Sometimes, I think too much.
I’m well aware of this problem, but there’s really nothing I can do to fix it. It just happens.
In my thirty years of thinking, I have spent a lot of time considering the toys offered to children.
What can I say? I’m more weird than you can imagine.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that traditional toys for little girls teach them nurturing behaviors, stressing relationships, cooperation, and domesticity, as well as physical beauty. Traditional toys for little boys often teach aggressive behaviors, stressing independence, competition, and conflict resolution, as well as physical strength.
I’ve worked really hard not to push Grace into any interests just because they are “for girls” (nor away from any just because they are “for boys”). Grace has a kitchen and a tool bench. She has cars and doll babies, sports equipment and musical instruments.
This year, Grace’s main Christmas present was a boatload of trains and train tracks.
Did you know that Thomas the Train is packaged in blue? Thomas himself is blue, too (because he’s a boy?).
There are a number of trains that are girls, and they are green, purple, or yellow.
I was excited to play with Grace and her trains, and so was Joe. I remember playing with cars a lot when I was little, but I never had trains. I was thrilled to push them around the smooth tracks.
In the days after Christmas, we made many train track creations.
And Grace jumped over them, not interested in the trains at all.
At one point, Grace was knocking all of the trains off the tracks, over and over. I told her that I’d take them away if she broke them, and that ended pretty quickly.
Grace doesn’t quite have the coordination nor the fine motor skills to build train tracks. I’ve been helping her with that (and the table my sister’s husband built her for Christmas should help, too).
I expected her to race the trains. I expected her to play with the trains the way I would – push them around the tracks and have them pick things up and deposit them elsewhere.
She hasn’t done either of these things.
Grace lines up the trains and talks to them. She babies them. She kisses them.
Grace drives the trains to school in her Little People SUV. She cooes. She teaches them how to choo-choo. She calls them precious.
I can’t believe it.
She’s nurturing trains.
I feel like Charlie Brown: “I just can’t stand it.”
Not really. I will let her play however she wants.
Or I’ll try really hard to accept it.
I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.
© 2009 – 2020, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.