We don’t have defined gender roles in our home. I, being the wife, rarely cooks. People hardly eat it when I do. I hate to clean when no one is coming over to see it. Bring on a holiday, and there is a mad woman rushing through each nook and cranny with a precision. Similar to a ritual, Yankee Candles are always first lit to give off the appropriate scent for the season. I always try to give them as long I can to burn hoping no one smells my lack of consistent cleaning.
The man of our home is the one who never lets the smell become overwhelming. He never lets the crumbs become too thick. The dishes always find their way into the dishwasher. My clothes for work are regularly washed, and I never seem to visit the laundry room.
Our son, the Terrific Toddler, wants to be exactly like his Da-Da.
My son’s favorite toys are a broom and a toy Swiffer that we tell him is a vacuum. It belongs a cleaning cart set I found around Easter. The set included a fake plastic spray bottle, a dustpan, and a paper cleaning bag all stored in rolling cleaning cart. Every accessory included in the black cleaning cart is hot neon pink. My son’s favorite toys are a pink broom and Swiffer. The broom can hit things, this is a bonus for a little boy, but he also sweeps right along side his father.
Friends come over and see the little cleaning cart. The question is always the same, “Why does your son have a pink broom set?”
“Because he loves to use his broom and vacuum,” is always our answer.
One more than one occasion people will proceed with “You can always paint his broom. They make spray paint that will cover the pink.”
“He doesn’t know pink is a girl color. And it’s his broom, I wouldn’t change it.”
His pink broom is one of his most beloved items. Changing the color is showing him at the age of 18 months, he is not allowed to play with pink toys. He can play with pink, purple, blue, yellow or any color of toy he chooses to play with. They are his toys. They are toys. Toys create imagination. They inspire a little boy in learning to be exactly like his Da-Da.
Daddy vacuums. He wants to be like his Dad. He mimics the roles he sees his father play. Cleaning is not a woman’s role in our home. If it was, well… it would never get done with the exception of holidays. Our genders don’t generate our work loads. Maintaining a household when both the husband and the wife both work full time jobs, side jobs, writing jobs and raising a toddler is need by need basis. Pitch in what you can when you can, get it done, maybe eat, and finally crash in the bed. Hardly, it is ever together. Mommy’s jobs run late.
If a pink broom helps a toddler become supportive independent man, paint the world pink.
A man is not less of a man because he assumes household chores. He is a good man. I will never paint your broom, baby boy.
However, I will take it away when you hit windows and glass after I repeatedly tell you to stop.
The broom’s color never mattered anyways. The only thing that ever mattered was watching your face light up, it was watching you make fake vacuum noises while you followed your Da-Da around wanting to be just like him.