I’m a girl.

That is the newest phrase in our house…this week.

A few weeks ago the favorite term was “super.” Everything was super.
“Ima, your shirt is super beautiful.”
“I’m super tired.”
“My belly is super hungry!”
You get the idea.
Every few weeks a new word or phrase weaves its way into EZ’s lexicon while I smile and nod as he tests it out in his everyday speech. Eventually what starts out as sweet and amusing (I mean, who doesn’t love hearing a three year old insert the term “actually” at the start of each sentence) grows almost tiresome after a few weeks of hearing it ad nauseum. And, like the good mother that I am, I tend to tune it out, until miraculously one day – *poof* – it’s gone.
Yet lately, the phrase du jour has given me pause, as it is unlike any of the previous ones that have been tested and tried out by my little three and a half year old. It started off innocently enough a couple of weeks ago. We usually have a little heart to heart initiated by EZ while I put him to sleep. Normally we discuss what happened during the day or he’ll remind me if something exciting is coming up on the horizon. This time was a bit different.
“Ima? You’re a girl.”
“Yup.”
“I want to be a girl.”
Naturally curious, I asked him why he wanted to be a girl.
“Girls like to go on the swings. I like to go on the swings.”
In his mind it all made sense. I refrained from delving into the fact that I was pretty sure boys enjoyed swings as well, and instead made an agreeable noise. That placated him and he fell asleep minutes later.
Days past and I didn’t really dwell on our conversation all that much beyond the requisite “aw, isnt this cute” posting of it on Facebook. Then, just the other day EZ let me know that…
“I’m going to be a girl now. Just pretend.”
I smiled and nodded and waited for him to continue, but that was it. That was the extent of it all. Apparently, just pretending to be a girl doesn’t seem to differ from being regular old EZ. He plays the same games, chooses the same books to read and still loudly proclaims his love of all things poop” and “fart.” The only difference is that occasionally he’ll remind me that he’s a girl. It’s usually prefaced with an additional reminder that I am a girl as well.
Interestingly enough, he doesn’t proclaim that he’s a girl when I paint his toenails or when as he dons a tank top of mine to wear as his dress while he prances around to Lady Gaga (please, no judgement, she makes laundry time slightly bearable).
Of course, in my feminist biased mind, I’m patting myself on the back for raising such an open child, one who can seamlessly flow between gender realms. In reality? I realize he’s a perfectly normal toddler, experimenting with all of the new ideas and concepts he is learning. While I almost wish there was a hidden message or subtext to it all, in the grand scheme of things I feel that this is just another one of those phrases and phases he’s been testing out. And in my mind…it’s just super.

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