Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crossing Gender Role Boundaries

I fear that it may be a long time before my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter becomes a lady. At times she reminds me strongly of my younger sister, Bethany, who could put a grown man to shame with her belching capabilities as a young girl. (Well, let’s be honest, my sister may be approaching her late twenties, but she can still burp with the best of them.) Some part of me, that no longer exists, was a bit disgusted by all that belching and burping.

I distinctly remember a time during my later teenage years, when the whole family was traveling I-don’t-recollect-where together, that I unintentionally let out a rancid belch of my own. My sister was impressed, my Dad was impressed, and quite frankly my entire family was impressed, or at the very least, amused. Perhaps that was when I lost some of my snobbery toward people blessed with the ability to express their backed up gasses in such a vocal and rumbling fashion. I do retain, however, an appreciation for politeness in these situations. A little “excuse me” goes a long way.

Anyway, back to my little girl. Against my wishes Daddy betook to amuse himself with teaching the whole “pull my finger” routine to the kiddos. He's a bit of a gasser, and the children think the whole thing is splendid. Especially my little Princess Meatball, as Daddy calls her. In fact, after many months of indoctrination into the cult of finger yanking, she will now instruct her brother and Daddy to pull her finger. Luck might be a Lady, but my daughter? Well…

The especially charming thing about all of this is that she can burp on command. Two-years-old though she may be, she has already walked away from numerous burping contests the victor, leaving the men of the house in her small, tiny little wake. Suffice it to say that upon pulling her finger she promptly lets out a curt belch.

Yep. That’s my girl. Hopefully, as time goes on she tempers her skill with an aptitude for cooking or sewing or something. At least for now her Daddy and her Auntie B are violently proud of her. I suppose something has to be said for that.

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