The doctor said something very interesting to me during our first trip to the ER. You know, the one where I was totally panicked over gas! 🤣 Doc was really kind, he said “It’s better safe than sorry”. He also mentioned, and this stuck in my mind despite the melee, that “She already knows she is a girl”.
So, before we bothered to find out her sex in the frantic moments after birth, baby sesame knew she was assigned female. That’s some type of amazing to me! She knew, and yet she didn’t turn all-pretty-in-pink.
Before she was conceived, I stumbled upon an experiment. A baby girl was dressed up as a boy; and a baby boy was dressed up as a girl. There was a toy box full of girls toys on one end of the room, and one filled with boys toys at the other. Adults were invited to entertain each kid.
Almost every last one took the boy, disguised as a girl, to play with dolls and tea cups, while the girl, disguised as a boy, got to play with lego, trucks and puzzles. Many of the adult participants were unaware of this gender bias, until it was revealed.
Since then I have been very circumspect about my choices when it comes to shopping for a little girl’s birthday gift. I no longer gravitate towards the girls toy aisle, and tend to look for educational toys instead.
The toys I have chosen for baby sesame reflect this pattern. She has building blocks, different types of balls, puzzles and a giant car. Up until very recently, she didn’t have a single doll (bar plenty of fluffy teddy bears).
There was a fight in the village over who gets to buy her a doll. For her 1st birthday, the winner got her a pretty dolly, with purple highlights in her white hair. Baby sesame named her “baba”. The loser got her a pram, which she calls “car”. 🤣
By far; her favourite toy from the birthday stash, is a racing track set! The car lights up as it whizzes around on its glow-in-the-dark tracks.
I highlight this story, simply to make the following point. There is no such thing as girls toys and boys toys. Or, at least, there shouldn’t be! Developmentally, all babies are drawn to particular types of toys: shapes, building blocks, puzzles – things that they can have an impact on: like cold jelly or a squishy ball.
And these toys need not cost you an arm and a leg. Her favourite toy is a flattened cereal box. And she really likes the hard cardboard inside of the kitchen roller towel (she talks into it and marvels at how her voice changes)!
She also loves books. The local library is a vetitable treasure trove! She has one about words. One picture, on a thick cardboardy page, with one word, like car or dog. Recently, she received a hand me down blow-up spider man. She doesn’t like him much. I think its because of the size.
I heard this somewhere: “I am raising a human being, not a gender!”