boy toys

Chicken put a dinosaur in his pirate ship. 

I was like
awwww shit
now that is a boy toy -


A predator
sailing the seven seas
swabbing the decks with his scaly claws
swigging rum through his carnivore jaws...
Chicken names him
Ap
Trap
Raptor.

I worry sometimes
that I've bought too many trucks
dinosaurs
and pirate ships.

Since I am one of those moms who wants
perhaps
too much
for her sons to do whatever they want,
but especially
and publicly,
girly things.

Chicken picked the Barbie chair
at the kids salon!
Facebooking it.

Chicken wanted princess diapers
from Costco!
Tweeting it.
Proud of it.
Ready to defend it.

Waiting
patiently
for someone to say
"but he's a boy"
so I can respond
coolly
puzzled
"so?"

I wish
I wish
I wish a motherfucker
would.

But see
I live in Seattle
among so many attachment parents
so everyone's like
"his spirit is so open
of course he can sit
in the Barbie Jeep
of course he can
poop
on a princess."

I'm not gonna lie
I want to sniff out
some old-school gendering
so I can be like
I SAID GOOD DAY SIR
OR MADAM
OR WHOMEVER YOU FEEL IS INSIDE YOU.

I guess we'll have to go 
I don't know
South
or 
Middle East
or
to Ted Cruzistan
to fight the good fight
that I've imagined.

But then I see Chicken
with his sharks and dinos
and trucks
and trains
and planes
and tigers
and I'm like
man
he has so many boy toys.

Then I'm like
what a faker I am. 
I am part of the system
against which I dream of raging.
Subverting the system
merely feeds the beast.
It thrives on my loathing.

I'm like
here
here son
let me take your picture
with the pale purple toy oven
and apron
great
got it.
Equality!
Now
for reals
you'd probably rather have 
this machete
wouldn't you?

I'm a half a breath away
from turning myself in 
to the cloth-diapering crew
at the organic tea shoppe
who don't even tell people
if the long-lashed, capri-panted 4-year-old is a boy or a girl.

Why does it matter?
Would you treat Rain differently?
Rain is a child of the world
nothing else matters
except the content of
Rain's
character.

And even I am like
yo
I don't know who the enemy is
but it's not pronouns
k?

And then
in my darkest moment
I listen to my son
playing dinosaur pirate
with Ap Trap Raptor
and Triceratops:

"Ooooh I'm a dinosaur!
And I'm on a pirate ship!
Woo hoo!
It smells like bananas and brownies on here!

Hey! Hey! Hey I know!
Let's get all the dinosaurs in the ship
so they can say 
wheeeeee!
It's a brownie party!
Wa-hoooooooo!

Let's do it,
Okay?

Okay!

First we need some flour and sugar.
And probably some tea
with milk and honey.

Would you please
if you don't mind
Mr. Ap Trap
get the tea?

Of course, Triceratops!

Thank you, Ap Trap!

You're so welcome, Triceratops! 
This is going to be
such a lovely party."

My son,
my boy
is playing
dinosaur
pirate
tea party.

And I 
am blogging about it.
Proud of it.
That's my boy
playing
like
a boy
and a girl
and just
just
a kid.

Isn't he
unspeakably
beautiful?

The only way this could be better
would be
if I'd stop congratulating myself
for doing the decent thing,
for nurturing
(or maybe just
not actively suppressing)
my child's natural willingness
to play with
whatever the hell he wants.

Chicken
Ap Trap
and Triceratops
give no shits
about gender.

They
(like every sir,
madam,
and indefinite, long-lashed Rain)
want warm brownies,
sweet tea,
and a sunny day on the deep blue sea.

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