I remember reading several articles, before I had children, about how boys and girls are just the same- it's all in how you raise them. These authors and so-called "experts" contended that if you give your little girls Tonka trucks and your little boys Barbie dolls, they will all display similar behavior and essentially blur the line between the sexes. I was skeptical but, not having any children of my own, and having grown up in a house where three girls ruled a land of Barbies, ballet shoes, and glitter, I was open to the possibility that what these people said was true.
My daughter does play with trucks. She uses them to cart her dolls to and from their dance recitals.
My son does play with Barbies. He hurls their maimed carcasses against the walls and laughs hysterically.
I have decided that there is a distinct possibility that those people are full of malarkey.
Another interesting difference between my son and daughter is this:
Notice the distinct bulge in the pocket region of my son's jeans. I never had to check Adelaide's pants before I threw them in the washer. Now, if I don't check every pocket of every pair of Atticus's pants, at the end of a wash cycle, I will remove all the clothes and find the bottom of the washer tub littered with toys, rocks, and other detritus.
I often bring Atticus into the laundry room so I can ask him about the contents of his pockets. Here's how our conversation went this morning.
Me: (Holding up the phone) "Hey, Atticus, what's this?"
A: "Dat's my cell phone."
Me: (Holding up the penguin) "And what's this?"
A: "Dat's a penguin."
Me: (Holding up the piece from the game Connect Four) "What's this?"
A: "Dat's a quarter."
Me: (Holding up the piece from the game Hi-Ho Cherry-O) "What's this?"
A: "That's a apple."
Me: (Holding up the car) "What's this?"
A: "Dat's a car. A gween car!"
Me: (Holding up the star) "And what's this?"
A: "Dat's a sar! Here, I wight it fer you."
He then pushes the button on the back that makes it light up.
What I really love about going through the contents of his pockets is how it shows me that even at the age of two, he has a life entirely separate from me. We spend all day together, but I rarely catch him sneaking things into his pockets. What, in his mind, qualifies as pocket-worthy material? Why this rather than that?
I must confess that I'm a little concerned about what I'll be finding in his pockets come spring when we all start spending more time outside. I did not react well last week when I happened upon a small mound of dead lady bugs' shells in one pair of khakis.