Parenting Henri

this is about henri, and the parenting thereof

born into it 2009/10/18

it’s official (as if it wasn’t already…): henri truly is my mini-me.

we went shoe shopping, which was (more) stressful (then it had to be) because i suggested henri “try out” each pair of shoes he tried on–ended up being like 12 or so–and he took that to mean he could run away from us in each pair of shoes he tried on.  whoop-ee!

he ended up getting, yes–you guessed it–Pink Tennis Shoes.  now, either this is God’s way of reaffirming my decision to have a kid in the first place, OR, more likely, henri doesn’t yet realize that pink is for “little ladies,” as this website so kindly points out, and just really really really really REALLY loves his mom-mom who really really really REALLY loves pink, therefore…well, you get the argument i’m making. right?



now, i know what you’re thinking: that i Encouraged him to get pink tennis shoes.  and i swear on the tattoo on my left wrist that i did no such thing.  however, i certainly showed them to him, kind of as a joke.*  the first pair of pink tennis shoes i showed him were not anywhere near as gender-neutral and he liked them but absolutely did not say he wanted to buy them like he did the converse ones.  (yes, he speaks in sentences and yes, gender-neutral is a term that applies to pink things, in my world).  i also know the other thing you’re thinking, mainly because i thought it, too, by which i mean, i said it out loud:  poor da-da.  as with all other things me & the h-man throw at mcknight, though, he took it just fine.  sure, he rolled his eyes.  but if any father can handle his 2-year-old running around in pink kicks, it’s this one.

to answer your other questions: yes, henri has been called a girl several times since this shoe-buying incident.  i have no words.  (he doesn’t even LOOK feminine!!!).  and yes, henri and mom-mom have had several well-meaning “older” women–at least 4-year-olds, if not older–explain to us that “pink” is for “girls.”  REALLY? i had no idea.  it’s not like i’ve never passed Victoria’s Secret or The Limited Too.  it’s not like i’ve tried to buy clothes for my son that aren’t blue.  it’s not like i started wearing pink the day my niece was born 9 years ago and haven’t stopped since.  i *know* pink is for girls, you little bitches/future sarah palin supporters!!!  but, guess what?  pink is also the color of Power.  in this case, the willpower not to introduce you to the powerful feeling of putting someone much smaller and much less experienced than you are in their rightful place: namely, on the ground.

but i digress.  the moral of the story is that  the first pair of tennis shoes henri picked out himself is pink.  we tried on adidas.  we ran around the store in new balance. we knocked over shoe salesman in elmo-light-up-blinky-blinky high traction/low impact etc.-etc. shoes.  i even forced his foot into a black & flame version of the very same shoe he ended up buying.  but, none of them got the elicited reaction, which went something like this.

mom-mom: (after picking up pink converse shoes that she in no way thought would ever be liked, let alone bought, by her son, who is a boy and not a “little lady”)  these are AWESOME.  don’t you LOVE them?????

da-da: rolls eyes.

henri: uh-huh.

mom-mom: (puts them on henri’s foot, despite his squirming and losing interest upon realizing they’re *very* hard shoes to put on) WOW. i LOVE them. don’t you LOVE them, buddy???

da-da: rolls eyes, begins to walk away.

henri: uh-huh.

mom-mom: are THESE the ones you want to BUY?????

henri: (after a very long hour to hour-and-a-half of trying on shoes, running around the store, and begging to ride in a tractor) Uh-Huh!

mom-mom: (says privately to da-da) wow–i can’t believe he wants pink shoes. that’s so cute. don’t you think that’s so cute? i didn’t force him into them. you saw it. he wanted them. he said he liked them.  right?

da-da: um…


*the reader will note that henri has been trying on my pink high-heeled shoes and prancing around the house in them, quite capably, for a few months now