For the past almost 7 years I have been raising boys.
Rough and tumble boys.. loud boys.. jumping off the couch boys..
Monster truck loving, tackle football playing, wresting boys..
Ninja & Samurai warrior before bedtime boys,
boys whose holes-in-the-knees mending pile looked like this yesterday.
(Plus one pair that Nolan ripped a hole in during church after this picture was taken. Yes church.
What the heck were you doing in church that you ripped a hole in your knee???)
Our house is filled with every kind of pick-up truck, monster truck, tractor, car, and remote control car you can think of. But it hasn't always been that way.. See, when Nolan was a baby I was a new parent who obviously had every solution to life's toughest parenting dilemmas.. I made sure he was developing into his own unique personality instead of boxing him into what boys are "supposed" to like by supplying him with not only trucks and tractors and footballs, but also dolls and strollers and kitchen sets. And I knew if/when I had a girl I wouldn't only buy her princess fairy costumes and tea sets and paint her nails every week, but allow her to wrestle and tackle and play in the mud. I was confident that if our kids didn't know what they were "supposed" to play with they would be much more likely to develop into well-rounded, successful human beings with a broad range of interests. I was confident our girls would like tractors just as much as boys are "supposed to" and our boys would like dolls just as much as girls are "supposed to."
Boy was I wrong..
Well.. partly. The boys did enjoy playing with dolls and strollers. That is.. derbying with them. At a very young ago they would each take a doll and stroller, start at opposite ends of the house and run as fast as they could toward each other, resulting in a fantastical crash of doll and stroller parts flying like torpedoes while elated little boys giggled with delight, only to rush back to their starting positions to do it all over again. And while Charlie's favorite color is still pink (Nolan's was too until Kindergarten when he must have learned it wasn't cool.. See? It partly worked..) there is definitely something to be said about "boys being boys."
And then along came Ella. At that point I was so used to boys I didn't give much thought to a girl being any different, especially being raised in a "boy" home. For a long time she has been content to play with pretty neutral baby toys. She'll zoom cars around every once in awhile with the boys, but most of her toys are still balls and blocks and noisemakers.. Until recently. Ella has taken a liking.. okay an obsession to baby dolls. I didn't think much of it at first as both boys went through a very short phase of liking a baby (before crashing it to its demise). I thought maybe she too would play with it for awhile, then move on.
Ella will spend all afternoon crawling around with her baby (Well, she used to only have 1. Since Christmas she now has 5..), taking its clothes on and off (okay.. making us take it clothes on and off), feeding it a bottle, hugging it, tickling its tummy and giving it kisses, or making the babies kiss each other. It seriously blows my mind. The boys never did anything like that. How does she even know what a baby is?? I know she is 2 years old, but in a lot of ways her development is more like a 9 month old or so. So how does she know? How does she know to like babies and feed them bottles (she hasn't even had a bottle herself for many months..)? How does she know to kiss them and hug them? Where does this naturally loving sense of maternalness come from? Certainly not from this home..
I am amazed by her and enjoying this "girly" stage in our lives just a little bit. Oh, and I'm only hoping for one thing.. That her obsession and loving nature with babies continues. For many months. Or at least until August... when she becomes a big sister! :)