Saturday, February 14, 2004

Nature vs. Nuture
Hold that thought -- it's late.

OK, now I'm back (Sunday 2/15/04 2:24pm). It's been a whirlwind weekend. Our weekly Tuesday AM playgroup isn't happening next week, so the mom who had signed up for it decided to instead throw a Friday afternoon playgroup/happy hour. The moms and I were encouraged bring adult beverages if we wanted them. I threw a six-pack of lager in the stroller and wheeled the kids down around 4:45. About 10 families showed up, so there were at least 20 children (seemed like more). Cheese, crackers, veggies and dip, fruit salad served as precursors to pizza. It was a good opportunity to hang out and talk with adults. Its a good mix of people from various backgrounds, and despite the chaos inherent in such a large group of children confined to a small area -- and being supervised by week-weary SAHP's beginning to imbibe -- everyone, including me, was pretty well behaved. But this isn't the point of this entry.

Olivia has spent her first year of life in a house with an older brother who is about as all boy as they come -- loves trucks, trains, planes, tractors, etc. Olivia plays with these items with great aplomb, and seems very much to enjoy it -- making the requisite sounds almost as well as her big brother. The playgroup session above was at Ellie Peters house. Ellie is all girl. Her toys consist of dolls, dolls, and stuff for dolls. Despite her relative lack of experience, it took no time or initiation for Olivia to figure out how to play with these items. Now, she does have one doll -- we're not trying (that hard) to raise a tomboy -- but she doesn't play with it that much. Recently, she has started to hug the doll, but doesn't play with it for prolonged periods. At Ellie's she loved putting the dolls in the stroller, pushing the shopping cart, and "changing" babies' diapers. It was adorable to watch her push the babies around the room in the strollers, and when the dolls fell out, stop to pick them up and "gently" shove them back in to their seat.

While environment and upbringing definitely play a role in the differences between male and female behavior, I am now a firm(er) believer in the notion that nature plays the stronger part in creating nurturing females.

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