When I dropped my Little one off at daycare the other day, pretty much the first words out of one of the "older" carers mouths was "Are you a boy or a girl?"
Cue a WTF look from me.
One of the little girls answered "I'm a girl!" and the carer shushed her and asked my Little once more "are you a boy or a girl?"
His answer was a quizzical look and a strong "I'm Manny!"
I grinned. That's my kiddo. Labels are for soup cans.
The carer looks up at me and explains that she is teaching them "differences" and the differences between boys and girls. I must have had a deer in the headlights look because she went on with "maybe Mummy can practice teaching you at home!"
Honestly I had no idea what to say. I was dumbfounded. I didn't want to cause a scene so I stayed quiet. Was I being oversensitive because of my queerness? Probably. But it just seemed wrong to me.
Do I say to her that we do not enforce gender stereotypes on our children?
Do I tell her that within our community of friends we have a number of transgender and genderqueer peeps who we love and support?
That a couple of people our children once knew as "she" are now "he"?
Do I tell her that Manny is way too young to know yet whether he is a girl or a boy?
Or quite simply that I feel it is an inappropriate choice of topic?
What would you do?
I would like to clarify that I do call him my sweet boy, darling boy etc constantly, we are not raising him genderless, it just struck me quite strongly (and unexpectedly) as I heard her asking such a black and white question. We assume he is a boy. That he will grow up to be a man. But that may not be the case and I know it. I dont think there is anything wrong with explaining genders to your kids (aka "Mummy is a girl") but this seemed different to me. Perhaps I am oversensitive?!