We're having an interesting time with Jackson's gender identification. In other words, he really wants a pink Powerpuff Girls backpack. He doesn't even really need a backpack, but if he did I'd certainly favor a pink one with Powerpuff Girls on it. I'm sure his teachers would be neutral about it, so it would be left to his little preschoolyard friends to punch him in the nose and call him a fag urge him to explore more masculine accessories.

Anyway, as a practical pre-rainy season compromise I bought him a frilly green umbrella with little brown bears on it. Then the revelation occurred to us all when we watched Singin' in the Rain. When Gene Kelly starts a-splashin', Jackson's yelling for his umbrella. He tries to open and close it and dance around it like Gene does, and ends up doing a little butt-shake foot-stomp twirl boogie. Next, in the big "Gotta Dance" number, he needs a hat. We don't have a child-size boater (where would you get one, anyway? Brooks Brothers Baby? The Turnbull & Asser Tot?), so I give him a baseball cap.

Then when Cyd Charisse shows up, sitting there with her legs up to here and that eye-poker cigarette holder, Jackson turns up puffing Daddy's fat Mont Blanc (which, because of its proportions, looks like an enormous Cuban cigar in his stubby little hand), expertly holding it between his first and second fingers. In the grand finale he's standing on our coffee table working the twirly umbrella, the hat, and the cigar/pen, costumed in a t-shirt covered with pizza stains from dinner because I just couldn't be bothered to give him a fresh one. The effect is that of a pint-sized Oscar Madison imitating Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis.

I ask you, what could be better?

Oh, I know: watching him walk around in fake maribou slippers.