Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Notes of a Wandering Mind

I spend a good part of the day watching my son push all kinds of toy vehicles along the floor, over the furniture and sometimes up my legs! I wonder is this something that is inherent in the behavior of boys? I generalize because I have noticed this in many young boys, who were older than the mite. The mite has always been intersted in any vehicle, cars, buses, motorbikes, aeroplanes, trucks and his favourite autorickshaws. There are a few little boys in the house opposite ours who spend the entire afternoon pushing all kinds of toy vehicles along their balcony walls. While we were waiting for a bus at Chamundi hills I observ ed two little boys pushing their newly purchased cars on the dust roads, they were watched with great interest by my son. A baby's span of attention is said to be not more than a few seconds but the mites eyes did not waver for the whole time that these children were playing, neither does he tire of pushing around his own toys. The other day we had gone to a restaurent for dinner and there I saw another little boy with cars in both his hands pushing them along the floor in exactly the same manner as the mite. These boys might be older than the mite but I know for sure that the mite was rolling the cars/ buses/trucks since he learnt to move about and before he could have picked it up from other boys. It is definitely not learnt behavior, that leads to the unpleasant conclusion that, well, boys are boys and girls are girls, a theory that I had not believed in earlier. I believed that girls take to dolls and boys to cars because these things are thrust at them. But now I have to reconsile with the facts at hand that some boys are crazy about vehicles from their birth. But I have grown up with a younger brother and have never seen him push any vehicle about. Well maybe that's because he never had cars, buses etc to push around at this stage. In fact I cannot remember any cars that the poor fellow had. He had some dinky cars when he was much older. At this stage he amused himself by pulling out the hands and legs ands sometimes the heads from my toys. We used to play with a toy gun quite a lot, and we would play acting games- doctor- doctor, bank-bank, and stuff like that. We had a squeezie toy pig which our cousin had named poxo the pig and he used to entertain us for hours with it. Anyhow, what I was driving at was, we hardly had any toys and my children are swimming in them. The moment my sons preference for vehicles was apparent he was flooded with toy vehicles, but we had to make do with only a few toys. I played with dolls and guns and cricket bat, along with my brother. After an age he got more involved with cricket and used to read the sports page in the newspaper thoroughly and used to maintain a sports book with pictures of sports stars. That was a 'boy' thing I guess, but by then he was influenced by his peers. However there were several toys and books which interested us equally irrespective of our gender. My children in that sense are more gendered inspite of having such a objective person as their mother. However I let my daughter dress up my son with her hair clips and bands and he enjoys it too. They both like to colour, but my daughter is obsessed with artwork. Ah well, the mite will soon learn what boys can do and what girls do when he enters play school and his natural enjoyment will end. Be that as it may, I am having a lot of fun seeing the nature of my babies unfold before my eyes I will try my best not to curb or restrict them in any manner. I pray to God that they develop and grow to the best of their ability.

There is one thing however which is a man thing and in which Indian men specialize i.e. peeing in public, that is detestable, I will surely discourage my son from it. Be it north or south, using walls as urinals is the common practice. There is a bus stop near our house and we can't use a portion of the footpath leading to it because it is being used a urinal. I think long bus rides lead to over full bladders and the men rush towards the nearest wall. Anyone who has visited the wall behind the ITO in Delhi will know what I mean.
Toilets must be provided near bus stops and if need be a special stop should be arranged for the men near their doors! I mean drastic measures should be employed to stop this habit, what say you?

1 comment:

Rohit said...

Yes, I have seen that wall in Q.... and its nice that you have raised a big concern of todays. I belongs to Jaipur, a well known Heritage city..... But all enthusiasm evaporates when one get into any monument or any heritage building..... "Hawa Mahal" looks like a public toilet, even it is the main attraction of the city.

And yes your observation is quite correct "Girls Are Girls and Boys Are Boys".

My best Complements to your Husband.....