i walked in to the bathroom the other day to find my two-year-old scrubbing the floor with my toothbrush. as i sit here and type, the two of them are in the tub together and i'm pretending not to notice that they're spitting water in eachother's faces. (as long as they keep laughing about it, I'll keep ignoring). as we looked out the window the other day longing for summer, i said, "ugh, don't you miss swimming in the pool?" and one of them replied, "Yeah. and don't YOU miss digging for worms?" now, i may be way off here, but i gotta imagine that little girls don't do this stuff.
when my sister and i were growing up, we scrubbed our TEETH with our toothbrushes, played with My Little Ponies in the bathtub, and were completely grossed out by worms. we were normal.
we have tried to be as gender neutral as possible in our house, never shying away from certain toys or colors because "they are for girls". in fact, i let them play with my makeup when they are curious, paint their nails (well, a couple of random fingers) when they tell me mine are fancy, and laugh when they try on my heels and parade clumisly around the living room.
and yet, when perusing through a toy catalog the other day, my three-year-old insisted that we turn the pink pages immediately if not sooner because "that's all the girl stuff". in a room full of all kinds of toys, neither one has ever picked up a baby doll, or something pink to play with for that matter. instead, they are instantly attracted to all things moving, making noise, and destructive. they enjoy superheroes, trucks, and robots. they build towers with the intent to knock them down, and let their race cars go at the top of the railing to see how fast they will crash in to the wall at the bottom of the stairs.
i always pictured myself as a mother who took her little girl to ballet on saturday mornings, painted her nails on sunday nights, and did her hair before school. i always thought that at this point in my life i would be picking out sparkly party shoes and dresses with matching headbands. i NEVER imagined myself wondering what in the world was just stuffed down the toilet (again), or asking who wants to go watch the diggers at the construction site down the street. and yet, now, i absolutely cannot imagine it any other way.
i could launch into a diatribe about society's subliminal pressures and gender stereotypes here (and trust me, as a high school teacher for 10 years, i could go on and on), but i won't. instead, i'll just leave it plain and simple: every single day, these boys fascinate, puzzle, amuse, amaze, and educate me. and yes, i'd be lying if i said that i never wonder what i'm missing out on by not having any princesses. but then i snap back to reality: no other girls to mess with my stuff= mama stays the princess of the house. and that i can live with. happily. And GOD, I love my boys!