Slugs and snails, sugar and spice

I'm going to go out on a limb here and wade into the John Lewis kids clothes labelling debate. If you haven't heard about this, basically John Lewis have announced they are getting rid of the "boys" and "girls" labels on their kids clothes. All the clothes will be in one area and your child can just chose what they like best. Great idea and no big deal, right? WRONG! The comments sections of the internet have gone wild!

Apparently this move by John Lewis is political correctness gone mad, confusing to kids, and trying to promote a gender neutral society. But John Lewis haven't said any of that, have they? Please do correct me if I'm wrong, but the statement from John Lewis that I saw was that they didn't want to "reinforce gender stereotypes" and wanted to "provide greater choice and variety" to customers, not that they wanted everyone to become genderless. Surely there's nothing new about girls clothing with "boys" stuff on it, or boys clothes in "girl" colours either. Just last weekend Benjamin debuted a very cute, pink, polo shirt with bikes on it.

Last year Charlotte had a gorgeous Boden dress and a Next dress with dinosaurs on, and just today she wore a tshirt (Boden again) with a stegosaurus on. All from the "girls" sections.

We have always tried to be an open household when it comes to the kids choices. Since she was very small Charlotte has had access to dolls, cars, bug hunting and explorer kits, princesses, colouring, gardening tools, Duplo, trains, bikes...the list goes on. And now Benjamin is here, he also has access to this diverse range of books and toys. I absolutely loath the fact that many toys come in 2 colourways: gender neutral primary colours, or pink. When it came to those choices for Charlotte I always chose the neutral option. So many people said things like "Ah, that's wise. If you have a second they might be a boy." That completely misses the point. I didn't make those choices so that a boy wasn't made to play with pink toys - God forbid! Charlotte did not need a pink walker, or easel, or pushchair, or highchair. They were perfectly functional in the original colours they were made in. Having said that, Benjamin would have coped with a pink walker, or easel, or pushchair, or highchair. He wouldn't have cared less. He loves his massive yellow Tonka truck, but equally enjoys pushing the pink Barbie car around. He likes chasing me with a plastic crocodile shouting "snap snap", but he also cuddles and kisses dolls and pats them gently on the back. Does this make him any less of a boy? No! Is Charlotte less of a girl for favouring wellies, loving climbing and traipsing through mud? No! They just do what they enjoy, and we let them. Same goes for clothes. If Charlotte wants to wear a dress, I'm happy with that. I'm also happy if she wants to wear her dungarees. When Benjamin comes to forming opinions on what he wears, I'll let him do the same. Surely that's just letting your kids wear what they feel happy and comfortable in, and how can that be a bad thing?