i have a darling 3 year old boy. he LOVES his blankie and could carry it around everywhere. but, we've limited it only to the house. for the last 8 or so months, he LOVEs wrapping his blanket around him like a "skirt". i thought this was cute at first but now, he does it ALL THE TIME. my question is...should i IGNORE this completely and try not to teach him about "boy" and "girl" stuff--is it destructive to label stuff for a girl or boy? i know this doesn't seem like a big deal to most people, but it really has started to bug me...what do you think i should do, if anything?!
First, I would say, don't really worry. Three is the time they really start to mirror their world. And you are his world. So, wearing a skirt doesn't mean anything to him. In fact, I would avoid saying things like, "skirts are for girls" because it only draws attention to it and he probably doesn't really understand the concept of girls vs. boys (sure he can point out girls and boys, but it doesn't mean what it means to us). So, he could be doing it out of exploration. ie. When I do this - mommy notices in a different way then when I finish a puzzle, hmmm.
Second, I want to validate how you feel. Its ok that you think about it a lot. And of course, you'll love him no matter what. You will just want to be careful about how you express your worries. So, I've tried to think of some solid ideas...I'm thinking that you could try being positive. For example, my little boy's favorite color was purple - purple, purple and more purple. And I would always say, "What a royal color" - because purple is indeed a royal color. So, when he wears it like a skirt you could say, "You look like a knight wearing a tunic - wow, you really make a great knight." Just think of all the kilt wearing men and tunic wearing kings, knights, peasants. Just express it the way you would like him to have it perceived.
Third, if its time to start making the blanket smaller, Kevin Henkes has a great book about a little boy named Owen who takes his blanket everywhere. Its a cute book where the mom ends up cutting the blanket into four smaller pieces so that he can take them everywhere. Its a cute idea, when the time is right. Its also an un-skirtable size if that's a solution that would work for you.
Fourth, really, don't worry! And don't label girl/boy stuff - they start doing it themselves at four or five anyhow.
Anyhow, good luck! Thanks for asking!
Painting: "Portrait of Artist's Son" by Järnefelt
Knights Templar Tapestry