Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why do we gender children? — How to approach kids neutrally

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I have three boys with long hair, and one in particular who favors bright colors and sparkles, so I have something to say about our habit to gender people.

When we go out, it seems like everyone we interact with has to say something to make it clear they have interpreted these children as girls — whether it's a cashier offering a sticker as "one for you and one for your sister" or a waiter calling them "sweetie" (which I wouldn't have even caught but that sets off Mikko's spider senses) or a stranger outright saying, "What pretty young girls you are!"

Note a few things upfront:

(a) These are not mean or rude people. They're interacting with my children and doing so in a pleasant, friendly manner. I appreciate that a lot.

(b) There is nothing wrong with being a girl. Or a boy. Or a person born as a boy who identifies partially or wholly as a girl, and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with being gender fluid.

(c) This is probably the biggest one: I'm not here calling out individuals for being problematic. Heaven knows such individuals exist, but most of our interactions are with well-meaning folks. And I know that I am one of them! I'm sure I do this type of thing as well when I awkwardly try to interact with a stranger's kid. I'm more thinking of our culture as a whole and questioning why we feel the need so strongly to gender-identify people in general and children in particular.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy America Day!



When Mikko was young, that's what he called
the Fourth of July
, and it always made me smile.



Even now, the kids like shouting out,
"Happy birthday, America!"

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Turn a baby wrap into a kid hammock

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Did you know you can repurpose a woven wrap
into an indoor hammock?

If you're an avid wrapper, probably so.

If not, let me BLOW YOUR MIND.




I learned this trick when trying to break in
and soften up a new-to-me wrap that
was still a bit too stiff.


Choose a sturdy table,
and tie a sturdy knot.

Longer wraps can run the length of the table,
shorter ones the width.

Pro tip: You'll want to tie the hammock
tighter and higher than you think it needs to be,
because it will stretch down
once someone lies in it.


Then pop in a kid or two,
and let 'em chill.