One local mom, a self-proclaimed "girly girl," struggles to fathom her son's boyish Christmas gift requests, but eventually learns to embrace his Star Wars-loving, Call of Duty-coveting attitude.
I am, and have always been, a girly girl. All I EVER wanted for birthdays and holidays were Barbie dolls, and the tiny plastic shoes, headbands, combs, and pocketbooks that came with her glamorous outfits. Each and every Halloween without fail, if I wasn't a princess, I was a bride. I bought into the fantasy way, way back. Makeup and perfume and jewelry and hair clips were my raisons d'etre. I still prefer dresses over pants and shoes over sneakers...why not look pretty?
I knew with complete certainty that my future daughter would be just like me. I would shop for the most beautiful, doll-like baby clothes to dress her in. Then, when she got older, I would spend hours at the mall with her, show her how to use makeup, how to style her hair. I knew how to do these things...I had a sister and lots of female cousins. It came naturally!
So I should have had a hint when my husband-to-be came into my life, complete with two scruffy little boys who soon became my stepsons. There was some study somewhere -- which I ignored -- that says once a man has two children of the same sex, the chances of his having a third of that same sex increase exponentially. So when we saw on the sonogram that our baby was a boy, I vowed to deal with this unexpected "slip-up" like an adult. Some blue paint, a pair or two of OshKosh overalls, a baseball cap and glove -- how hard could it be?
I hadn't reckoned on the toys -- the toys that have been my undoing, the knowledge of which I never thought I'd master. Legos (HOW many pieces?!); Matchbox cars (I know they're cute, small, and inexpensive, but is it really necessary to own 186 of them?); Star Wars everything (WHO on earth is Jango Fett and why would anyone want to know?); bug magnifiers (just, ew); guns (don't get me started); "Call of Duty" and Comic Con (admittedly, these came later, when I was already broken in). Why. Would. Anyone. Want. These. Things?
But I knew they had brought me over to the Dark Side the day I went to Toys "R" Us in search of girls' holiday gifts and came home empty-handed. I passed through the usual "boy" aisles and saw a million awesome choices. But in the "girl" aisles, there were nothing but baby dolls and icky pink things.
Okay, it's not quite true that I came home empty-handed. I snuck into the house with a toy so compelling that I simply had to have it. Ostensibly, it was for my son, but of course, I had to open it and test it out. The next morning, I stole into his blue bedroom to wake him for school, and shot him in the butt with a foam dart from my new Wookie Blaster. I'll never forget the look on his face, the dawning realization that I, his girly mom, the chick-flick watcher and violence-hater, was capable of something approximating actual coolness. I still have my Blaster. Santa had to bring another one for the little boy.
Ellen Pocost, Westchester calendar editor, has bought more gifts than she can count for her 26- and 27-year-old stepsons, 15-year-old son, 7-year-old bird, and 3½-year-old dog.
Also see: NYMetroParents' Holiday Bazaar of Traditions, Memories, Insights, and Gifts