First things first, hi all! Yes, I’m still alive and well. Things have just gotten extremely busy with family, work, and baby stuff. In short, I’M TIRED. So tired, that I actually started a blog post delving into it a little deeper, but never got around to finishing it. Ah well. No one wants to read about that anyway. I do have a major photo dump overdue and I might even finish writing my comparison of paper pregnancy and physical pregnancy. But tonight I wanted to share what is fresh on my mind.
Back in August we started talking with Odette about Halloween. Sounds a bit crazy, but with a Christmas baby on the way we are counting down with holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. Along with the talks about Halloween came the costume selection. Odette decided that she was going to be Spiderman. I loved the idea. It was something fun and different. I also liked that she wasn’t afraid of crossing the gender stereotypes and wanted to be a super hero most often played by the male gender. Sure, we talked about adding a tutu to the costume, but my mama brain was loving the idea. Not being a big girly-girl growing up, I inwardly celebrated her putting aside all her princess froofiness and trying out something different. Then we walked through the costume department at Target and it was all over.
Suddenly she wanted to be Doc McStuffins. For those of you unfamiliar with her, here is a picture. She is a Disney Jr. character and a doctor to toys.
She’s a great role model for kids and especially, brown girls like Odette. Unless you are a minority of some sort you probably haven’t realized how difficult it is to find characters on tv, in books, and in popular culture that allow minorities to connect to them. We love Doc McStuffins in our house! But I wasn’t sure that I wanted Odette to dress up as her for Halloween.
I tried for weeks to gently persuade Odette to consider something else, anything else, but she kept coming back to Doc McStuffins. I stewed about whether or not to allow her be her. Actually I had decided that I would tell her that sadly the costumes were sold out and she’d have to choose something else. (Yep, for real.) But in the end, I had a change of heart.
You might be thinking, what is the big deal? What does it matter? Why couldn’t she be Doc McStuffins? I’ll tell you why I struggled with it. I thought it was a little too apropos for the little black girl to play a little black girl…especially when the little black girl has white parents. I didn’t want people to think that Odette was being Doc McStuffins because it was what I wanted or thought was most appropriate. I didn’t want to be the white lady with a black kid who shoved her into a costume of a black girl just because of her skin color. In other words, I worried what every else, but my own kid would think of the costume selection. I was going to overlook what Odette really wanted for the sake of protecting myself from the judgments of others.
Thank goodness, I snapped out of my poor mindset before it was too late. It took grandma and us hunting down a costume, but we got one for Odette. We surprised her on Sunday with the costume and a trip to Zoo Boo. Her jumping up and down and squeals of excitement reminded me about what really matters. Doc McStuffins is a great role model for kids, especially our kid with brown skin like her, and there is no one else I would rather my daughter dress up as if it is what makes her happy.
She does make a mighty cute Doc if I can say so myself.
And there’s a whole other blog post on the docket about the reaction she did get from others at the zoo and why I think it happened.