Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Manning Up

To a certain extent, the Grahamster has grown up as a second class citizen. Don't feel too sorry for him. His Dad is in the same boat. You see, we are outnumbered. There are a lot of divas in our midst telling us what to do. The difference between Graham and I is that I know I have a choice. I don't really think he does. He is so incredibly kind and sweet (I mean that too.) I don't know that I have ever met another little boy who is so incredibly considerate. While this is a tremendous trait that I am incredibly proud of it also opens him up to vulnerabilities and allows others (namely his sisters) to run all over him. You see Graham is surrounded by girls. He is surrounded by their stuff, their games, and their play. On top of that he is outnumbered 2 to 1. He rarely gets his way and is almost always left with the choice of playing by himself or playing some "girly" game. Being a social creature he almost always ends up playing their games.

Now, I am not trying to be sexist. I am not a homophobe. Our concerns for Graham come on the playground from school and from the public. We don't want them to make fun of him because he is excellent at playing girly games. We have feared that if he continues to be dominated by his sisters who take advantage of his sweet demeanor that he will never get his way and never have the opportunity to develop as any boy or girl should.

Begin the era of manning up.

Over the last week Lynley and I have made a concerted effort to begin the transformation. We have poisoned the princess playroom with macho boy toys. We have stepped in to level the playing field. There are Star Wars legos and cars that now take their place with equal importance as do the nail polish and stuffed animals. We have also began playing up being a boy and what that means. He and I now have a boy pirate boat out in the pool and we defend it with valor. (It still remains about the only place at the house which has not been tainted by girlishness.) This weekend we even had one of his friends over for a play date to even the out the playing field.

It has been good for him. Without prodding, the girls have even began to play with some of his "boy" toys. It isn't everything. It has not been a complete transformation. But we are getting there. Are we right or wrong with how we are attacking this issue? Who knows. The basic point is that Graham is getting his own identity and that I think is the key issue. He is no longer just Sydney and Ainsley's brother.

He is Graham - the only boy.

It gives him a purpose. As you know, everyone needs one.


Anonymous said...

Haha...my son is also my second (and last) child. His sister is 3 years older than he is. He played with Barbies, was dressed in dresses, (our daughter got a kick out of that!), tried to carry purses (with his cars in them!), and pretty much did whatever he had to in order to be included. He is now a junior in college, is a music industry major and has had the same girlfriend for the past two years. Try not to worry too much! :)

Gayle in AL

Anonymous said...

I have a boy with an older sister and they tend to compromise...he is the Woody to her Jessie, and Polly Pocket has played on top of many Lego forts and ships.

Anonymous said...

Easy solution - keep having babies until you get another boy!!!!!