As with any child if his age, Xander is quite a curious boy. He has questions for everything and would try (almost) anything. We try to answer him as best as we can but sometimes if I don’t know the answer, I usually make one up and indulge him.
One day in the car on the way to somewhere I cannot remember now…
X: Mummy, how come that Uncle’s hair is like that? *points to an ah beng looking uncle by the road*
Me: Oh that Uncle dyed his hair red.
Me: I don’t know. Maybe he wants to be an Ang Mor?
*laughter choke from The Husband in the driver’s seat*
Me: You know what is an Ang Mor? No? Ang means Red in Hokkien, Mor means Hair. Together you get Ang Mor lor!
Xan gave me a polite giggle, shakes his head and ‘tsk’ + ‘aiyah you ah’ to me. He didn’t get the joke but can respond to my reply quite accurately. By 3.5 years old, he now know his mardder is a blarddy joker. Ok ok. I’m getting to my story now.
A few weeks ago, we were invited to a distant relative’s wedding dinner. Few nights prior, I took a good long look at my stubby toes and muttered to myself “Wah lau, so ugly. Better paint them now while there’s time and since I’m going to wear sandals.” So I painted the toenails and forgot my fingernails. Typical. Anyhoo… While I was slapping on some hot pink polish, I suddenly remembered a scene from an early episode of Jon & Kate plus 8. Kate Gosselin was reminiscing when Colin (one of the sextuplets) was fascinated with her painted toenails. She said “he would just come up, and I would feel a little petting on my feet.” At that moment, I wondered how would Xan react? So I tested it out the next morning.
We sat in the living room and I nudged him to look at my newly painted nails.
Me: Psst! Nice or not?
Xan: *eyes open wide” Waaah! *tries to touch a nail thinking it was still wet* Why you put colour on your toes?
Me: Because mummy hiao (Hokkien for vain). I want my toenails to look nice. Nice or not?
Xan: Nice! I also want colours on my toenails. I want yellow, blue, green!
Me: Ok, but I only have white and pink.
Xan: White then!
Me: Ok, I’ll paint ONE toenail. If I paint more, your teachers are going to think Mummy is mad and call me in for a private meeting.
Since Xander was born, I stopped wearing earrings and necklaces for fear of scratching him and him tearing my earlobes apart. That being said, whenever I accessorize myself in anyway, Xan is always the 1st to notice and keen to try for himself. So far it has been hair clips (though daddy was the culprit who started clipping them on him for fun/torture), hairband, bracelets and now nail polish. Oh yes. Bras too. Can transform into eye masks, gas mask, headgear, drag on the floor like an animal kenah hunted, etc. My 2 boys are irritating. *rolleyes*
I don’t have a problem with boys playing with nail polish & earrings. Just don’t touch my knickers. The Husband had painted nails and wore earrings (manly loops) for quite a while until a few years ago when his job required him to look more …ahem… serious. See here and here. Its the folks around me that have problems with it when I told them about painting his nails and his love for fresh flowers.
“Don’t encourage him ah! Wait he turn Ah Gua how?”
“Must be you and your Hello Kitties turning him into a sissy!”
“He needs more manly contact. Make some more boy babies!” Okok, I made this one up. You get the point lah.
What’s wrong with boys with nail polish anyway? You can’t turn gay from using nail polish, getting ears pierced, grown long hair, get facials, drink Shirley Temples, listening to Air Supply or cry at weddings. Don’t be goondu! Wah lau! Which cave from which century did you crawl out from?
Kids NEED to play dress up. It helps to build confidence, exercise their imagination and even strengthen their communicative skills through role play. Not I say one. Experts say one. Homophobes should learn to relax a little and just let the kids enjoy their childhood without being influenced by the crazy gender stereotypes. So folks. Relax! Let them play! The kids will have plenty of chances to dress properly later in life so let them be and have some fun.