potty.  I’m hoping Puppy will teach Griffin to go pee-pee on the potty so I don’t have to.

Ball. Oh my goodness, Griffin can spot a ball from a mile away.

Ahh-wer. Water. Used to be ahh-wah, which sure did sound like ‘agua.’ Not sure where he’s picking up the Spanish, but I’ll take it.

Cookie. Of course, he had this one down after the first cookie he ever ate. Go figure.


Un-two-fee-four. Counting! He’s a genius! Nah, but it is cool that he’s getting the hang of it, and every once in a while he’ll have two things and he excitedly say, “Twoooooo!”

Eh-bow. Elbow. He likes pointing out body parts and elbow stuck for some reason.

Paare, Ap-pul, Nana. Pear, apple, banana, three of his favorite fruits.

Irk-le. Circle. To our surprise, he can identify a circle, square, oval, rectangle, star, crescent (moon), and triangle! It must be all of the reeeeeeeee-ing we do!

His language and communication is developing rapidly and it’s so cool to see the expression on his face when we acknowledge we understand what he’s saying. He’s also trying to use that communication to figure out the world. He likes to point out body parts and show that each of us has them. For example, he’ll point to his ears and then say “Mama” and point to my ears. The other day, we were taking a bath together and he pointed at my breast. I said, “Those are Mama’s breasts. They used to make milk for you when you were a baby. But the milk is all gone!” He seemed to think about it, signed ‘milk all gone.’ Later when we were downstairs in the kitchen, he pointed at my breast again (I was fully clothed this time, just to be clear) and said “Mama!” and signed ‘milk all gone.’ I said, “Yes! Mama’s milk is all gone!” Then he pointed at the refrigerator and signed ‘milk.’ I said, “Yes. There’s milk in the refrigerator.” Then he pointed to the refrigerator and signed ‘milk all gone’ with a questioning look on his face. And I said, “Nope! The milk in the refrigerator is still there!” At which point he looked rather relieved. Then just to be sure, he said, “Ba-ba bye-bye?” (we made him give up bottles cold turkey over a week ago), and I said, “Yes, ba-bas are bye-bye, but you can still have milk in a cup!” More relief.

This kiddo is getting more and more fun with each passing day!

Dressing Our Boy

Even before Griffin was born, I was disgusted with how horribly gendered all of the baby clothing out there is. Trucks for boys and butterflies for girls; blues, greens, and browns for boys, while girls have every color of the rainbow. I tried pretty hard to put him in gender neutral clothing from the beginning (which mainly consisted of stripes) but as he has gotten older, it’s getting harder to do. It seems like anything interesting looking (and not bloody expensive) is either made for boys or girls, not both.

It’s not that I don’t want Griffin to be a boy, whatever that means at this age. It’s just that I hate how important it is. He’s already going to be getting plenty of messages from others (and maybe subconsciously from Andrew and me) about what boys and girls are supposed to do and say. I want him to like what he likes for as long as possible before he’s aware of the “supposed to-s” and they inevitably influence his thoughts.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently because of four pairs of pants I bought for Griffin from the girls’ section. First off, since he’s a cloth diaper wearing kid, he needs at least a size up to fit his gianormous butt, and secondly, many boys’ pants are made of really stiff material (corduroy, jean, etc) which aren’t very generous with the diapers or freedom of movement. Many girls’ pants are made of stretchy cotton, which is perfect for his butt and doesn’t necessitate buying too-big pants, plus it accommodates his desire to run around as fast as possible. How perfect, right? Wrong. Girls’ pants are…well…girly. Actually, I would consider them way more FUN than boys’ pants, but if I were being honest, most people, including me, would look at them and think “girl.”

So living up to my standards for myself, I bought two pairs of rainbow striped pants, one green with multi-colored polka dots, and one brown with multicolored cutesy forest animals. They’re super fun and bright, and I think they’re great. They have been part of his rotation of pants for a while now, and I’ve been surprised how much of an indicator they are for gender. Most people refer to him as a girl when he wears them and then get embarrassed when I reply with the pronoun “he.” I try to make it clear that I don’t care if they think he’s a boy or girl, but one woman even went so far as to say, “Oh, of course he’s a boy! Now that I’m really looking, I can see that masculinity in his face!”

Most surprising has been the development of Griffin’s preferences as he solidly stands in toddlerhood. Andrew or I will dress him in some other pants, and if he catches sight of any of the four pants from the girls’ section, he gets incredibly excited and signs wildly to help put them on. He smiles big as we change him into his preferred pants and giddily prances around the house. I love to see him happy in his ability to choose and am delighted that he finds pleasure in such bright colors and patterns.

But this is a blog post because I feel like what I’m doing in buying girl pants for him is a statement. I suppose it might also be so if I put a girl in cargo pants and truck t-shirts, but somehow that doesn’t seem equivalent. I was actually prepared to have a girl to whom I would tell, “You can do anything, wear anything, be anything! You have the whole world at your feet! Pink or punk, whatever you want!”; give her a childhood much like my own where I was encouraged to build and fix things, play sports, cook, bake, and play with whatever interested me. While the pinks and princesses are certainly overwhelmingly popular with girl marketing, it seems more mainstream if a girl isn’t wearing pink or has trucks or prefers dinosaurs over dollies. I wasn’t ready for the fact that while I certainly would be supportive of my son wearing fairy wings in public, much of the people around me would not be.

As I read and hear about other parental struggles, I’m coming across many more parents distressed about their boys being teased and ridiculed about “girl” things than the other way around. It makes me wonder what is going on here: What is it exactly that people are afraid of? If I’m not concerned about my son wearing girl pants, why should you be? But here is where I get tripped up in my own thinking as I take it one step further: Would I put Griffin in a dress? Would I put clips in his hair? Would I buy a sparkly princess shirt for him?

The answer to all of these questions would be an emphatic YES if he wanted them (and frankly, it would be that way with a girl, too). But my intention is not to use my son as a way to make a statement; I just want him to be who he is. By giving him the choice to wear rainbow pants and play with magic wands, I feel like I’m saying, “You can do anything, wear anything, be anything! You have the whole world at your feet! Pink or punk, I love you for who you are.”

My happy kid in his happy pants.