Thursday, June 11, 2009

Boys and Girls, Stuffed Animals and Dolls

I was never much of a doll girl. Animals were the way to my heart, especially little animals. I collected tiny porcelain animals for years. And do you remember fuzzy bears? They stood about an inch high, came in every color and were sometimes were stuck on the end of a pencil? My prize fuzzy bear was from Safeway -- he was light brown and held a teeny pack of Reese's peanut putter cups. I loved stuffed animals too. I remember on my first trip to New York -- I was probably 7 -- standing in FAO Schwartz sniffling as I told a stuffed puppy how sorry I was that I had to leave him there and that I'd try my very best to come back for him. (Incidentally, I did come back for him, named him 5th Avenue, loved him for years, and then put him in the dryer where his fur melted...)

When Silas was born, I awaited the day that he would LOVE stuffed animals too. I made them talk to him, kiss him, nuzzle him, walk along his crib rail. He'd laugh. Sometimes he'd even grab one and hug it. For a second. And then drop it and turn to a a car, truck, train -- something plastic or wood. This wasn't animal love. When Eden was born, a friend gave him a boy doll with blond hair who sucks his pointer finger just like Silas. I thought if he would love any doll, this was the one, especially once a real baby infiltrated the family. But no, all baby Charlie's gotten are a quick hello's here and there.

Then Eden was born and turned one.

For her birthday she got a doll. It turns out that baby dolls make Eden BEAM. She squeals, hugs her baby, carries it with her, sleeps with it. She put it in a play shopping cart and pushed it around the house. She ROCKS it.

The other day I poked my head in her room to see if she was still asleep and found her sleeping with her arms around a giraffe.

I have never been one to categorize girls and boys, but I am amazed by the differences in my house.

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