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Jul 25 2011

Everything I Haven’t Taught You

By at 10:46 am

When my oldest child, Hot Shot, was 3, her active vocabulary included the word “stereotype.”

“No one can have two moms,” her little friend told her. They were sitting side by side on 3-year-old sized toilets at preschool, overheard by their teacher in the next room.

“No,” said Hot Shot, certain as a statistician. “That’s just a stereotype.”

Her teacher was surprised, but we weren’t. My partner and I had been schooling her in such things for years. Deconstructing her picture books with feminist, anti-racist critical analysis. If pressed she probably could have given a brief overview of the three major phases of the civil rights movement, a short lecture on the use of Mitzrayim rather than Egypt at the Passover table, and a comparative critique of her five favorite authors.

She was, after all, our first child.

Now is it me, or does the parenting get a little more lax on children two and three? Our second, Moon Boy, now 3-and-a-half, is exactly the age Hot Shot was when she made her toilet-seat stereotype remark, and I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve taught him anything. Seriously: he doesn’t even know his shapes. Read the rest of this entry →


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