“Father of the Year Moment #267: Raising a man.
This is my son’s doll. He is very protective of her and demands that she is in bed with him at night. I don’t care that he has a doll, I am just glad he has a sensitive side.
The ladies love a sensitive man.
This post from four years ago set off a friendly debate amongst people who read my social media post.
A little background:
Before my son was born, both of my daughters had an American Girl doll. They promised anything and everything to have one, and when they received it, my wife and I were the best parents ever. But soon after, as with all toys, they lost interest. Sure, they took it to bed with them at night, but months after purchase, it was not cared for with the same love that they once had.
Enter my son. He found the discarded doll and really took to her. He named her after a newborn who attended his same daycare. He took care of her and demanded that she be in bed with him at night.
I am not going to get deep into the whole men vs. women, boys vs. girls, gender roles arguments, but I did have some takeaways from witnessing this experience:
- It brought him closer to his mother: Every night when she would tuck him into bed. He would talk to her about his doll. She would talk to him about what his doll would like to do when they both woke up in the morning. She would talk to him about treating that doll with respect, often asking if that doll would appreciate him acting in a negative way.
- It prepared him for any future younger siblings/younger playmates at daycare: We were not sure if we were going to have any other kids (we did), but we did know that there were younger children at daycare. So, we used the doll as a tool to show him how to care for a baby. Many times, he would gently rock the doll to sleep, exclaiming, “It’s okay,” only to drop the doll on its head when he felt his job was complete minutes later. We were able to show him that a baby is something to be continuously cared for.
- It made him soft: Yes, I said soft. But really, what in the hell is wrong with that? There are definitely worse things that could happen to a young boy. I highly doubt that having a soft spot for a favorited doll is one of them.