I grew up when we were Free To Be You and Me. I was certain the only difference between boys and girls was plumbing. William could have a doll for all I cared. I felt sure that all gender differences were socialized into children. And I still think a lot of them probably are. For example, I know I’m guilty of being really tough on Monkey Boy when it comes to crying and whining partially because I cannot stand that and also, say what you want about gender enlightenment, people do not like cry baby boys and judge them harshly.
I do not claim to be an expert on gender identification issues. All I know is, I never had a brother, but now I have a son, and there are certain things about boys that are just different from girls. It’s fascinating. Case in point: since it’s Christmas and I feel compelled to prove I’m not a neglectful mother, I made goody bags for all the kids in Monkey Boy’s class. Each snowman bag included a puzzle, some chocolate, an ornament and two Christmas themed erasers.
Monkey Boy brought one of the bags home with him. Saturday, he asked if he could open it. He didn’t bother with removing the twist tie, just ripped the side out of the bag. Awhile later I heard him and Baby Daddy in the next room roaring at each other, which is not unusual. (Some days the child claims to be a dog and barks at me all day) Then I heard Monkey Boy yell, “And the Gingerbread Man will eat Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” *Big Roar*
I don’t care what anyone says, not many girls turn simple erasers into a Wild Kingdom smack down. Boys turn EVERYTHING into an imaginary death match. Oh, and I can’t find the puzzle, ornament or chocolate that were also in the bag. Although where the chocolate went is really no great mystery. He ate that Dollar Store candy.