A few nights ago, my daughter was sitting in her highchair eating supper. Well, okay, refusing to eat supper. Until I hand over her "baby" to play with. She wouldn't eat her supper until I let her hold her dolly. When I finally handed over the goods, she cradled the doll, kisses its plastic forehead (and then promptly threw it on the floor and proceeded to eat).
The doll, Stella, was actually Boy-o's. Sort of. He never even gave it a sidelong glance. Not one. (Perhaps, like his mama, he thinks those little plastic face dolls are freaking weird). Plastic doll creepiness aside, I encouraged doll play (with that and a nice soft, cuddly boy doll), and he pooh-poohed every last bit of encouragement. So Stella (and baby boy doll) sat in the corner, untouched until baby-sister came along. I did not, I repeat NOT encourage baby sister to play with Stella. (Why you might ask, would I encourage my boy and not my girl towards playing with dolls? Because, in short, I believe that boys are socialized against the instinct of loving and nurturing towards others, where girls are completely over-socialized towards caring and nurturing for others.
While I won't discourage Girlio from doll play, neither will I go out and buy her the pink baby doll with pink baby doll furniture. Anyhoo...) And yet, play with it she did. One day a few weeks ago, Girlio came upon Stella. And what did she do? She promptly picked up baby Stella, pronounced it "BayBeee" and nestled her gently in her arms. And then didn't she reach down and pop a sweet, slobbery forehead kiss on that doll? Sure did.
Best intentions aside, Girlio has already learned to nuture. And Boy-o? Well, the nurturing bit is a work in progress.
So in this instance, anyways, the score thus far seems to be:
Gender-f*ck parenting - 0, Rest of the world - 1.
(But ya'll know I'll keep trying :)