Boy, Girl, Girl, Boy

I am always interested in birth order and gender roles since my oldest is a rough ‘n tough boy and my daughter is, well, let’s just say, she can hold her own. I was reminded of this today when we were outside playing with the neighbors. Alex and four other boys were running their identical Tonka trucks around the parking lot of our townhouse community. (Yes, I know, terrible mom lets her kid play in the street.) Anna immediately gravitated to the four much older girls playing dolls. Though, I will give Anna some credit, she found her own way to cross over to the 'boy side' by grabbing the Big Wheel and pushing it around with the boys as if it was a Tonka truck. Isn’t that just like a girl to think outside the box?

Anna, while very sweet, would never be mistaken for a timid little thing. She climbs like a 4-year old, scaling playground equipment like a mountain climber. I even had one neighbor remark several times on her ability. My response is always, “have you seen her brother climb?” Yesterday, she grabbed both of the foam swords, handed one to Alex and said, “let’s fight.” My sweet 2-year-old daughter is suggesting a duel. Ugh.

I bought a playhouse a few months ago, put it up and watched the kids play. Did they play house? Absolutely not. Instead, Alex suggested a game of running towards the house and falling with all their might into it and playing “hugs.” (aka his version of wrestling.)

When left to her own devices, Anna will make herself a nice cup of tea/coffee and sit down with her dolls to play in the house. Alex will only stand for this for a few moments when the tea party is suddenly interrupted by a body slam.

Our house is almost 100% boy even though we have a girl. I wonder what it’s like for those with a girl as the oldest. Do the boys act a little more reserved if they have an older sister? Is body slamming involved in tea parties? Will the girls participate in Medieval knight duels? My brother is three years younger than I am. I remember making GI Joe and Barbie ride in the jeep together, but other than that, I wanted very little to do with his kind of play. Every once in a while I asked to be Princess Leia in his Star Wars adventure. I suppose that ages me right there, huh?

I’m curious about your own experiences of gender roles mixed with birth order. Please share some stories if you will.

1 comment:

purplemommy said...

I am the oldest and my brother is 4 years younger and we have a sister 4 years younger than him. I believe we must have done our share of wrestling because I remember a point toward adolescencse where I could no longer beat him and the game became no fun. I also remember playing with hot wheels a lot. My brother, however, did wear his share of dresses. I have the pictures to prove it.