Let me tell you about Jack. Like I said he is now 8 years of age. He has very pretty blonde hair and is light complexion with a sprinkle of freckles across his nose and cheeks. He is a quiet child, always has been since he was born. He likes to color in his coloring books and plays with his cars, trucks and airplanes. He has two friends; both are little girls who live on either side of our home. Robin goes to school with Jack and Kellie is home schooled. Jack is always polite to everyone he meets. The only thing is sometimes he is mistaken for a little girl. I try to correct that when possible, however Jack just thanks them when he is told by others - like in stores and such - that he is a pretty girl.
About three months ago like I said I heard him talking to someone in his room. After I peeked in on him I ask him if he wanted a sandwich for lunch. He said. Yes mommy and some milk too with some chocolate chip cookies. I told him to give me a few minutes and I would have it ready for him. While I went to the kitchen, he came and sat at the dining room table, setting Bud Bear in the chair beside of him. I made him his favorite a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, his milk in his favorite Dora the Explorer glass and some of the Choco-Chip Cookies. I made myself a light salad and sat at the table with him.
I was about to take a bite of my salad when Jack ask if his friend could have some cookies. I told him I didn't think Bud needed any cookies right now. He said. No not for Bud, he and Bud would share their cookies, but for Steffie. I ask him who Steffie was thinking it may be a girl from school. He said Steffie is the girl who plays with Bud when he goes to school. She lives in his room. I thought about it and told him he could take two of the cookies to his room. I told him that Steffie had to eat them and they were not to be just left in his room. He said okay mom I'll make sure she doesn't waste them. I knew sometimes quiet children do develop imaginary friends, so I just let it pass.
A couple days later I was once again outside his room, though his door was ajar and I could see him. His arms were outstretched and he appeared to be dancing with someone. He danced in circles and very gracefully I might add moved about his room. I saw Bud Bear was on his bed sitting there like he was watching him dance. When he was done he went over to his bed and picked up Bud Bear and began to dance with him. I thought of getting my video camera but just as I did he stopped dancing. He wrapped his little arms around the bear and crawled up onto his bed. He kissed the bear on its nose and turned on his side. He fell asleep laying on his bed. I continued doing what I had to get done and placed it out of my mind.
At dinner that night I was sitting there having dinner with him. Mom, he said in a questioning tone. What is it?, I answered. Well, Steffie wants me to ask you a question. he said. And what would that be? I responded. Steffie said I need some tights and a tutu so we can dance in my room, ask Bud he was there when she said It., he said excitedly. I looked at him for a little bit trying to think of what to say of his request. Finally I said boys don't wear tutus. He said, Why not? I told him that they are made for girls. He said in my catalog all it said was child's tutu not a boy's or a girl's. I asked him which catalog and if he would go get it for me.
He ran into the front room and brought my catalog, opening it to the page; he was right it did only say a child's Tutu and next to it said Child's tights with a color selection of white or black. The Tutus were in yellow, white and pink. So I ask him which one was he wanting, he pointed to the yellow tutu. He said yellow was his favorite color. He went on further to say he would wear them if I got them for him. He looked up to me with those puppy dog eyes and I couldn't resist, I caved in and said I'd order them for him, but he could only wear the tutu in the house. He thanked me and jumped up and gave me a big bear hug. He asked if they had them in Bud Bear's size too. I told him no but I would look in the toy store the next time. He asked me to promise to look for Bud a tutu too. I did. He ran back over to where Bud had been sat and picked him telling him he was gonna get to a tutu and some tights and so was he. It took a week for them to be delivered and when he saw them he became all excited again.
He asked if he could try them on. I told him okay. He quickly took off his shoes and socks followed by his pants. Soon he was just standing there in his Spiderman underwear. I ask him if he knew how to put on the tights. He said aren't they just like my pants. I told him no, they need to be put on a little differently. I showed him how you rolled up the legs and put his foot into them. He caught on fairly quick as I instructed him to pull them up slowly a little bit at a time on each legs until he reached the part that went over his underwear. He then asked for the tutu. I showed him how needed to step into it and pull it up to his waist. It has been some time since I was a little girl and wore this kind of outfit. He actually looked kind of cute standing there in his black muscle car T-shirt, the tutu and his black tights. He sat down on the floor and put his tennis shoes back on, leaving his pants and socks lay there on the floor. He immediately began to twirl about in his outfit. Then he stopped and said don't I look pretty mommy?
I told him he looked very cute in his little yellow tutu. The tights I got for him I discovered came in a three pack. One black which he was wearing, one white pair and one pink pair. I took them to his room and placed them in his dresser drawers. I figured he could wear them under his pants if he wished too. I heard the door open in the front room so I headed back out as quickly as possible. It was my mother and she was standing there with him. He being all excited of having the tights and tutu had let his grandma into the house. He was asking her if she liked his new clothes. She told him the same thing I had that boys could wear the tights but the tutu skirt was for little girls.
But Grandma, he said, the store just said they are for children not boys or girls. Grandma said to him if that magazine said children's dresses would you have wanted a dress too. He said he didn't know but Steffie sometimes had a dress on when she played with him and other times she wore pants like he did. Who is Steffie? My mother asked him. He smiled at her and said she is my friend. I told my mom we would talk about Steffie in a bit. I told him to take Bud Bear and go play in his room. He said okay mom and scampered off to his room.
Is this Steffie a girl from the neighborhood? My mom asked me. I said no she is an imaginary friend of his. You know he doesn't really play with the kids in the neighborhood and is a very quiet child. Mom said I should get him to play with some other children close by.
I told her about the girls next door but as far as I knew there were no boys on our street. She said maybe I should consider getting him into little league with some other boys. I told her I would discuss that with him but as far as I knew he didn't like to play sports. He had told me he is always chosen last when in school they chose up team sides in his gym classes. The teacher also had told me he really does not participate in the games they play. He stays away from the games. As a matter of fact he has barely passed his gym classes the last two years.
Well, mom said, what does he like to do? I told her he likes to dance in his room sometimes. He either dances with his bear or his imaginary friend. I told her of my observance of him and he is very graceful. She said still something should be done to get him into more boy activities. Like your brothers did when they were growing up. I told her I'd never force my son to do something he is not comfortable with. So she said if he wanted to take ballet and act like those sissy boys you'd let him. I told her if he wanted to take ballet yes I would. Just because a boy likes to dance doesn't make him a sissy. She said that was just my opinion, but if the other boys in his school ever found out he took dance or ballet they would tease him unmercifully. I told her that would be his decision if he ever wanted to try a dance class. Well what if he told you he wanted to wear dresses or skirts would you allow him to do that as well? Mom asked.
I thought for a minute on that question. I told my mom if he did ask for a dress or skirt I'd discuss it with him. I'd show him there were not many boys who wore dresses or skirts by showing him the pictures in the ads or my catalogs. I'd also explain to him that other boys would possibly tease him and that some may even want to hurt him. My mom interjected they would beat him up for wearing a dress. I concluded though if he still insisted on having a dress or skirt I would probably get it for him. I reminded her there were men and boys in the movies who wore dresses or skirts and they were not sissies. She said yes but they went back to wearing male clothing afterward. I told her I didn't know if they did or not.
I ask her to take her off the subject why she had come over. She said she had a doctor appointment on this side of town so had left early and decided to just drop by. She continued, though I wasn't expecting to see my grandson dressed as a girl. For some unknown reason I was offended by that comment but remained cautious in my remarks. It was rather obvious to me my mother had some unfounded biases about boys and what they should be. She looked at her wristwatch and said she needed to get going to the doctor's office. I told her to call me later and went to the door with her.
I watched as my mother drove off thinking how could someone be so biased. I went back into the house and called Jack down from his room. He still had his tutu on and his tights, clutching Bud Bear to his chest. Mom, he said, I heard what you told grandma because I left my door open. I told him to not to worry about what my mom had said if he liked to wear his tutu or dance that was fine with me. Not that Mom. he said. Then what is it Jack, I ask him. He said. You said if I wanted a dress you would get me one. I was surprised he had heard that much of the conversation. So Jack are you saying you would like to have a dress? I ask. He looked up at me and said if you would. I further inquired what kind of dress would you like to have. Like some of those the girls wear at my school. He replied.
I ask him if he knew little boys don't wear dresses. He said, I know but some of them are so pretty like my tutu. Then he ask if his grandma would get mad if he wore a dress. I told him she probably would. Why? He asked I am still a boy it is just that I am in a dress. I'll still play with Bud and all of my toys ride my bicycle or anything else I usually do. I ask him what if Robin or Kellie next door were to see him playing in the yard in a dress. His answer was I'd invite them to my yard to play with me. What if one of the girls teased you for dressing like a girl? I asked. He said I don't tease them when they wear their pants outside so why would they tease me. I told him I would think about whether he could have a dress or not, maybe he could show me from my catalogs what dresses he liked. He said okay and ran off to the bathroom. I heard the toilets flush a few moments later and he must have gone back to his room.
I was thinking of a good reason to tell him why he couldn't wear a dress. For every argument in my head I had against getting him a dress were diminished by Jack's own previous arguments as to why he should be able to wear a dress. Then I thought maybe if I got him a plain or simple dress first to see what he did would do first. Then I thought I should just forget it and maybe Jack would too. I knew that thought wouldn't work because of the tights and tutu issue. So I decided to just wait until Jack brought it back up again.
Two days later when we were having breakfast Jack smiled up at me and said, Mom have you thought of the dresses I want yet. I said I did think of it but thought that he had changed his mind. Oh no mommy, he said. I talked to Steffie about it and she said we could both be dressed alike then when we play. I asked him if Steffie had told him he had to get a dress like hers. He answered No, she just thought it would be nice to be dressed alike. I ask him if he saw any dresses he liked in the catalog. He said No, but he did see a couple he liked in the newspapers ads. He ran off and came back in a few moments carrying the Walmart Ads from the Sunday paper. He opened the flyer and said See! These are the one I like! pointing to some play dresses that 2 little girls were playing in.
Can we go to the store and get them mommy, he ask. I thought he would have chosen a dress out of my catalogs giving a bit more time since I would need to order them. I told him we would go to Walmart and see what they had, but he had to be on his best behavior. He smiling at me said he would.
On Friday, I wasn't busy, just piddling around the house. I had noticed that I needed a new bedspread that morning. The old one had got that tired and old look. Jack came in with Bud Bear clutched to his sides. I told him I needed to go shopping and wondered if he too wanted to go with me. He said yes. So he went and changed out of his jammies and put on a pair of camp shorts and a t-shirt with his sneakers. We were ready to go by 10 that morning. Jack still holding Bud ran out to the car as I locked the front door. As I climbed into the car I ask him where should we go. He immediately said Walmart; we can get me those dresses. I hadn't even thought of that when I ask him if he had wanted to go. It was clear out on the other side of the mall and would take us about a half hour to get there. I told him we had to go to the bedding department first and then we would see what he wanted.
When we got there Jack went and got us the shopping cart. Jack had quit wanting to ride in them at 5 so I allowed him to push it through the store. We went to the bedding department and found exactly what I was looking for. It was one of those complete bedding in a bag thing and was more than reasonably priced at $40. I told Jack he could go to the toy department if he wished while I checked out some other things. He said okay and knew right where it was. I continued looking around and picked up some new shampoo and other odds and ends I figured we may be low on and some bubble bath for Jack. He loved to soak in the tub and play with his boats. I headed over to the toy department only to discover Jack was not there. I didn't panic like some parents may have but decided he probably went looking for me. Taking the main aisle through the store so I could see up most of the aisles I started back through the store. I found him or maybe I should say he found me.
Jack came rushing up to me with four dresses in his hands. He told me he found these there and he liked each of them. He went to toss them into the cart but I stopped him. It was obvious to me that some were too small or too big for him. I told him they were the wrong sizes. He wore a size 8 in boys wear; he'd picked out one at size 5 and another at size 14. I told Jack we needed to take them back. He got this sad look on his face. Not wanting to see him disappointed, I told him we would look for something in his size if he liked. That frown immediate turned upside down. We went to the girls department. There I put the small girls dress back on the rack.
I told Jack to look if the dress had a number 8 or 10 on the tags that would closer to his size. Jack said Okay and ran over to the dress racks and started going through them. He looking at all the tags first. He chose only three dresses this time and brought them over to me. Two were like sundresses, one a yellow with spaghetti straps for over the shoulders and one with a thin strap that tied up around the back of the neck. The third dress was a little dressier; it was a pinkish red dress that had a chiffon overlay on the skirted portion. It also had a white collar with a lace trim and buttoned up the back. He put them in the cart and went to a separate rack of dresses, these were all cotton pullover dresses, and he choose two of those. One being all blue and the other a vertical red and white striped dress.
I told him that was enough now he had to decide which ones he really wanted. He chose the two pullover dresses and the yellow sundress. I had him put the other two back then he came back to where I stood waiting for him. I told him now we ready to go. He looked at me and said Mom don't I have to try them on like we do with my boy clothes. I told him that could wait until we get home. He said why the dressing rooms where right here as he pointed to them. Not wanting to cause a scene I said okay, but just one of them since they are all the same size. He grabbed the striped dress and ran into the changing rooms. I thought he would just try it on and then come back out in his shorts and T-shirt.
A lady I hadn't noticed came up to me and distracted me. She was there with her son. She said isn't it great that some boys like dresses. My son likes them too. Trying to be cordial I said yes but wasn't sure Jack would really like them. Then she ask me if I had got him proper underwear too. I said I hadn't. She handed me a pack of size 8 panties with cartoon characters on them saying her son preferred these; he had just got the wrong size. I felt a tug on my side and turned and there stood Jack in the striped dress with his shorts in his hands. Isn't he cute? The lady said, 'That dress looks very good on him'. See Mommy it fits me, said Jack. Can I wear it home?
Tossing the panties into the cart I told Jack I had to pay for it first, he needed to go change back into his shorts. He said okay and went back into the dressing room. The lady then showed me a skirt the boy had picked out for himself. She said he had enough dresses but really needed a skirt for days he wanted to wear a shirt or t-shirt. I told her it was nice. She said that young boys just don't seem to mind wearing the dresses or skirts, it must be their innocence. She said her son had been wearing them for almost a year now and he was just 10 years of age. Jack came back dressed in his boy clothes and I told the lady I really needed to go. She said she did too but I should check out this little girls store at the end of the mall. I told her I would and headed for the check-out.
I wasn't paying attention as the clerk ran everything through the scanner, she gave me the total and I just paid with my bank card. We left the store and put everything into the trunk of the car. The lady who had talked to me came out just as I was pulling out of the aisle where I had parked. I noticed the boy with her was in a pink skirt that I hadn't noticed in the store.
I sat there for a moment and watched the boy in his pink skirt. He actually looked kind of cute, was carrying a doll too. I was actually beginning to get a bit excited about seeing Jack in his dresses. Then I remembered the panties, will Jack want to wear them? I checked the rear view mirror and saw Jack playing with Bud Bear, so since I was at the mall I decided to go get Bud his own dresses and nightie went on to the Toys-R-Us store. I told Jack we need to get Bud some outfits too. Can I bring him in the store mom, he asked. I told him why don't we just surprise him.
Inside the store we went to the doll section, I remembered when I was a little girl. There all kinds of doll dresses and other outfits I hoped that today's dolls had the same choices. The first two aisles were hundreds of different dolls from babies to fashion dolls like Barbies. The third aisle had all the accessories and the clothing. I told Jack to go pick what he wanted for Bud. He looked at me and said how do I know what size to get Bud Bear? I told him to just remember how big Bud is and we'd go from that. He said okay and ran into the aisle. There were a couple of girls in the aisle as well. Jack was talking to them as the kids went through the various articles of doll clothing. Jack had picked out three dresses and a sun suit for his bear.
Then he saw the matching little girl's dress and doll dress. He took down a lilac colored dress and checked the tags. A big smile formed on his face as he turned back to me. Look Mommy! He exclaimed loudly, me and Bud can dress alike. We could be like twins. Can I get it please? Since I had already purchased him his own dresses at Walmart, I told him yes. So we put his selections in the cart and went to check out. At the checkout the girl started ringing up the doll's things, then the matching dresses. She looked at me and said some little girl is going to be very happy. Jack upon hearing her said, NO! Those are for me and my Bud. The girl just stared at him, and then totaled the amount all the time just shaking her head back and forth. She was shocked I guess that I would allow a boy to have such feminine things. I looked down at Jack and said yes; honey and you can go play in them when we get home. The girl bit her lip and just handed me the receipt. I didn't even get a thank you for shopping here. Jack carried the bag out to the car along side of me. We both got in Jack giggling and telling Bud he had a big surprise for him. He picked up Bud and hugged him.
I was upset a little by the clerk's reaction to Jack admitting the items were for him, I figured she must have went to the same schools as my mother. Thinking about what Jack had said it was true that an article of clothing had nothing to do with a person's gender or sexual orientation. The clothes definitely didn't make him a sissy no more than my jeans made me a lesbian. After getting back home I helped Jack carry the bags to his room where we hung up his new dresses and placed the panties in his dresser after removing them from the package. I told Jack I would go fix him a snack and he could play in his room
I fixed Jack some cheese and crackers, milk and of course his favorite the chocolate chip cookies. I called out to him to please come and eat. He said back be right there mommy. I know it's strange for a boy Jack's age to still be calling me mommy, but I was in no hurry for him to grow up either. I went into the kitchen to make me a cup of tea and I heard Jack getting to the table with Bud. I made my tea and went back to where Jack was busy eating his crackers. He had changed his clothes. There he sat in the lilac dress we had got from toys r us, but also Bud Bear was dressed just like him. Jack smiled up at me and said don't we look pretty mommy. I told him he always would look pretty for me, but ask him why did he put on the dress. He said that he and bud didn't get to try them on at the store 'member.
I just watched him while he ate and spoke. Does Bud like his dress I ask him? Jack replied Oh Yes Mommy, he loves it. And what do you think of wearing a dress Jack, I ask. It feels different from wearing my pants or shorts, he replied. How so? I ask him. Well mommy, he began. when I first put it on I felt necked, I felt the air all over my bare legs, then it began to feel good to have my legs completely uncovered. Then I discovered I could spin around in it and feel the air even more. I really like this feeling too. Do you think you feel like a little girl? I ask him. Oh no mommy I am a boy, girls are icky but they do smell nice. I showed Steffie all my new dresses and even the one I am wearing. Steffie said something funny though. What's That? I ask. Jack blushed a bit and said she said I could be Bud's mommy. Can I be a mommy to a bear? I laughed at hearing that. I told him that would be up to him if he wanted to play being Bud's mommy. Thinking of him calling girls 'Icky', I ask him about that. If girls are icky, I ask. Why do you play with Steffie? He said she isn't like other girls. Again I ask, How so? He said that Steffie isn't like the girl cousins he has. She doesn't always want to play with dolls; sometimes she likes to play cars and trucks too or games like a boy. So if the girls next door wanted to play with you, you would play with them. He said yes as long they just didn't want to play with girl's things all the time.
I started thinking maybe this would be a way to get Jack to open up a bit if I got him some real playmates.