i remember my mom telling me that when i was a little tyke (is ‘tyke’ gender neutral? is it tykess for a girl? hmm. it’s relevant, wait for it) they had great hopes of keeping me as uninfluenced by gender stereotypes as possible. but, apparently, by the tender age of 12 months, i already knew at the toy store that i wanted to be in the doll aisle and definitely NOT the truck aisle.
and i’ve been observing some differences between our little boy monster and our good friends’ daughter monster. both are around age 2.
for one thing, this week henry started picking up any long stick-like toy and pointing it at us and going “SCHHEW SCHHEW” which i’m pretty certain is a shooting sound.
so i find myself saying, “no, henry. we don’t shoot our friends. we play miniature golf with our friends.” or “let’s cut the pretend fruit with the pretend knife instead of pretend shoot mommy in the head with it.”
so there’s that charming development that their daughter is not doing. what she is doing, however, is fake crying and carrying on and using all kinds of evasive maneuvers (lies?) to get what she wants. some of that wiley-ness could be that she’s older and wiser than henry, but some of it could be that she’s a small lady. and we ladies are known for our abilities to manipulate our environments in our favor. 🙂
it will be interesting to see how things develop over time. and it makes me wonder how many subconcious gender influencers we’re actually giving our kids. i mean, every time i put a football shirt on him or everytime she gets a bow in her hair are we unwitingly telling them what they should be into? how they should represent themselves?
and for the record, i’m still not into trucks. and i am into ‘girly’ things like horses and theater…but i’m also into raunchy bro flicks and drinking whiskey. and my mom probably has long since concluded that she needn’t worry about me being too girly. i remember her lecturing me before prom not about being virtuous on prom night, but about not farting openly at the dinner table on my date.
so i think we landed somewhere in the middle. 🙂