Does everything really have to be as plain as black and white?
Momlogic's Andrea: I've been prepared for the fact that my three-year-old is going to start asking me questions that I don't know the answers to. So far I've done OK. But the other night my daughter had a query that stumped me. No, it wasn't "Why is water wet?" or "Why don't animals talk?" or "Why are your boobies so saggy?"
It was simply: "Mommy, what color is my skin?"
Hmm. Now that is a brainteaser.
My kid's sudden curiosity about color is pretty normal. She's becoming more aware of the world around her. And her new preschool teacher is African-American ... or black, but that's not politically correct. Which makes sense, because her teacher isn't black. Black is the color of licorice or "sharp" and "flat" piano keys. Using the same logic, my daughter's skin tone isn't really "white" -- the color of milk or snow. Should I tell her she's Caucasian instead? Kind of a mouthful for a three-year-old.
I wracked my brain to try to come up with an alternative to white. Peach, I suppose, is another possible choice, but I'd hardly describe her olive skin as peachy. Incidentally, "peach" is what the Crayola Crayon company changed their politically incorrect "flesh" to in the early 60s in response to the civil rights movement. (Sadly, no one's ever bothered to change the color "puce" to something that sounds less sickening.) Should I break out the paint chips for a more accurate match? How about a "Trellis Green" semi-gloss or a flat "Light Linen"?
Luckily, my daughter's attention span is short -- so she changed the subject to another pressing topic: telling me key plot points in "Monster's Inc." for the millionth time. But I still didn't have an answer. When I took her to preschool the next day, I told her teacher our dilemma. She suggested the color matches of chocolate for "black" and vanilla for "white." But do I really want to dilute multicultural awareness into ice cream flavors?
The truth is, I loathe this discussion. I want my daughter not to care one whit about skin tone. Am I going about it all wrong?