boys will be boys

Post 10: What Have I Done?

When I was a kid, I had a very close relationship with a female cousin of mine.  She was like my sister and best friend all rolled up into one.  We were a year apart in age and when together, we could stir up a mighty ruckus.  Mostly, I remember us laughing.


And we laughed about weird sh*t.  And we played really insane, made up, games.


There was a game that we played that I’ll call, “What have I done?”  It consisted of my cousin and I running around her parents bedroom and their queen-sized bed.  We’d chase one another and when one person would get “caught” the other kid would mock attack them.  After a few minutes, the kid being attacked would play dead.  Then the “attacker” would cry and wail over the “corpse” of the dead kid screaming, “What have I done?  What have I done?”  The more emotion and melodrama you could pour into it, the better.  At one point, the kid playing dead would “pop up” from the dead and scream, “THIS IS WHAT YOU’VE DONE!” and start mock choking the other kid.  And then we would laugh and laugh and laugh.  We laughed until we cried.  Thirty plus years later, neither of us are serial killers and both of us are productive members of society.


I think part of the joy of the game was the element of surprise.  The person feigning grief never knew when the other one was going to “pop up.”  The back-from-the-dead person always did their best to scare the ever living sh*t out of the other kid.  It was the surprise and the not knowing mixed with little kids trying out adult emotions that made the game so appealing.


I think we played this game for hours.  It was bizarre and yet, endlessly entertaining.


I remember a second story, even earlier than that, all the way back in pre-school.  I was supposed to bring in something for “show and tell,” but for some reason I never got it together.  So, on the way to pre-school, I found a rubber-band in the back of the car.  I twisted it and twisted it around my wrist.  When it was my turn to “show and tell” I walked up to the front of the class and showed how the tighter you twisted the rubber-band, the more it would cut off your circulation causing your wrist to run a variety of colors like a mood ring.  My kid brain thought, “how cool.”  My adult teachers thought, “We need to talk to this kid’s parents.”


I think weirdness in kids is great as long as it’s not hurting anyone and especially if its deeply invested in cultivating the kid’s imagination.


As such, I wasn’t so bothered when the photo of the kindergarten boy who wore the pink shoes to school went viral.  To me, it wasn’t, “Oh, he’s such a young, gay boy” – although he very well might be.  It was more, “Oh, that’s just a weird kid being a weird kid.”  He’ll probably grow up and become a ladies’ man and the chief editor of an art magazine.  Really, none of us can tell that far in advance.


kid who wore pink shoes to school

This does not necessarily lead to…


straight man in drag



Still, I think with a 5 year old, it’s no ‘cause for alarm whether he becomes the next Walt Disney or a featured player in the Crying Game 2, truly, it may have nothing to do with those shoes.


A lot of the backlash to the picture had to do with the parents allowing it.  Many commenters felt that the parents were just setting up their child for bullying by allowing him to wear such a clearly defined pair of girl’s shoes.


I don’t know if this is true or not.  All I know is that we have gone off of our rockers in regards to male sexuality.  The boundaries on what a man can or can not do, or wear or not wear, or talk like or not talk like, or walk like or not walk like – are, in my opinion, far too strict.


I have a joke in my act where I talk about a straight male friend of mine coming up to me  (wearing a regular button down shirt, btw) and asking, “Does this shirt make me look gay?”  To which I reply, “I don’t know does it come with a c*ck in your mouth?”  Because to me, that’s the only real thing that counts on the gay/ not gay scale.


Everything else is just expression and experimentation.  All of those things are just human.



Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish on the quest to 365 consecutive posts.  You can follow this blog by clicking the “follow” button at the top of the page.



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Photo creds:

feature-boys, drag-man, pink-shoe-boy


46 thoughts on “Post 10: What Have I Done?

  1. It’s usually adults that inflict greater harm on children by forcing their ideas and opinions on them. This kid just liked zebra print and wanted to wear cool shoes. It’s adults who are making it into some kind of issue.

    1. so true so true so true, j and t. he simply thought ‘zebra stripes are cool.’ and now everyone’s questioning a sexuality that he doesn’t even have yet. for god’s sake, he’s like 5!!! xo, sm

      1. Let’s just say he was gay. He obviously doesn’t care about showing his true self, and anyone who tells him to hide it or to second guess his choices are only reaffirming the idea that being gay is weird.

      2. I completely agree. gay or not gay, the tornado around it is what is ridiculous. and truly, i don’t think kids have a real sexuality at that age. that’s the point, really, of a kid being a kid – innocence. among other things like an instinct that ‘who gives a shit if it’s pink, it’s got zebra stripes!!!’ ;0

  2. What if he’s the next Christian Loubatin(sp)…..What mother wouldn’t want a son with an ability to design those shoes and who cares who he has sex with! He’s got years to figure it out! Kudos to the mom that is raising a confident child who bucks conformity. PS: I am a girl and don’t like pink….what does that make me. A note on your writing: loved how you transitioned from serial killers in training to pink shoes. Well done!

    1. now, mads, of course, i LOVE that you love it – the writing that is. ;) and i LOOOOOVED the crhistian loubutoin analogy. (tho i don’t know how to spell his name either.) i’m so with you. the kid has no idea. he’s just being creative and cute and nutty. and then of course the world has a seizure about it. it’s dumb. he’s just a kid. xoxo, sm

  3. In light of the shooting in CT today, pink shoes hardly seem worth a second look. That said, it is too often the kids who were called weird, or mocked along the way, who end up with a gun in their hands. There is and always be a lot of finger pointing, but something has to change.

    1. yeah, i’m speechless on the shooting today. i feel like enough is enough with the gun thing, but then someone always yells at me about the 2nd amendment. so, i don’t know what in the feck. they are clearly just too easy to get. and far too easy for the mentally unstable to get. and it’s a sad world when in a supposedly civilized country a kid can’t got to school without his/ her life being threatened. it’s truly beyond rational thought, in my opinion. sm

  4. I have found that the bigger an issue you make of something, the more it imprints on the child. You’re more likely to cause a problem for the kid by making it an issue, than by just letting it roll off.

    My daughter went through a phase where everything was very “boyish” her clothes, her demeanor, etc. We just treated her no different and you know what,… she f**cking grew out of it. We never made her wear pink and she went pink crazy for awhile.

    The beauty of being a child is getting to try on all the colors of the spectrum without the bias of life’s sad experiences picking the hue.

    Much love, momma. Great post.

    1. tinsy, this is such a great comment. truly. and i believe you are right, let them try everything on EVERYTHING – if it’s not harmful to them, let ’em go for it. anyway, i hope everyone reads your comment. xoxo, sm

  5. My brother had this friend when we were kids who would always say, “Let’s play jells” when he came over to our house. He meant let’s play girls, and my friends and I would commence dressing my brother and his friend like girls, doing their hair and make-up. We never once thought it was weird that this kid wanted to play dress up, we thought it was weird that he pronounced girls “jells”. :) Now that I think of it, maybe he meant jails, but we dressed him up like a girl instead….and he liked it. Oh, did we create a gay man? wtf, people are stupid.

  6. I love that the little boy reportedly said that he liked the shoes because they were “made from zebras” and that zebras were his favorite animal. Makes perfect sense to me!

    1. totally and when his mom said, ‘but, most people will think they are girl’s shoes’ he said, ‘but, ninjas can wear pink!’ or something along those lines. i mean, for christ’s sake. he’s 5. let him wear the feckin’ shoes without a circus around it.

  7. It’s always baffled me, and continues to do so, that there is only one acceptable way to express gender…or anything else about one’s Self. THAT is weird to me! xoM

  8. The joke at the end was epic. Like you, I don’t get the the fecking furor is (though I didn’t hear about this until I got here). He’s *5*, for feck’s sake. Pink zebra stripes? Feck it! Hi-five, little buddy. Pink tutu? Hi-five, little buddy. You wanna wear your mom’s purse as your book bag? Good luck, it weighs a ton, but Hi-five, little buddy. You wanna wear your mom’s thong to school? Sorry. I am. Nab her granny panites instead and Hi-five, little buddy. The screaming idiots who don’t like it can all go to fecking hell. Screw them.

    Sorry about my crassiosity, SM. People like that infuriate me to no end. A 5 year old doesn’t know what the feck sex is!

    1. ohhhhhhhhhh, foster, your comment made me laugh out loud, literally. i nearly died. you are so right and take that thong off! loool. there’s no more to say on it, he’s feckin’ 5. 5! she-sus christ! loool. xo, sm

  9. I think the shoes are cute! I think it’s sad that this society doesn’t accept being weird or different very well. My obsession for high school didn’t start until my senior year of HS but people still thought I was weird. And to this day, people say “Oh, it’s Bat Girl!!” I have to correct them and say “It’s Batman, bitches!!” Bat Girl is a totally different person than Batman and people find it weird that I don’t naturally support the female counterpart.

    Also, for the latter picture, I inspected it very carefully and must say that the person does a fantastic job of shaving/waxing because I don’t see any stray pubes. Just sayin’…

    1. okay, vy, the stray pubes had me rolling. he’s a very confident man to let his undercarriage out on display like that. it’s almost inspirational. loooool. i know, the shoes are just this sweetie’s freak flag, let him fly it! we’ve all got one. and i couldn’t agree more bat girl = BORING. so, why should you be batman? xoxox, sm

  10. Childhood is about discovering what you like – my great niece sent me a craigslist ad to show me what she wants for Christmas – she wants a $3500 live zonkey – she’s six and her imagination should be cultivated, not condemned.

  11. To me what is so harmful to any child is repressing their creativity or their likes or dislikes. As long as it isn’t hurting anybody, now are the times to let be kids be just that… This need to fit someone, based on their gender, into a box they think is “right” or “wrong” just causes problems and tendencies for the child when they grow up. Let the cutie pie wear his zebra shoes!! Geesh, no wonder this world is such a mess for people to make this such an issue. Great post!

  12. Is that Tom Arnold in the lingerie? My eyes are kind of bleeding because I wouldn’t even want to see my husband (or myself) in that get up.

    My son was VIP in his class this week and decided for his “All About Me” poster that he wanted pink to be his favorite color. I told him that kids might tease him for it, but he insisted. Then I just said (in my head, of course), “F*ck it. If he likes pink, that’s cool. If he gets teased, I’ll kick the kid’s mom’s arse.” My kids get to like what they like and that is the end of the story. I am bad-ass enough to teach my kids to love themselves regardless of what others think of them and beat up parents who raise shallow bullies.

    Mama, I also want to invite you to check out the poem that I am publishing this morning at about 11:00. I think you will enjoy it.

    1. undercover, i for sure will check it out. and i heart you. big time. i think that’s exactly how all parents should react to their kids wanting to enjoy something ‘out of the norm.’ especially something as harmless as the color pink!! feck it is really the only answer. ;) xo, sm

  13. If the kid wants to wear pink shoes let him. A receint study showed that business men who wore pink shirts or ties actually made more money. It was tied to self-confidence. They determined that men who were secure and confident enough to wear pink in a professional business environment usually projected that security and confidence and got more business and more responsibilities and therefore made more money.

    A side note is that until WWII, pink was the boy color and blue the girl color as pink was a muted, softer red. Until HItler used a pink symbol for gay people in the concentration camps, there had been no girly associations with the color.

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