Tuesday, 29 January 2013

My Son Plays With Dolls....

Meet Mole (Noel).  Noel Fernando is Our Little Adventurer's own baby doll.  Noel is the one gift that Jensen asked for from Father Christmas. Consistently.


Jensen didn't ask for a boy doll, or a girl doll, or a Tiny Tears, he just asked for a baby dolly.  Father Christmas was more than happy to oblige.

If I'm honest, I was downright delighted ~ and not just because having boys I (hypocritically) never thought I would get the opportunity to buy dolls for my children, although that's part of it I'll admit.  Mostly I was so happy WHY he wanted one.  He asked for little baby dolly to love and cuddle and take care of like his brother.  All admirable reasons for wanting a toy, right?

So, we bought Noel. He's a Rubens Barn doll, officially named Max and renamed by Jensen as Noel (Mole due to pronounciation issues at Christmas; now I get sternly reprimanded by Jensen for calling him Mole). I chose him after hours of research because as you can see below, Noel has certain "features" and I love this about him.  Not only is he weighted in the bottom so he feels like a baby when you pick him up, but his head also has a realistic movement to it. The deciding factor for me when I was researching which doll to buy however, was that when the (cloth, yay!) nappy comes off for changing (which it does, Noel apparently likes to wee a great deal) you'll see that Noel is anatomically correct.

Whenever we've visited friends with children who have dolls, he has always played with them; carrying them about like he does any other toy.  No-one said anything about his playing with them...until I bought one.

Noel... In the "plush"

That got me thinking.  I know I wouldn't think twice about buying a car garage for one of my nieces if that was what they'd wanted for their birthdays, and I'd very probably be very proud that she'd taken an interest in something other than fairies and princesses.  I also know deep down inside me that if it wasn't my own son who'd asked for a doll to play with, and it was my nephew instead, I wouldn't have felt the same sense of pride that I'd get from buying my niece the toy vehicles.  And that doesn't sit right with me. 

Jensen and Noel, Christmas morning

For the past six years I've taught in primary school and know that just as it was when I myself was at school, boys playing with dolls isn't the norm, and those that do want to are probably going to be teased about it incessantly until they revert to football.  Attitudes haven't changed because the grown ups are still making the ridiculous comments and the children are still listening and repeating.

Since the arrival of Mole, we've had those comments; the most annoying and enraging in every way I could think of being whether, with a smirk, "I needed to tell them anything about my son".  That gets under my skin, but then I wonder if I was just as bad in assuming that having boys I wouldn't ever be buying dolls. 

As it is though, Jensen is cocooned from stereotypes at home, and has fun playing babies with Noel; feeding, changing, burping, consoling and talking to him just as I do with his baby brother.  I'm proud to say that my son has a doll, and judging by the amount of friends I have who complain about their husband's help when it comes to their children, maybe we should all be pushing a bit harder for more "Moles" in our children's lives. 

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