This is a book that my parents read to me when I was a kid. Now on a visit, I am reading it to my kid.
You read the first half about a dad out with his son, and then you flip it over and read about a mom out with her daughter. They meet in the living room in the middle.
And you know what strikes me, besides the cool gimmick? That the Dad is equal to the Mom. Not just in having half a book, but in the tone and substance of the book. He comforts his son when he gets hurt, helps him deal with fears and just in general was competent to deal with the average weekend outing.
And the mom? She is basically the same, not scared of lions at the zoo and that sort of thing.
If a book like this came out today, I would praise it for being so forward thinking on gender stereotypes.
Then I just read a post at Dadding, the fatherhood blog at Babble, on LEGO advertising and how the toys used to be for boys and girls but somehow became only for boys.
And I think about how in Sweden the girls toys are getting pinker and girlier, without even any of the middle ground that American girls get (clothes and attitudes are still different there, yes).
Some pretty sad backsliding.
There is a clear benefit to living in less than 500 square feet — things do not stay lost.
At least until today. For months now, our toddler has obsessed about a collection of “things” – they change daily, and now fill up about three containers on top of her bookshelf.
Then yesterday she came home from a friend’s house with a tiny Lego man with a tiny Lego hat. And a tiny Lego watering can.
The moment I saw the hat, I became afraid. I knew this hat held great power over me. I begged the hat to stay with its Lego man.
This morning, the hat was gone. And NK remembers things like this now. And she wanted the hat, no screaming, just laying on the floor sort of moaning. And we could not get out of the door into one of only 12 nice days in the Swedish year until we found the hat.
The tiny, tiny hat.
But the hat stayed lost, so we gave NK a shot of whiskey and told her to suck it up (Oh, great and powerful Swedish social service, that was a joke). The Lego man was sad too.
Then out at the playground, E shook a blanket in the baby’s stroller. And out flew the hat. NK jumped and screamed and grabbed the hat … and immediately ran into the sandbox.
My life flashed before my eyes.