Play Like a Girl


“I get in trouble when I play princesses,” Mr. Embee revealed. I tried to pat him on the head and tell him it’s great that he tries, but I wasn’t sure what else to say at the time, except stuff like “well, you just, you know…It’s like playing house.” Because I’M A GIRL. Asking how I know how to play girl games is like me asking how guys know everything about sports cars. You just DO. It’s genetic.

The Mr. and Sally play tons of creative stuff–this weekend I was instructed to get on our landing (eh-hem, boat) because sharks were eating everything on the first floor. I would never have engaged in an awesome game of “let’s see if we can induce ocean nightmares in our child” but that’s what dads do. Nay, that is what BOYS do. Their best imaginative games involve taking normal life and twisting it into something most girls think is at least weird, and at most absolutely disgusting. It’s great. It’s boy. Sally clearly enjoys many of the species’ games. But most of the time she wants to play HER games, and it is clear to me now that boys might need some lessons on how to play with their daughters. At least the girlie, Type A ones.

Dress up is not pretend
You actually cannot decide to put on a fairy tutu, a cowboy hat and grab some jewelry and declare yourself Robin Hood of Pixie Land. That does not exist. Duh. Please select properly matched items and become a real pretend character.

I hate my best friend but against a boy we are one
Girls will argue, but anything a boy says is automatically ten times stupider than anything a woman ever said. This is fairly true throughout life.

Only one person can be in charge
And it’s HER. Dads can’t set the play rules. You may lobby for rule changes, but the daughter reserves the right to veto all proposals. For further explanation, see previous rule.

Laundry is FASCINATING
Girls take every day life situations and reenact them. This is play. It could be as simple as yelling at the dolls to get ready for school, or as complex as planning a wedding for Belle and 300 guests. But never, never, will a frog sprout wings and fly into the castle to pillage Cheerios.

Princesses are just playing house, in formal gowns
Do not let their pretty makeup or royal titles fool you. They’re still just trying to get dinner on the table. “But JEEZ, that’s boring” one father who lives in my house said. To boys, boring; to girls, ruling the universe.

If you refuse to abide by Girl Imaginative Play Rules, stick to more practical play. Like teach her how to refill the windshield wiper fluid. She’ll thank you when she’s grown up. (Thanks, Dad–who was also pretty well versed at playing house, FYI.)


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3 responses to “Play Like a Girl

  1. I don’t think laundry has ever been fascinating to me. Mr.’s fantasy play seems like fun to me, minus the shark part. 🙂

  2. I love playing Barbies with my daughter, but I must admit that my Barbie always ends up working Black Ops for an intelligence agency that doesn’t exist. She thinks I’m stupid, but will never tell me that, but she does always bring me back on task.

    Thanks for the actual laughs out loud.

  3. Pop/Grandfather

    Who was pretending…? I just reenacted parts of my life.

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