Tomorrow I will be 26 weeks pregnant with baby number 2. Lamb’s baby brother. My second son.
Something that’s been playing on my mind recently is preparing Lamb for the new arrival. He’s quite a sensitive chap, and loves his mummy cuddles. Honestly, there are days when we snuggle on the sofa for hours and don’t even get dressed. I love that side of him. However, soon I will have a teeny tiny human to take care of and my solo time with Lamb will be limited. Unfortunately, feeding, changing and comforting baby will have to take priority while he is newborn. I’m just going to have to accept that, as difficult as it might feel.
Sharing mummy might not come easy to Lamb. Or, it might be a breeze and he will happily play with his Avenger Potato Heads to occupy himself. We just don’t know.
Well after a few weeks of worrying about the big change that’s soon to happen to our family, I decided to buy Lamb a dolly. His very own baby to take care of.
I talked to him about it first, asked him if he wanted one. Like with any toy, I’m not going to force it on him. If he liked the idea of having his own baby then he could have one. If he said no I wasn’t going to waste my money.
Turns out he loved the idea and we talked about how he would give his baby a “bot bot” and “dodo” – dodo is his name for a dummy.
So off we went to B&M Bargains. We picked up a baby boy dolly with a few accessories for £6.99, a changing bag filled with bottles etc for £3.99 and some more bits for £1.99. For just over £10 we got him everything he needed to learn how to be a big brother.
I can’t tell you how cute Lamb is with his dolly. He’s so gentle, every morning gives him his bottle and a cuddle. We’ve shown him how to change his nappy, sit him on the potty and put him to bed. He’s even started looking after the dolly’s at nursery and telling everyone it’s his baby brother.
Unfortunately, dolls are still seen as girls toys. Yet, you wouldn’t look twice at a girl playing with a train track. When we got to B&M Bargains everything was pink and ‘girly’. I don’t actually mind that, Lamb likes pink! Having said that, if he was a little older, he may not want pink toys. Unfortunately we can’t control these gender stereotypes.
If my first born was a girl she may already have a dolly, or 3 or 4. She would most likely already know how to hold her baby, give it a bottle, push it in a pram. But sons aren’t exposed to this as naturally. Unless, as parents we choose not to follow the stereotypes, and that is exactly how I want to raise my son.
Luckily we found a boy baby. If Lamb was having a sister, he would of got a girl baby, but he’s not, he’s having a brother, so the doll needed to be a boy. Yes, this means a blue sleep suit or blue clothing, but he’s only 3 (as of next month), and right now he I just want him to know the baby is a boy, and that means blue.
What shocked me about the dolly was ‘the bits’ or lack of. You see, Lambs boy dolly doesn’t have a ‘winky’ (that’s what Lamb calls it) and he noticed that himself. “No winky mummy” he said.
No matter how hard we try to eliminate these gender stereotypes, society seems to get in the way and ruin it for us. Is it offensive to have a small ‘thing’ between the dolls legs to show he’s a boy? I mean, seriously, it doesn’t have to be graphic.
I remember having dolls with obvious girly bits, so why not boy bits? I’m sure some dollies have them, but the boy baby we bought doesn’t. He’s completely smooth, and confusing, even for a 3 year old.
So you see, however hard we try to teach our children to make their own choices, be who they want to be, something will get in the way. I wanted my son to have a baby boy dolly. A dolly that would teach him about having a baby brother. A baby he could take care of when I’m taking care of mine. Yet someone made the choice to stop that doll being a boy. It’s not a boy, it’s just a doll, one that happens to be wearing blue.
In spite of the ‘bits’ problem, I’m so happy with my choice of buying Lamb his own dolly. Boys naturally like superheroes, trains and cars (well, not all of them of course, but you know what I mean). Lamb is obsessed with the Hulk and wants to smash everything. That’s cool, as long as he’s not smashing anything important. Having his baby is teaching him about playing gently, not everything needs fists.
When the baby arrives I hope Lamb will accept him with open arms, but this may not be the case. I’m hoping he will feed the doll when I’m feeding the baby. Bath the doll when I’m bathing the baby. I want to include him as much as possible.
So why did I buy my son a dolly?