All writing in Italics is Mindy’s. The longer rambling bits are mine (Mum).
I guess we should start at the beginning. We didn’t know it was the beginning then. We had one son already and I guess were feeling a bit overly confident with our trainer wheel parenting skills. We’d survived sleep deprivation, years and years of Thomas the tank engine, the transition to Kindy and waving him goodbye to school (I cried, he didn’t). When we welcomed our second baby boy into the world I guess we felt like we pretty much had a handle on most things.
Pause for laughing. A lot of laughing, maybe also a little rocking.
We’re liberal parents and Stu’s love of nail polish and fluffy bright clothes didn’t even raise an eyebrow. We’ve always taught our kids “there’s no such thing as boys stuff or girls stuff, there’s just stuff”. (They say that a lot!) So basically the floral gumboots, baby doll, nail polish, long hair and deep commitment to Dr McStuffins didn’t send us to google to see what was going on.
We lived in a small rural town and they’re not always as conservative as people assume. With the one exception of the ballet teacher (more shortly) we received no negative comments at all.
The ballet thing was probably the first moment we ran into someone who questioned us. Stu had joined ballet and we dutifully provided the uniform of black shorts, white singlet and ballet shoes. This was not what was hoped for, so the ever resourceful 2nd child rocked into Kindy and got one of the teachers to help sew a tutu. We thought that was pretty cute so had no problem with the tutu going over the black shorts.
At the end of the lesson the ballet teacher took us aside and told us that the tutu was not allowed back in class. Tutu’s were only for girls. The other dance parents felt this was silly, after all what 3 year old doesn’t like to twirl? We finished the term and didn’t go back.
I was really sad about leaving ballet and I didn’t know why at the time so I kept asking until 2013! I just learnt about it today in fact!