Gender Bending
Just Hold the Neck and Pull


September 14 , 1999

The second (and last) guest journal entry I did for Chuck talked about Zoe's love affair with Barbie.

Well, the love affair continues, unabated, though we've graduated to dressing Barbie.

Last winter I found a Barbie nightgown for Zoe. It's pink with frills on the bottom made of really soft flannel. The best part about it though was that it came with a matching nightgown for Barbie. All our Barbie's have worn in it at one time or another.

Well, one season in the life of a toddler means a multitude of growth spurts so the original Barbie nightgown, which once grazed Zoe's calves is all but a shortie babydoll now. And a little tight across the back.

So, last week, when I found myself near a Kids 'R Us I decided to pop in and see if I could find a replacement nightgown.

Well, not only were there nightgowns, but also an entire line of Barbie-inspired clothes. OK, maybe not Barbie-inspired, which to my mind would include a lot of ballgowns and other impractical items for everyday wear, with matching shoes and velcro closures. But there were t-shirts with the Barbie logo that had matching leggings, sweatshirts, and little skirt outfits.

I found a new nightgown, white this time, to replace the outgrown one, complete with Barbie-sized matching nightgown, and a t-shirt with Barbie shoes and logos all over it. I knew it would be a huge hit.

While I was at it I picked up several other items for her.

You can imagine the delight when I came home and showed Zoe her new things. We immediately had to put Zoe and Barbie in their matching nightgowns. The t-shirt was a huge hit. Some of the other things not so much. That is, until I told Zoe they were all Barbie clothes.

Well, tonight we were performing our usual nighttime sleepy routine and one mangled Barbie (in the pink Barbie nightgown), Ken, a mini Barbie, a Barbie head (no body attached), and the new white Barbie-sized nightgown all had to get in bed with her.

First request, "Mommy, put the nightgown on Ken." OK, so far so good. BTW: it's a little harder to get Barbie clothes on Ken but it is manageable.

Second request, "Mommy, take Ken's head off." I'm a bit puzzled by this request. It turns out she wanted to spare Barbie head we had to go on Ken's body. "So Ken will be a girl." Oh.

Try explaining to a 3 1/2 year old that 1. Ken's neck is bigger than Barbie's so the head won't fit. 2. Just because Ken has Barbie's head on his body doesn't make him a girl. 3. It's virtually impossible to get the heads off Ken and/or Barbie unless your Akita has chewed the neck up sufficiently to make it loose.

"No momma, hold the neck, turn the head, and pull." I couldn't believe she said that. She really did. I got up and wrote it down so I wouldn't forget it.

So, I tried to pull the head off Ken. No luck. I think I managed to convince her that the spare Barbie head wouldn't fit on Ken's neck anyway. Well, then she wanted to put the spare Barbie head with long hair on the Barbie body that had a head with short hair on it. (You see, long hair is princess hair.)

When she saw the difficulties I was having she repeated her "hold the neck" instructions. Then she felt it necessary to demonstrate. If she had actually managed to get the head off I would have been floored. She didn't manage and was still upset about Ken still being a boy.

Then I tried to tell her that Ken is a girl now because he's wearing a dress. No dice. She wasn't buying it.

"No momma, boys have short hair. Girls have long hair."

So, now Ken is a cross-dresser. I will admit, I always suspected this.

Until next time. . .


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