He used to get the Wiggles
Just once or twice a week
I saved them up for the days
Without an arvo sleep

But now he hears a single word
That associates with them
Hot potato, fruit salad
Hammer, dance and sing

It doesn't help that now he sleeps
Only every second day
I need to find activities
To keep his mind at bay

We paint, we draw, we walk outside
We even hang the clothes
We look at books, we play with cards
Trains, some cars, his nose

It doesn't matter what we do
Even if we've done his faves
He'll dance around and beg and plead
For Wiggles every day

And then when I say no
You've had them once this week
He lies upon the carpet
And his eyes, they spring a leak.


© Tiggy Johnson

First published in 'Motherhood', an anthology by Jasmine Publications 2005.

“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*

I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.

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* Gloria Steinem