For working parents rushing through the hustle and bustle of getting their kids dressed and ready for daycare drop off, there are a million things to remember. Diapers? Formula? Breast milk? Change of clothes? As parents work their way down the mental checklist, the last thing they need to worry about is whether or not they packed gender-specific clothing. (Well, you would think, anyway.) Unfortunately, however, for one couple from Denmark, this wasn’t the case.
As shared in a post on Reddit, Steve Rold and his wife Jessica claim they had an experience with their daycare recently that some might find to be over the line.
“A few of the older teachers at the daycare made suggestions to my wife that we should think about dressing our girl in more dresses,” Steve tells Babble. ” … or putting bows in her hair so that the other kids would know that she was a girl when my wife was there with her to pickup our 2-year-old son.”
Because apparently, that matters.
In response, Jessica created this Post-It note “bow” for her daughter to wear proudly the following day. And the Internet has been clapping enthusiastically ever since.
Like many busy parents, Steve and Jessica dress their daughter each day in whatever is most convenient. And oftentimes, that means she wears gender-neutral items that used to be in big brother’s closet, including this Jayhawks sweatshirt that pays homage to the few years the Rolds family spent in Lawrence, Kansas.
“We never bothered to find out the genders of our children ahead of time,” Rold tells Babble, “so most of what my daughter wears at the moment are hand-me-downs we bought before we knew our son was even going to be a boy.”
Rold adds that his wife wasn’t truly offended by the teachers’ remarks, but did feel the need to “push back” a bit in a humorous way.
“We weren’t really offended at all,” he clarifies. “If someone calls my daughter a boy that’s fine, how should they know?”
But Rold also says he’s noticed the difference in how others speak about his son as opposed to his daughter.
“We’re already seeing that while our son received compliments like ‘[he’s]such a fine strong boy,’ once people know our second child is female, she gets lots of comments like ‘what a beauty’ or ‘how sweet she is.’”
Hmmm and people wonder why some parents don’t feel compelled to adorn their little girls in nothing but pink frilly dresses and glitter …
“We also get a lot more when it comes to suggestions on things we should be doing with her,” Rold adds, “which is funny because we really could have used that kind of information the first time around when we were really making it up as we went along. But for whatever reason, it seems people feel more comfortable making suggestions for girls. Perhaps this is because they are trying to be protective or maybe its because of some a societal tenet that makes people feel they have a bit more dominion over girls, I couldn’t say.”
Hopefully the day will come when society will collectively recognize that girls are just as strong and smart, and don’t need to always wear pink. (And on the same note, that boys don’t always have to wear blue. Because none of it really matters.)
In the end, it sounds like the Rolds have a pretty good handle on parenting and know that as long as their kids are safe and healthy, it doesn’t matter if they’re decked out in KU gear or a bright purple tutu.