Mama Duck Plays All Day

Spencer and I were having a lovely little bath time. Lovely if you ignore the fact that I practically had to hoist myself of my seat every time he needed adjustment or a toy fetched. He has a family of rubber ducks: mama, daddy and two smaller ducks (my charmingly self-centered boy calls both Spencer). He was playing driving, as he is wont to do in the bath and the following transpired:

Spencer: Daddy duck is driving to work. He works hard.
Me: What’s mama duck doing?
Spencer: Driving to Target
Me {laughing}: Is that all mama duck does? Goes to Target?
Spencer: No. {serious voice} She drives to Target, buys apple-peach, plays all day and then makes dinner.
Me: {speechless}
Spencer: Daddy duck comes homes and eats dinner and plays with Spencer ducks and has bath.
Me: Some mama ducks work.
Spencer: No. Mama ducks play all day.
Me: {sigh}

And then to complete my stay-at-home-mom cliche, after bedtime, I ate a giant bowl of ice cream, watched reality tv and thought about writing this post.

I am choosing to think that he is speaking to his experience (I do stay home, after all) and not his universal views on gender roles. We haven’t stressed a gender neutral upbringing, but we make very few restrictions on his choices for play, toys or dress-up. His preschool teachers are delighted that he plays with girls equally as much as boys and his dress-up fashion sense is favorably noted. Apparently he has a tendancy to put on some bracelets or a necklace with his firefighter outfit. And really, what better time for an arm party than when toddlers are fighting fires?

I was just taken aback. Ten, hell even five, years ago, I never would have imagined my future as a stay-at-home. Most days I love it and I feel that by Spencer being home most days and being in school two morning a week, he is really getting great exposure to both worlds. Part of me feels like it was a throwaway comment by a toddler and part of me thinks that I have failed completely in parenting.

At least he likes toca hair salon and robot lab equally on the ipad. That should count for something. Right? RIGHT?

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3 Responses to “Mama Duck Plays All Day”

  1. Cheri says:

    My guy thinks that his dad watches TV and eats all day when he is home (he is military and when we visit him on his sub we eat and the TV is always on). He also doesnt think that dad’s can excersize (because he watches moms do it ALL THE TIME). He also recenty yelled at my hubby for helping me cook (which was simple ‘pot stirring’ I swear the man cant walk past a pot with out stirring it a few times!) So it sounds about right to me! Not a failed parenting comment, just that that is what he sees for now…it will all change one day!


  2. TMae says:

    You’re not failing! It makes sense to me that he talks about what he sees. O talks a lot about daddy being at work, and he never talks about me being at work, even though I go to work, because he never asks Nate where I am, but he’s always asking me where Nate is. So he hears, “Daddy’s at work,” all the time. We got a couple of great books by Todd Parr – The Mommy Book and the Daddy Book, that are cute, easy illustrations of what mommies and daddies do. “Some mommies drive mini-vans, some mommies drive motorcycles.” “Some daddies clean the house, some daddies mow the lawn.” BOOKS! That offer nice little alternatives to what kids see when they’re little.


  3. Annie says:

    I would have taken this as a compliment! To your little guy, playing all day is what HE does. So playing all day is his way of saying you are part of him and his world. “Yes my little man, I buy you some apple-peach, and we play don’t we! We have so many adventures!” Enjoy this close bond, this time when you do play with him all day (even though you and I both know you do way way more)

    There will be plenty of time to teach him gender equality. The best teaching is by living. He will have friends whose moms work. He will learn by watching you how much work you do at home too. Right now, hug and play!


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