It used to be that I got the run of the house as far as decorating was concerned. Our bedrooms were filled with girly things and the boys – all three of them – endured this mixed explosion of pinks and Hello Kitties without complaints.
As Alex grew older, however, he began to express his displeasure at having to sleep on Hello Kitty sheets or even wear Keroppi pajamas to bed. At six years old, he insisted on blues instead of pinks and willfully demanded Pokemon instead of Hello Kitty. My husband, perhaps seeing his chance at a Kitty-free zone, seized on my son’s demands and negotiated a treaty we all had to agree to. No more Kitties for the boys (except Alphonse, but only if he wanted to) and no more Kitties in the bedrooms, except for a small designated space by my side of the bed. Hello Kitty in the bathroom was a last concession, and Alex, in particular, seemed to find it funny that Hello Kitty stays with his poop.
“Freedom from Hello Kitty Oppression,” my smart aleck son calls this movement, and his reluctance to have anything to do with Hello Kitty has only grown stronger with time. When he was younger and I could still force him to accompany me, he always showed his disapproval by standing in protest by the nearest escape route. He was immune to Kitty’s charms and not even Hello Kitty Café and its food could entice him. If you look closely at the picture below of him and me at the Café (Alex was only eight then), you will see that I had to hold him by both arms to keep him from breaking free. Today, Gift Gate is still the last store he would be caught alive in.
These days, even Alphonse seems ready to break free from my Hello Kitty strings. One minute he’s cuddling my Hello Kitty dolls, the next, he’s decapitating them. He’s also given up the pink Hello Kitty comforter in favor of his red Spiderman blankie. As much as I wish otherwise, he’s starting to exercise a little bit of independence from my Hello Kitty influence. He’s not totally there yet, but one day soon, I fear that he will be.
Ah, these are the times I would have really wanted a daughter. Sigh.