Boys. Hmm I don’t know much about these creatures. I was raised an only child until my parents split aged ten and then I developed three new sisters. I do have two nephews one of whom I was very close with while he was younger but his interests were singing, dancing and acting so the whole “boy thing” still passed me by.
My boy is 18 months now and is into everything, seriously, I’m not one of these people who say it meaning he empties my handbag now and again. This boy is like a whirlwind of curiosity. It is like he has a compulsion to empty, explore and basically do everything I wish he wouldn’t. When we’re out he is grabbing, grabbing, grabbing and in fact today he managed to pull a pushchair down off the display in Boots (I blame them for it not having the brake on personally!)
People say, “Oh he’s such a boy” but what does that mean? It’s not like he has testosterone pumping around his body making him angry and aggressive he’s just a little monster constantly looking for the next thing to explore and destroy.
I doubt people would say “Oh he’s such a boy” when they see him playing with his favorite toy vacuum cleaner, or even better Mama’s vacuum cleaner. What about when he puts my handbag over his shoulder and drags it along the floor? Or when he found my mascara and then proceeded to poke himself in the eye with it? Probably not.In this day and age we are still so gender concerned? Maybe it’s because as parents we know in out heart of hearts our children would have a more “straightforward” life if they don’t have to worry about sexuality or gender issues. Many women joke that they’d love a gay son to go shopping with and not worry about him knocking up his teenage girlfriend etc, but what if that child were bullied because he were gay? What if he didn’t develop the bond where he could tell his Mum about his feelings. It’s hard enough being a teenager without extra worries, I remember (vaguely.)
My boy flips from being a thug smashing things and shaking his fists in temper to pushing the vac around and brushing his hair. Why is a vacuum or an iron or any of the other ‘home role play’ items still seen as feminine? Is it really out of this world to expect boys to be able to wash and clean for themselves? I was pretty sure this was 2013 not 1913. Times have moved on, if girls are allowed to have cars…even Barbie has a car, then boys should be allowed to clean!
I try not to stereotype my daughter, OK she has some beautiful dresses which she’ll wear on special occasions but her toys have (although limited by her Autistic preference) always been following her lead;
- Anything which flashes lights and sings
The boy has recently acquired an interest in real life big mechanical things such as diggers thanks to a building site at the end of the road. This has led onto an interest in related toys. I secretly did have this little voice in the darkest part of my mind did a little happy dance that he was interested in trucks etc. I reprimanded myself immediately for being so silly but I think having one child who, love her as we do, doesn’t fit in with the normal society confines it was nice to see my son playing with something in the same way as his peers. For the record I do not think he is now destined to have the wife, 2.4 children and a dog because he likes trucks. He can do as he pleases and quite frankly I hope his fascination with cleaning continues long enough for him to start helping me!
Edit: I saw a little girl today run up to a display and say “Ooh Tree Fu Tom” at which point her mum quickly moved her on joking to her friend “She needs to like Hello Kitty, her party is all Hello Kitty.” OK, she was being flippant but it simply highlights the effect of social norms and marketing on our brains as parents, not just our children’s.