Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Boys and their toys

I was reading recently that Ipanema’s son was given a teddy bear by his girlfriend. One of the people commenting said that she found that a strange present for a girl to give a boy.

Once upon a time I would have thought the same but I became used to it as my two sons made a huge collection of girlfriend-given cuddly toys, all of them tossed carelessly into a cupboard in the spare bedroom.. They never did like cuddly toys, even when quite small, (and I did try, really I did) so there were quite a few to hand on to worthy causes.

My elder son’s passion was for cars rather than teddy bears, and from a very early age. I distinctly remember having dinky toys driven over my very pregnant belly. He somehow developed this fascination for four wheels all on his own. Neither my husband nor I are in the least bit interested, and I can hardly tell one make of car from another. In the end I was so fed up being asked things like “how does a turbo work?” that I bought him a book on motor vehicle technology and let him get on with it.

The second was more interested in crafts, so although I am not at all a crafty person (positively clumsy), I could at least join in this time. The unfortunate thing was that he felt these were too “girly” to continue.

If they had followed our examples, at the very least they would both have been avid readers. All this makes me wonder just how much influence we do have over the interests of our children, whether genetic or anything else.


  1. With no encouragement, I used to play with garages made of bricks and toy cars rather that dolls and prams. I also remember locking myself in the bathroom to get peace to read. :-)

  2. I used to play with cars and bricks too, mainly bricks with a set called Baco (Bako?). You could make all sorts of buildings but it didn't lend itself to freestyle construction in the way that Lego does. No 1 son loved Lego but it used to drive my husband to despair when he converted a set such as a train with tracks into rockets going to the moon!

    My mother tells me I did have a doll once.

  3. My absolute best Christmas presents ever were an Erector set and clock making kit. I remember being royally p.o.'d the Christmas I was 4 when my cousin of the same age got a sled, and I received a doll cradle.

    I have children of both sexes and I introduced them to toys usually thought appropriate for the opposite sex. None of that 'took'. The girls still preferred to play with girl toys (although not dolls too much) and the boys with boy toys. Only one of the 4 has my liking for mechanical things.

    So I guess my thought on your question is, not much!


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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