Thursday, April 25, 2013
Sometimes Edie and I play a game I call play-kitchen. It's pretty much what it sounds like, where I take out a mixing bowl and some spoons and whisks and the lemon pepper and pink Himalayan salt that she can't take the top off of, and we take turns shaking the spices into the bowl and Edie stirs. I pretend to have a taste, and Edie looks perplexed. Edie seems to like it, and it's our first foray into pretend, which I think is exciting as it was a very important part of my own childhood.
But, the other day, I was sitting on the kitchen floor with Edie, using an unopened box of diapers as our table, playing play kitchen, and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this wasn't such a great idea. That maybe it was a little too on point, gender-role-wise. Maybe I should get Edie a toy tool kit, just to switch things up.
And then I started thinking some more. Edie has started, just barely, but started, to mimic me. Right now it's in small ways, words I say or the way I run my hand over her crib sheet at night, searching for the pacifier she has thrown. And I think she likes play-kitchen because it mimics things I do. Stirring, shaking, moving things around in a business-like way. And it's dynamic. More so than other things I do: reading, writing, typing. And then I thought, but she does those things, too. For months and months now she'll pick up a book--her own or one of ours--and very earnestly read aloud, turning pages when appropriate. She has a play computer that she pounds on, and her very favorite thing to do is write industriously with pencil or pen in a spiral-bound notebook (as I do, because I'm way old-school).
And besides that, I never use a tool kit. And neither does James. So what good would that do her, anyway?
After I thought all these thoughts, I relaxed, and kept stirring and shaking and pretend tasting in play-kitchen.
*in the photos above, Edie looks concerned about gender roles, but I don't think she is.