Inspired by Guns and Prose(s) by Christine at DotMoms
Before I had kids I was on the fence about the whole nature vs. nurture debate and how it related to gender stereotypes. For example, are boys predisposed to liking trucks because that's just what boys do (nature) or do they like trucks because their parents give them trucks, thus influencing their tastes (nurture)? If anything, I was leaning toward nurture's yard, mostly because I was still under the delusion that I actually had some control over my life and the people in it. Silly girl.
When King was born we gave him lots of gender neutral toys and I made sure he always had some stuffed animals around to snuggle with. I soon realized there would be no "favorite" stuffed animal. If it didn't have wheels or balls (sorry), he didn't want anything to do with it. I know there are always exceptions, but my child was throwing my theory right out the window and then, much to my horror, he was beating it with a stick.
Not only was my son naturally attracted to "boy" toys, but I was frankly shocked by all the VIOLENCE. As he grew, I began to realize that this "boys will be boys" thing was no myth. There is some feral kick-it-beat-it-throw-it gene that they are just born with. It didn't matter that we didn't have a toy gun in the house; EVERYTHING was a weapon. I even called guns "blasters" for awhile, as though giving them a different name would make up for the fact that he was pretending to kill me and the dog on a daily basis. I remember when I first bought him the Sock'em Bop Buddy.
I was recently divorced and thought he could use it to expend some of his extra "wrestle" energy between visits with his dad. No sooner had I inflated the thing than King was beating it repeatedly with a baseball bat. I was a little disturbed.
Lest anyone should wonder, King was neither exposed to domestic violence or abuse, nor was he allowed to watch overly violent television programs. He is not violent toward living things, and if he shows any signs in this direction he is sternly corrected. I hate to say it, but I think it's just "a boy thing".
We call guns "guns" now, and the phrase "Must you throw EVERYTHING?" is part of my daily mantra. We draw the lines where they need to be drawn and leave the rest to work itself out.