Blossoming Bean, 20 months

It’s fun watching Little Bean’s play habits change and develop.

Right now it’s all about the nurturing.

She feeds her doll, she gives her soft toys water, she takes her little plastic farm animals over to a little bowl to feed them, she holds her baby doll’s hand to wave bye-bye, she kisses and cuddles her toys, she rocks her doll and pats her on the back, she hugs the cat until she’s half-squashed, she insists on having a soft toy sit in the chair with her at meal times, she tries to brush her toy dog’s teeth, she puts toys in the basket of her trike and pushes them around whilst talking to them, she picks her up her doll and dances along with her to the music or makes her do the hand actions, she won’t leave the house without a soft little friend tucked under her arm, she tucks her doll into bed, she strokes her daddy’s head and plays run-and-hug games, and she kisses and holds hands with other children she likes.

Louann Brizendine would say this is all such a prominent part of her behaviour because her brain was ‘marinated in estrogen’ during her development and so she’s hard wired for social connection. I tend to think it’s beause she’s at the pretend-play stage, and she’s a sweet kid. And because adults coo and praise her for that very sweetness (very likely more effusively than if she were a boy, because that’s how these things roll). Truth be told, my little girl is also physically brave to the point of foolhardiness (I told her she could go down the big slide when she could climb the ladder by herself so she damn well learned to climb the ladder, of course) and when she’s not being affectionate with something soft and furry, she’s completing a puzzle, building a block tower or pushing a truck around. Even so, many people still point out how ‘girlie’ she is, what with all the kissing and hugging that goes on. We see what we expect to see.

Anyway, I don’t much care what the origins of her play are right now. I figure if she makes sure her doll is fed and cuddled and given lots of attention that’s got to be a good reflection on her father and me.  And — this stage is totally frickin’ adorable.

 In between tantrums, that is.

3 Comments

Filed under Motherhood and Parenting, Musings, Reflections and Rantings

3 responses to “Blossoming Bean, 20 months

  1. T.A.

    Very cute! But as much as we may try to hope that it is nurture, not nature that causes her ‘girlie’ behaviour, I have been forced to doubt it. At 20 months, my son picked up a bowl in both hands, turned it back and forth and said “Brrrm brrm!” … Any round object was a steering wheel and he was the driver for several months.

    As for soft cuddly toys, he has plenty of them, which mostly get thrown around like they are balls. He does have a favourite soft toy which he carries around a lot, but it’s just as likely to get thrown out of the cot as cuddled to sleep… Oh and he is very affectionate, but he expresses his affection by hitting me or jumping on me far more often than by kissing me!

  2. I love reading/hearing mothers who are in love with their littlies…! :0)

    I’ve only had boys. My eldest was like yours, T.A. – toys had to have wheels or wings to be of interest, and if it had a face he ignored it. (I was relieved to hear his cars talking to each other, made me think he was still playing out social scenarios, just not with human- or creature-shaped characters). I thought it was a boy thing and that’s when i converted from attributing preferences etc almost 100% to nurture, to 50:50 or even more nature.

    But my youngest was more like blossoming Bean. He was intrigued by both dolls and real babies, and spent a lot of time playing with his dolls and cuddly animals in the way i remember playing with mine. One doll had a buggy in which she came to music ‘class’ with us and joined in the dancing. He wouldn’t have admitted that at nursery, though – very sensitive to social acceptability in the different groups! At nursery he wouldn’t be seen near the toy washing machine, even as the engineer fixing it, while at home he loved it.

    Interesting that he’s the one with what i’d call the more ‘testosterone-fuelled’ personality: rough, loud, risk-taking – and the other is the gentle, quiet, ‘soft’ one. One is very masculine (if you’ll allow the m/f terms as shorthand) in temperament but more feminine in interests, and the other masculine in interests but feminine in temperament. Even now that they’re sixteen and nine, one is more sciency (maths etc) and the other arty (writing, art, history). I don’t know if that correlates, in the wider population, with the other attributes or not but those subjects are traditionally seen to correlate, aren’t they?

    Interesting also that he (who plays at caring and domestic) breastfed for far longer than his brother (both made their own decision when to finish bf), and generally has needed more input, eg attention at bedtime etc.

    I really feel lucky, as by putting the two together i get the full spectrum. They both do hugs, too. ;0)

  3. Pingback: Broom broom! « Spilt Milk

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