Boys vs Girls (HLD 86)

16 June 2020

I have a weekly video call with my mum in the nursing home in Busselton. Set up by the chaplain during the Coronavirus lockdown but continuing for the time being, it’s lovely to be able to see her and chat, and even walk around the house with her showing her what’s been happening. I’ve even taken her for a walk along the river with me one week, and hopefully she enjoyed it as much as I did 🙂

But today, I’m also looking after my grandson for the day, and unfortunately the sounds of Grandma talking to Gaga (the name was given to her by Gorgeous George on a visit a while ago – sure, it was baby babble, but Mum thought it an appropriate title, so it’s stuck!) woke GG early from his afternoon nap.

He wasn’t a happy camper, waking up before his self regulated one hour twenty minute normal nap time. And accompanied as he is today by a snotty nose, there really wasn’t much else I could do to settle him down to continue with the video call…  apart from the rubbish truck video.

GG’s level of interest in the television until very recently has been purely on the remote controls, and “where can I put them so Grandma will never find them?”, with the toilet bowl being the ultimate achievement. But his father found a YouTube video recently, that goes for over an hour, showing rubbish trucks and nothing but rubbish trucks. GG is transfixed.

You can attract his attention briefly with other things on the tv, but not the total absorption that comes from the rubbish truck video!

I was having discussions with another grandmother at the playground this morning, and she has a girl grandchild. That grandchild likes anything pretty and colourful and can be convinced to sit and watch Frozen at any given moment, but will walk away with disinterest if there’s a car or truck on the tv.

So it begs the question about gender stereotyping and why it’s a bad thing to subject your children/grandchildren to. Has anyone ever bothered to explain this to the kids?

When my boys were little, I took the strongly worded advice from some relatives who were well versed in the psychology of it all, and bought some dolls for my boys to play with. The heads, arms and legs were promptly removed and loaded up onto the toy trucks, and that was the last we saw of the dolls.

Don’t get me wrong – they still had soft and cuddly toys and home type play stuff, but they generally speaking preferred building (or destruction) and physical activity type toys. 

So I’m seeking the comments of people who have both gender (or to be politically correct – all genders) children or grandchildren.  What’s your experience on preferred toys and activities with boys and girls? And please remember this is a judgement free zone. If you’ve regularly dressed your female children up Frozen outfits to go to the shops, I won’t say a word.

I’m just going to rescue the remote control from the toilet while you type your response.

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