Before Miles' birthday I let it be known in a not-so-subtle way that I wanted him to have a doll. I think the conversation with my sister went something like this: "What does Miles want for his birthday?" "He wants a doll. He told me."
So, being the best Auntie in the world, she obliged.
I think I was more excited than Miles was when we opened it up on his birthday. I may or may not have squealed.
She got him the cutest little baby doll (darker skin, of course) that can also go in the bath. The doll came with some bath toys and a little diaper that can get wet in the tub. We haven't actually taken her in the tub yet because Miles has now decided that she needs to sleep in the crib with him. Soooo sweeet.
Now, I am delighted that he has taken a liking to this doll. I didn't think it would happen because I'm pretty sure the first thing he did with his doll when we got home is throw her across the room. Ummm, yes. That is exactly what happened. My boy has a good arm.
So when he wanted "Baby" (as he calls her) to take a nap with him the other day I just about cried.
And so did Grant.
But for very different reasons.
Here's the deal: I've said it before on this blog that I am not a feminist. I don't think that traditional gender roles are evil. I just like to think that kids can play with all kinds of toys. What's so wrong with teaching Miles to be gentle around babies? I think nothing. I wanted him to have a doll for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is because if there is a baby in the house again someday we can start to teach Miles how to behave around a little one. (BTW, this is not a hint that we are adopting again right now, don't get any crazy ideas.) And I DO think that it's sort of limiting to only give trucks to boys and dolls to girls. I got Miles a play kitchen for that same reason. We live in a world where traditional gender role lines are becoming less and less valid, and more and more blurred. I dig that.
Grant, on the other hand, is not so sure how he feels about Miles wanting to snuggle his "Baby". I don't think it makes him uncomfortable, but there is naturally a little part of him who just has to let some of those preconceived notions of what boys and girls should be playing with go. He is warming up to this idea, let's just say that ;)
I have a friend who has three boys and her oldest is in dance. I have to admit that the first time I saw a picture of him with his dance class with all the little girls in tutus around him (and him in tights) I recoiled a bit. I will be the first to admit that I was a little taken aback by the site of this little boy doing such a NON boyish activity. But now that I think about it I really applaud his mom for being brave enough to allow him to participate in the activities that he wants to participate in. No judgment. Just good parenting, in my book.
If Miles wanted to put on some tights and go to dance class I can honestly say that it would give me pause. It would give Grant a heart attack. I guess we will just cross that bridge if and when we get to it. (Those of you who know Miles IRL are laughing right now at the thought of Miles in tights. He is such a rough and tough BOY. In a good way.)
What kinds of toys do you give your kids? How do you feel about toys and gender roles??