Back in the day, way back like when I was about 9-years-old, I wasn’t the cool and hip person that I think I am now!! You may not believe it dear reader, but it is true, I was young and naïve! I was very interested in some things that may not be described as particularly “boyish”. I had a couple of hobbies that, even at 9, I remember a few people saying, “if he keeps up this nonsense he’s bound to be a hairdresser!” (Not sure what the problem is with hairdressers but I’m glad that didn’t work out because, to be fair, I get fierce hair envy these days!) So, what were these pastimes that other people found ‘odd’? Well I suppose the biggest of them would have placed me in the kitchen; I liked to cook - starters, main courses and belly busting sandwiches to clog arteries… but what I really liked to do was bake. I loved the science of it, the measurements, the fact that if you didn’t get the recipe right you didn’t have anything at the end of it that you could eat. Everything had to be exact. I got pretty good at it too, I was making Pavlova, meringue nests, carrot cakes, Victoria sponges. I’d make them for family and friends but it wasn’t really noticed until I started bringing cakes to my teachers (I realise now how uncool this was!) that other people started to notice my newfound hobby!
After a couple of cake sales a few teachers, who were interested in encouraging me to keep it going, asked me to bake for them and it all went downhill from there…! At every turn, I was mocked for enjoying this 'girly' pastime & other kids told me if I liked doing 'girls things' then I must be a girl!!!! I never understood why there was a difference between “girls’ things” and “boys’ things” (this only got worse when I started to crochet blankets for my triplet cousins… but that a whole other story! Hahaha, I should have learned my lesson from the baking!) Anyway, the constant abuse and the goading at the hands of my classmates made me give up my love of baking… but not the eating of baked goods. I LOVE cake!!
I didn't have the courage to pursue my passion then and I really don't want this to happen to my daughter! Now that I'm older, I decided to try my hand at baking again and it was great fun. I made an absolute mess of the place. It was SO much fun that a went to IKEA and bought a LOAD of kitchen items for Jade. We had so much fun, we thought that we’d take a few pics and dress her up as a chef to see what she’d do – and she didn’t disappoint! She was flipping fish (not real fish), smelling the produce like a real chef (you can actually get toys that are scented, who knew!) it was a great experience being in the little kitchen together! However, my return to the kitchen didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped… unfortunately it turns out that my passion was just that & I have no baking skills left in me whatsoever!! But it was so much fun anyway and hopefully the experience helps to hammer home the message that gender roles are created by people who don't know any better. We can all be anything
, and in the process of teaching Jade that I am learning a valuable lesson myself! Now, let’s see if I can still crochet a pair of socks…!?