Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A pram for my boy

So I wrote a big long post wondering why we* are so comfortable giving dolls and prams to girls, but not to boys. But I decided it was too wordy and too long and I was having trouble articulating my thoughts.

So all I will say is that I have been thinking a lot lately about the toys my children play with and how I - and others - influence them with the toys we give them.

All this thinking started with a pram given to my girl for Christmas. When she is not busily pushing Horse here and there, my boy happily pushes Bug around the place. So when my sister offered me another pram, I happily took it for my boy. My girl's pram is pink so I thought I would change this one for my boy (or am I worried what "we" would think about my boy pushing a pink pram..???) so I replaced it with red and blue train fabric. My boy loves trains, as does my girl.


Then clearly on a parenting and sewing high, we went to get some jobs done and the kids took their prams. It was a fun but short trip... and we didn't get the jobs done! But I guess there is plenty of time for jobs.




*we: as in a big general "we". Of course there will be exceptions to the general we. I hope I can be one of them.

39 comments:

m.e (Cathie) said...

Then we are definitely not part of the general "we" because if you were round a little earlier you would have seen Aidan nursing his dolly.
i'd rather he play with dolls & prams than with guns, swords or things like that.
kids will play with what they are given, what they like & what their sibling has aswell. as long as they are happy & developing well then who cares what the general we think or say.
good to read your posts lovely Nikki, hope you are well

Posie Patchwork said...

Gosh, i wouldn't worry, any normal free thinking person at the shops would smile at a boy pushing a pink pram!! My husband used to be forced into girlie dresses by his big sisters, he grew up to be a big strong soldier. My son also only has 3 big sisters & while he wasn't into prams (sorry 4 children in 4 years, toy prams were just another thing to juggle) but until his first year of primary school he would say "when i grow up i'm going to have 2 cars, one covered in rainbows & one covered in lovehearts, because they are my favourite things in the world" & all sorts of things about loving the colour pink. I loved it, he was gentle & kind, his teacher LOVED it too as he was the sweetest boy in class. While he's outgrown much of the pinkness, today i saw him stand up to 2 much bigger boys at the pool who were taking his diving toys & throwing them further away. He made them return them to him, apologise & get well out of his way, all with a glare & speaking like be bloody meant it. I call that self assured & clever. I then watched these boys have a punch up & their mother yelling from his big bottom plonked on the grass!! So consider this, your lovely kind nurturing ways have created a lovely young man & the world doesn't need any more thugs does it?? Good on your son for wanting to push a pram - does your husband push one, does anyone look at him strangely?? Love Posie

Market Girl said...

Just go with the flow, Kids will be Kids. If it fun let them do it!

Stephanie and Carlos said...

Aahh yes... the 'do we* let the boys dress up as fairies or persuade them to be Bob The Builder?' You totally enhancing their play and interest... isn't that what parents are meant to do? (among a list of things) I think that is a BIG FAT YEAH!!

Who hasn't seen a man pushing a pram? Do we* think him as odd or strange. Carlos has a whooping huge mohawk and pushes 2 kids around... Nothing strange there... NOPE!!!

Bear cries until it's his turn to push the pink pram and insists that Bubble sit in it. I am not sure how much longer Bubble can sit in it though.

You Rock at being a Mum!! I think I should cut back on my coffee intake...

xo Steph

Liesl (Hoppo Bumpo) said...

Wow, you did a great job with recovering the pram Nikki - it looks fantastic. Don't your two little darlings look so cute, pushing their prams?

My boys also have a little pram and a baby to push round, which they love. (Though alarmingly some of the pushing is accompanied by the words crash and bash!)

dillpickle said...

I'm really enjoying your posts at the moment. They make my brain work a bit differently to usual (for now!).

I find the gender-role stereotyping thing complex and frustrating! I've had to admit in recent years that there's probably more 'typical' gender differences than I'd like, but I still very much believe that SOOOO many are cultural rather than innate. I'm a big fan of girls playing with cars and trucks, and boys playing with dolls and prams, and neither girls or boys playing with guns, thank you very much! If enough of us refuse to give in to cultural gender stereotyping pressure, maybe we WILL see change in the future. There's always hope :-)

Katie said...

Kids will like what they like. Ollie's favourite is his tea set. Attempting to find a tea set that wasn't pink and covered in flowers was a cahllenge. Not that there's anything wrong with that ;)

Watching him attempt to breastfeed his Teddy was amusing...

june at noon said...

First, I love the new blog banner. So great.

Second, my son loves to play with his sister's dolls, hair accessories, etc. Who cares? It keeps him busy! ;) The only trouble for him is that my daughter really does love pushing her dolls around in the stroller, so he doesn't often get a turn.

clare's craftroom said...

My boy was given a little pram too , he soon found it was very handy for transporting rocks . Kids choose their own way of play they just need the opportunities and your kids are obviously being given the chance to just be kids , love it and good on you !

One pair of Hands said...

You are such a clever Mum. We do tend to make molds and push our kids into them and its fascinating to watch them choose their own mold once hormones step in to make them the adult they will become.

Sarah said...

That is brilliant! I just love the photo of them both pushing their prams. Yup our boys did the same with the pram I had as a child. They even managed to fit themselves into it till I put a stop to it - it was groaning under their weight.

We offered dolls etc to them and they were always ignored or tossed away!

Bianca Jae Makes Stuff said...

I love a man that pushes a pram! Great job with the revamp and great job with the parenting ;) You rock! xox

Christina Lowry said...

I know! I saw the children's kitchen at IKEA and loved it - http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/20164279
and suggested to the other half of the family that we all put in for it for Cohen's next birthday, Christmas or whatever. I was told very quickly "Dear, boys don't play with kitchens, kitchens are for girls". I nearly lost it. The feminist in me was fuming. What can you say?! "But the majority of chefs are men, right?" I don't get it? So if we have a girl and we buy it, boys aren't allowed to play with it?

My Mum said that as soon as Cohen goes to kindy the first thing he will play with are the 'girls toys' because they are different to his toys. Other peoples toys are always more interesting to children than there own.

We also have a no swords, guns etc. policy. As far as I am concerned they are not toys, they are weapons. Why do we give children weapons to play with but not prams? Good on you Nikki, thanks for being the exception and encouraging us! xx

Lyn said...

my little guy who turns two in a week and a half has the exact same pink pram that your daughter has, and has had it for the last 8 months. I have to say I didn't even hesitate to buy him the pink pram - it was the only one I could get, so big deal really!

He loves it. His favourite colour at the moment is pink (changing every day of course). He loves trucks, playing with my fabrics, picking flowers, cuddling his teddies, playing pretend kitchen, going on adventures. A nice healthy mix I think.

Thea said...

It really is up to the parents to not make gender roles so specific, isn't it? My boy used to carry a doll as a toddler around and my girl use to love filling a toy truck with gravel. I was never worried although their father used to freak out during the doll-carrying phase. I had to laugh at Posy's comment as I came home one day to find that my own mother had dressed my son in a dress and ribbons in his hair because she had wished for a grand-daughter at the time.

Now both kids are grown and the boy is quite masculine and the girl is very girly and doesn't even have a driver's licence.

Cath from chunkychooky said...

I tried so hard to keep her from the pink and sparkles and most of our friends are like minded so it was easily avoided until this very most recent of brithdays... that pink sparkely gene kicks in at three no matter what you do but thats OK, Busy plays with whatever she feels like, we have loads of trucks and dolls so she just decides at the time I think, she does love her train set. And cooking set, kitchen etc- well she only ever sees her dad in the kitchen so as far as she is concerned Dads cook. Brillinat job on the pram...

Becky said...

God bless children having fun! I wanted to knit the baby boy a pixie hat and the Mr of the house turned his nose up at the idea. I am going to do it anyway :)

beccasauras said...

Ditto to all the above comments, by the way.

Working in an Early Parenting Centre, you can imagine I see it all- I am shocked daily that in our society parenting is still seen as 'women's work'. I get offended with comments about toys etc shaping a child's sexuality. Gentics and nature do that, wow, if only we had the power to turn people gay!!!!!
My daughter's toys were all from the op shop, so it was whatever was there that she liked. And as she didn't play with much of it for long, preferring drawing etc, I saved a bucketload.
Do the twins have a dollshouse? I have one to give away. Oh, are you coming th Craft Bonanza tomorrow night? We'll chat then. See ya!

Liam's Mummy said...

I love your new blog header. I can't believe you changed the cover on the pram! It looks great!

Cathy (Tinniegirl) said...

You are both an exception, and exceptional.

I love the new header too. It's fabulous.

Tania said...

1. When are you going to sew something SIMPLE? Like a skirt with an elasticated waist or some such? Sheesh, Louise, there is no limit chez Cardigan household.

2. Those kids just keep getting cuter.

3. Isn't it weird what gets foisted on a kid? All they want to do is play. They're not thinking about anything other than 'Hey, this is fun!'. It's about time the adults with the hang ups got with the programme.

Sally said...

My son and daughter each have a "baby" that they push in a pram, dress, feed, bath and generally take care of. Isn't that how we learn - from mimicking others?
When my daughter was born my son would breastfeed his baby as I feed my daughter. It was a pretty special time for us all. Learning how to nurture.
I was planning to make my son some new dolls clothes for his third birthday but I ran out of time... I'll make them "just because" soon.
At the moment his favourite film is "Tinkerbell" - some people pull a funny face when they learn that... why? It's a cool flick!

Love your pram revamp... but remember boys can like pink too!

Karin said...

My eldest favorite colour is pink. My girl's favorite colour is green. The both play with lego and a doll stroller. But with that stroller, I have to admit I see a difference. He uses it as some sort of race car. And he launches dolls or cars from it. She on the other hand tucks her dolls in, sings a song for them and looks angry when her big brother makes too much noise (the dolls need their sleep!!). Oh well. I am sure they will grow up to be wonderful people. Whatever their favorite colour might be.

yardage girl said...

All good comments. My view is pretty simple - kids like things that move and/or make a noise and are fun - who cares what that ends up being as long as they are happy and safe! Little imaginations can make a "toy" out of almost anything. Nice work on the pram too. Nic xx

Buttons by Lou Lou said...

My boys have a little red pram and a 'boy' doll. We bought it when our second little boy was arriving so the first could do mummy type things as well. He wasn't so interested then but it gets plenty of use now.

michelle said...

so true nikki, plenty of time for jobs.
i took the liberty of nominating you for a sunshine award because your blog brings sunshine to my day. i have no expectation of comttment it is simply a thumbs up to you

CC said...

The photo of your kids pushing their prams is so cute. Your post made me think about the toys we have at home. I was surprised to find that they are so far so gender neutral (animals, blocks, shapes, Fisher Price musical things...) I'm sure it won't last.

Which leads me to gender stereotypical clothes... People freaked out when Tilly wore a blue wondersuit. Not to mention Jack and his predeliction for a certain pink shrug.

I love your new banner, too.

Polka Dot Rabbit said...

fantastic stuff!

Mel said...

Yep my little man only recently loved nothing more than to take his baby to the shops and would sit her on his lap in the trolley and for a spot of breast feeding now and then. And even though he may have been wearing stereotypically boys clothes (blue) and had stereotypically boys hair (short) sooo many people would see the doll and say, "oh isn't SHE cute with her little dolly"! It was as if it just didn't compute!

Go the pram I say!

Gina said...

So in our house we have a purple pram with butterflies. And no girl in sight to blame it on!

MiM said...

My little boy loves to use his sisters dolls pram, however he does tend to push trucks around in it instead of dolls! funny fellow:)

Jolie said...

gorgeous recovering job!

We have a hand-me-down doll stroller here too, and it gets used at least as much by Cole as by Immy. And don't get me started on them breastfeeding their babies...my heart still aches a little at the sight of my too, sitting side by side, making *drinking* noises and nursing their wee *babies* with such care and attention (only to then fling them onto the floor by the leg. ahem)...the general *we* highly annoys me sometimes - how are boys supposed to grow into men who are caring and empathetic and comfortable in being nurturing if we don't give boys the opportunity to experiment and express themselves. And seriously, they're just little kids (though I confess sometimes I baulk at Cole wanting me to paint his toenails when Immy asks for hers to be done - a new *treat* discovered thanks to older cousins!...but I do it anyway...TG for very light and vaguely sparkly polish!) Okay, off my (overly lengthy) soapbox now! :)

tricia said...

:-)

craftschmaft said...

Oh the pram looks gorgeous! I have bought many a pink thing for my little boy (well except clothing) but I'm afraid people really do react - why is it OK for a little girl to have a blue sippy cup but not OK for a boy to have a pink one? Having said all that I haven't bought him a pram, which he would love, because I couldn't get one that wasn't pink. Why didn't I think of changing the fabric? Clever lady!

Sandrine said...

I used to laugh at boys and girls fighting for pushing prams around at playgroup... they ALL love it until it is time to help mum pushing the trolley's job at the supermarket and then Noone wants to do it:)!!Not fair:))))heehee

Cindy said...

At christmas Caleb was more interested in POppy's pressies than his own. It didn't bother me at all but Glen was a bit funny. I think that perhaps it is easier for Mum's to love the nurturing side. He use to love fabric shops and sewing too. Having said that Poppy would break his right arm for a car too. I think that you can have the best of both worlds inadvertently when you have both boy and girls toy around.

Kylie said...

Have a little boy her that pushes a pink pram - I am not concerned and he has a doll too (his name is Max - named by his loving big sister:)

Dont worry to much - I dont care what others think anymore.

Treacle Beak said...

Great job on the pram, Nik. Isn't E only practising to be a Daddy, like little girls play "Mummies"??

black cardigan said...

My little girl loves to use his sisters dolls pram, however he does tend to push trucks around in it instead of dolls! funny fellow:)