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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

avoiding pink and beyond...

As Kharin gets older - now she's 2 years and 4 months old - people are starting to make small talk with her.  One of the standard questions they pick to engage the child is, "what's your favorite color?"  to which Kharin just gives a blank stare.  At this point, she doesn't know what they're talking about. 
Every time I hear that question and watch the "huh...?" form in my toddler's head, I find myself being annoyed.  Then I wonder why. 

I realize after a bit of lemon ginger tea and inner reflection, the question feels to me a bit limiting.  Words are designed to communicate; by naming objects, feelings, and abstract ideas and everything.  But, once the thing is named, it is binding.  Like, the moment you name the feeling you are having "sadness," that's all you will be feeling. Sadness.  If you didn't name it, it might have been 75% sadness, 8% yearning, 6% love, 5% anger, 3% ennui, and 3% caffeine.  Words are tricky like that.  Similarly, by saying your "favorite" color out loud, you are in essence deciding the color that is to be designated as your "favorite", and that is binding as well.  It is a bit of self-fulfilling-prophesy.  I like blue, therefore I like blue.  If you don't pick one color, you are free to like whichever color you like at any moment in time.  

I am also afraid of the seemingly inevitable "I love pink and I want everything to be in pink" phase Kharin may plunge into.  I will see what colors happen to my toddler in the next few years.  As of now, she wears whatever I put her into, and there is no pale pink in her wardrobe.