Q has been in an interesting phase of playing with his identity lately. I love watching this develop, as I think it’s all about the development of 5 and 6 year olds, the ego, considering oneself in relation to others, etc.
Here’s how it’s played out: Q is now very conscious, when he’s choosing his clothing, about whether he’d like to be perceived as a boy or a girl that day. If he wants to dress as a girl, he will often choose a skirt, but most definitely a sparkly headband and other acoutrements. While much of his other clothing still has others perceive him as a girl (think string tank tops), he feels that he’s seen as a boy in the rest of his things. Most importantly, though, to him, he won’t mix and match. This is mainly in the area of accessories. Lately Q has wanted to grow his hair longer. We’ve been letting it grow a bit, but it’s quite shaggy right now. In our family, we wear thick, stretchy “yoga headbands” to keep unruly hair out of our faces. But Q will only wear those (and other headbands), if he’s dressing like a girl and wanting to be perceived as a girl.
I’m intrigued by this move to dressing in order to be perceived in a certain way. It’s moving a bit away/beyond/to a different space than just dressing because certain clothes strike Q’s fancy. I like hearing Q talk about these kinds of choices because in doing so, he really shows how much he has his finger on the pulse of gendered stereotypes and how he’ll be perceived in certain clothing. An astute boy, he is.