Clara loves shoes. And earrings. Sparkly things, new boots, baby dolls, and pretty jewelry make her eyes light up.
Cormac likes trucks and tractors. He saw an excavator moving cars at a recycling center a few days ago and was completely enamored. He likes playing with sticks and hammers and tools.
However, they both like dirt. They both like sand. They both like pulling leaves off my plants and eating them. They both like splashing in the dog’s water dish, which inevitably gets them in trouble. They both nurse their toys and they both kiss their baby dolls.
While Clara does some things that are “girly,” she also rubs dirt into her hair. I don’t think I taught her to love shoes (I’m not much of a shoe lover myself), but I also didn’t teach her to eat my jade plants. Kids are individuals. I cut my son’s hair short and put him in cute baby jeans, but I don’t stress out about him nursing his babies or doing other gender-inappropriate things – not really because I have deep abiding hippie love for the spectrum of human sexuality, but because he’s a baby. He doesn’t know that boys don’t nurse babies. He probably doesn’t know that he’s a boy. Also, if Clara is allowed to like lizards and play in mud, Cormac is allowed to nurse a doll without anyone freaking out.
They’ll grow up to be whoever they are.