Today S announced to me that he doesn't like girls. Except for some grown up girls (which I can only hope includes me). There are other girl-hating behaviors going on, more subtle ones. In the last few months, all of his imagined meat-eaters attack and eat only girls, never boys. This gender-discrimination is clearly something that he picked up at school, and it drives us crazy. We try to gently steer him toward more egalitarian beliefs, but those discussions usually end in angry tears (his).
This afternoon S wanted to use some stencils but was having a hard time tracing the shapes. His frustration level rose quickly and he exclaimed, "I'm a stupid drawer!" This statement shocked me. Where would he hear such a thing? School, of course.
I'm not going to homeschool. Nate doesn't want it, S doesn't want it. Even I don't want it, except for when I am seized by fear. And I try not to make life-altering decisions based on my irrational maternal fears. But I'm really starting to hate these things he brings home from school. His little mind came into this world so open and pure. Then he goes to preschool, and in addition to learning the alphabet he learns to dislike girls and berate himself. My instinct is to protect him from these negative ideas, and keeping him at home seems like a good strategy. I have a feeling, though, that such notions would sneak in somehow, try as I might to shelter him from the outside world.
Kindergarten starts in 6 months. I can already tell it is going to be an exercise in letting go. I also want to see it as an opportunity to learn to trust him, and to respect his sovereignty as an individual.