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Label whores

March 17, 2010

As a young child, it started innocently enough, with the standards — Swatch watch (it was the 80s), Converse, Bonne Bell.

Time progressed and it took on a more refined, and expensive, connotation in daily life — Apple, VW……Gucci (insert little smile here).

Labels are on everything we touch, taste and try to do in life, and it has occurred to me that the way it carries on into parenthood is no exception.

Little D was intrigued by a sweet, little dark-haired boy at the beach yesterday, so she bounced on over, in her usual friendly style – picture a sloppy, grinning, overly-friendly golden lab as a child, that basically sums her up.

“Hi, I’m Little D. What’s your name?” she chirped.

Dark-haired boy’s dad answered promptly for him, “This is Daniel. Daniel, say hi.” Pause, wait for it. “Daniel’s a little shy.”

Tsk, tsk, tsk preppy daddy in Bermuda shorts. Haven’t you read that labeling your child in such a way will only make him fall victim to the very category you’re trying to avoid? A shy kid remains muted if you make it his middle name. A hyper kid will just bounce off higher walls. A fat kid? Well, you may as well let him eat cake.

And then the label gets stickier – we look around at our fellow mamas (yes, we know we all do it) and we label away: pushover mommy, bitchy mommy, workaholic mommy (here!), baby talk mommy, too skinny mommy (not here), bakes cookies all night mommy, pushy mommy, needs a cocktail mommy, needs to stop having cocktails mommy, lets her nanny do everything mommy…

Sigh.

This post is exhausting me. You get the point. And so do I.

I think I will stick to Gucci.

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