Ever since Princess entered our lives, I’ve been given a first-hand look at the amazing difference between raising boys and raising girls. I usually laugh into my sleeve when reading articles promoting gender neutral toys or comments left by moms on Amazon bewailing the fact that the Melissa & Doug Pink Coloring Pad is so stereotypically feminine. Bless you, a girl will think about and play with a toy differently than a boy, even if it is a boy’s toy.
Take Henry, for example.
Henry is one of the many engines from the Island of Sodor that has come to inhabit the giant tub o’ tracks in our toy closet downstairs. Lately he has become Princess’ engine of choice, mainly since her beloved Gordon mysteriously broke a while ago and was lost long before the move. This morning Princess was playing in her room with her barn animals, who apparently were being visited by Henry and his fellow engine Percy (the latter is my favorite, in case you were curious. I’ve seen enough of Thomas the Tank Engine in the past five years to have a favorite ;)). It was time for me to attempt to tame Princess’ locks lest she run around like a small Medusa throughout the day, but she was against the thought as usual until I suggested, “Why don’t you have Henry help you get the hairbows?”
Note: the hairbows are little soft rubberbands that come in various colors and are inevitably found in various places in the house. Generally we try to keep them in a special hairbow drawer in the main bathroom, at least for my sanity.
“OH-kaye,” she says cheerfully. “Henwee gets duh hehbows.”
Instead of bringing me back a rubberband or two, she returned having liberally decorated Henry with about six or seven multi-colored bands. Poor Henry. Never would a son of mine have treated you like that (although Rascal did point out that the hairbows would be more appropriate on the Emily engine, as Emily in the movies always wants to look her best). If the boys had Henry, he would have been tossed down stairs, rescued by John Deere tractors, driven through Duplo creations, but never dolled up. Princess was proud of her decorating, and allowed me to snitch a band or two to do up her hair while she chatted on about Henry.
Later on, as I prepared to vacuum the schoolroom/living room floor, I noticed Henry near the couch. I called for Princess to come and please put him away before I vacuumed, and in skips my pixie saying, “OH-kaye, c’MON Henwee Hehbows!”
Henry Hairbows. Now that’s a Haus first.