Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trucks and Dolls and Everything in Between

This is my little niece, playing with Mr. T's trucks today. And this illustrates one of the very things I love about having both a girl and a boy.

When I was growing  up, I only had a sister and we had tons of "girl" toys - dolls, doll houses, doll clothes, etc. It was all dolls and stuffed animals all the time. And to my parents credit, I don't think that either Honore or I would have ever ASKED for a truck. Or a train set. Or even legos since back then (way back then...) lego's were mostly for boys. Just like I don't think Mr. T would ever ASK for a princess doll or Miss E would ever ask for a race car for her birthday. But, my children do gravitate naturally to their specific gendered toys, for the most part, so our house has both fire trucks and princesses, a bat cave and dolls. And this means that both kids get to play with both things. Miss E loves running the ambulance to calls and Mr. T drives his sisters princess carriage around. Lately I have seen the princess castle and the bat cave set up next to each other as their own little "city". Miss E used to say to me that she liked "boy" stuff and my response is always "there is no boy stuff or girl stuff, only stuff" and she is starting to repeat that to Mr. T.

My niece and her brother are the same - ponies and construction trucks, doll houses and building sets. Sometimes I feel disappointed that as kids get older, toys seem so split more clearly along gender lines but I have found, if you look carefully, that there are fun lego sets that either boys or girls would like, same with building stuff, vehicles and dolls. The thing about having one of each though, is that it doesn't feel forced. I am not handing my daughter a fire truck and telling her to play with it just so she plays with something besides dolls. Instead she and her brother play together all the time and just mix their toys.

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