November 29, 2006

Dolls for Boys

Nathaniel wholly embraces gender stereotypes. He won't drink out of a pink plastic cup or use the yellow token when he plays Sorry. He loves Concentration, but not the Disney Princess edition. He still plays with trucks, but never dress-up or “house.”

Fortunately he hasn't yet learned all the intricacies of machismo. He still holds my hand in public, and he still sings in the car. . . . well, pirate songs and Christmas songs anyway. Specifically Christmas songs that don't contain any girlish words like “love.”

You can imagine my surprise last night when I heard Jessica propose that they play dolls.

“Yeah,” said Nathaniel eagerly. “Let's play dolls.”

They sat down in front of the doll house, and Jessica began narrating with authority. “I'll be the Mommy and the Daddy and the Sister, and you be the Baby. It's time for lunch. What should we make for lunch today? Let's look in the refrigerator and see . . .”

Meanwhile, Nathaniel had picked up the baby doll and stuck it head first into the doll house's toilet. He quietly waited for Jessica to notice.

“ . . . we have chocolate cake and ice cream and pasta and – Hey, Baby! You're not supposed to play in the toilet!” In pretended indignation, she plucked the baby out of the toilet and hurled him violently back into his crib.

Then she fell on her back laughing, reliving her brother's wit: “Silly Baby! You don't play in the toilet!”

By the time she sat up, she had to pluck the baby from the refrigerator. Then he was on the bookshelf . . . driving the car . . . hanging upside down from a window. Each time Jessica fell over in belly laughs until Nathaniel would start to giggle too.

I suppose that's how real men play dolls.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Oh my, that is such a precious story! Gotta love those little blessings, eh?