Jane is at the age when she soaks in absolutely everything we say and do. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not exactly model-worthy behavior.
In some ways, it’s great that she absorbs everything. For instance, she can count to ten in Spanish, not because we taught her or because anyone speaks Spanish at home, but because she’s a veritable Sesame Street sponge and memorizes everything from the program.
But I wonder what else she’s soaking in.
Does she already know who and what she is? Is she aware that she is a girl and of the social rules that inevitably will apply to her just by virtue of being female? Does she know that she’s supposed to be a member of the “weaker” sex?
According to a physician source, when a child with ambiguous genitalia undergoes surgery to receive definite girl parts or boy parts before the age of 3, he or she is more likely to make the transition smoothly than a child over three. Apparently, the idea of being a girl or a boy does not completely gel before then.
Looks like I have just a few more months to influence Jane’s notion of what it means to be a girl or a boy. And maybe I can get this concept to work to her advantage so she isn’t so aware of – and trapped by – traditional, outdated notions of male and female roles.
Or maybe I already have:
Jane: I need help fixing this toy. I think it’s broken.
Hubby: I’ll help you. Should we get the tool box?
Jane: No. Mommy will fix it. She has a hammer. You need to go wash the dishes.
Image from Porn for Women.