Children and Farm Equipment

In the ongoing Skinner box experiment that we call raising our son, we’ve noticed that the lad has developed an evident preference for one thing: tractors and more specifically, their big tires. In fact, if there is anything he likes more than tractors, it’s wheels. While looking for a stroller to replace the second hand one we bought that is falling apart, and to find one to accommodate his large size, he had to be dragged away from the strollers as he just couldn’t stop delighting himself with spinning their wheels.

He also has to touch my car tires, the wheels on his stroller, the wheels on his toddler sized car, and the wheels on his toy cars.

I don’t think we’re the types of parents who are trying to slot him into some kind of “typical boy behaviour”. We didn’t actively go out and look for trucks and tractors, expecting him to love them. We don’t want to impose a gender role on him. I rarely correct people who tell me what a beautiful daughter I have. And he loves walking around the house with his mother’s old purse on his arm.

But as much as I’ve been told that gender roles are entirely a social construct, it does seem that some things are innate and I’ve no idea. If the lad had been born a girl, would he have the same interest in tractors and their tires? I have no idea.

The sight of a firetruck in a storybook led to an interest in those and the purchase of a ride-on firetruck for his birthday. A fascination with the heavy equipment digging up the next street led to the purchase of a Mighty Machines DVD. And now, a fascination with tractors led to library to find a big picture book about tractors, which we must read to him approximately 14,723 times a day. While flipping through the book, he always points at the big tires.

I think for Easter, he’s getting a set of all-season radials.


4 thoughts on “Children and Farm Equipment

  1. I’m beginning to wonder if we’re raising a country boy.

    The tractor obsession? The temper tantrums when he’s not allowed to touch your guitar? His love of wearing silly hats?

  2. Can I interest him in a set of rims? We’re still trying to unload ours. Who knew that not only are there different tire sizes, but also different (non-interchangeable) rim types. Clearly not us.

    It’s interesting, that whole truck/tire thing. We have another friend as well with a 2 year old son who is also all about trucks and tires. Our guy, OTOH, doesn’t seem to have any particular fascination with trucks & wheels. He plays with his toy cars as much as the other things. His toys for the most part are gender neutral type things with a bunch of stereotypical ‘boy’ toys thrown in. And he loves to play with my make-up brushes. And his favorite activities for the moment are reading and colouring. I’m curious to see if his interests at some point veer to the more stereotypical. Then again, his father knits & cooks and I’m the wielder of the power tools in our house, so his parents aren’t always exactly shining examples of gender stereotypes. We’ll see… I imagine influence at daycare will have a big effect.

    And oh yeah, we get the ‘she’s so cute ‘ thing too. Must be those long eyelashes. And the fact that he doesn’t usually wear shirts that say ‘football’ or ‘hockey’ on them (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    • I do have to admit he does have a couple of Habs shirts but that’s more of a hometown/home team thing. He’d have those if he was a girl.

      I also shouldn’t say I’m not totally indoctrinating him. I plan on him having a general familiarity with the heroes of the DC and Marvel universes by the time he’s three.

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