Oct. 13th, 2009 10:19 pm
aphrodite: (Default)
[personal profile] aphrodite
I'm home again, from far north Queensland, where all the roads seemed to be dusty highways and everyone seemed to smoke like chimneys (which is to say: permanently).
It is such a blessed relief to sit down to a meal without the stench of old ashtrays wafting from my dining companions, to not be concerned about what my son is imbibing with that dropped food item from the floor under the patio table. I fight myself constantly, to strike the balance between helicopter and involved parenting, but never more so than when family is around. I think, as a parent, I have far less influence and input into my son's development than I would like. Everything else around us conspires to fight me, to make him unthinking, gender-role normative, unseeing of his privilege, and I can feel so terribly overwhelmed, so lacking in ability and energy and the emotional buffer-space I need to be able to push back (I'm still fighting myself on using spoon theory to refer to my mental/emotional state w/r/t the effects of my depression and anxiety. Food for thought in the comments linked, though).

My father bought my son a 'Lock up Your Daughters" t-shirt, as a belated birthday present. I am so, so terrible at hiding strong feelings, and I think my eyes glazed a little as I put it on the pile of clothes and thanked him. I wonder how many more such things the Tiny Tyrant will acquire in the next few years? And what's the best way to address this sort of crap with him, when I feel too defeated and repeatedly rebuffed to go at it with the family member in question, once again?

Date: 2009-10-13 04:10 pm (UTC)
mossy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mossy
I hear you. I really do. I don't know what to say, or what to do myself, but I hear you.

Date: 2009-10-15 01:04 am (UTC)
crystalina: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crystalina
You know, I relate to the difficulty of dealing with such issues within a family. I don't think you need to hide your feelings, but you also are not obligated to mount the soapbox yet again. My best guess at an ideal response (as though one actually exists...) is to succinctly express (in a planned, perhaps single-sentence response) your distaste for the gift but your appreciation (on some level) for the sentiment. Perhaps something like, "While I appreciate the sentiment and your desire to give your grandchild an item you find [cute/appropriate/whatever], this particular statement goes against the anti-sexist values with which I'm trying to raise my child. I would prefer gifts that reflect our values."

Or there's the Crystal-approach, smile and nod and turn it into art or a rag later. =/


aphrodite: (Default)
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