The as-natural-as-possible differences between the sexes is interesting, and having both a son and a daughter gives me the chance to check it out first hand. We have a few rules here to keep the peace at The Manor regarding Bug and Sweet Potato, and the biggest one is that aside from stuffed animals they go to bed with, everyone's toys are everyone's toys. This means if Sweet Potato is in the mood to do some Matchbox Car Zooming she can, and if Bug's dearest wish is to play with her tea party set, he can. I do my best not to control or interfere with their play, I just let them figure out what they want to do with the toys they have and so long as there's no blood, bruising, cage fighting or screaming involved, I'm okay with it. With most their toys it doesn't seem to matter at all if it's supposed to be a 'girl' toy or a 'boy' toy. Except stuffed animals.
Sweet Potato has gone an entirely different route. She has a baby doll (my least favorite Christmas present from my Grandmother that she latched onto immediately) aptly named Baby, a Care Bear she calls 'T.T.' for whatever reason, a stegosaurus and my Carebear from my childhood, B.T. (for Baby Tugs, dude.) Every morning she hands them to me to hold for her, then toddles around the house with one, two, three or all clutched in her chubby little arms. She always takes them into nap with her. If one is missing, she'll call for them and make me help her find it. They always get tucked in with her at official bedtime, they always get kisses from the both of us.
It's a pretty traditionally 'girly' thing she does which I've found to be both hilarious and interesting. I'm feminine, but not girly. The only jewelry I consistently wear is my wedding ring, while Sweet Potato piles on her costume jewelry and parades around the house. I do my makeup and she's always shown way more interest in the process than Bug does, and I constantly find her in her room playing dress-up. Also, dude, a parasol is one of her staple wardrobe accessories.
It's cute, it's sweet, and if it weren't for the fact that she burps like a man, I'd've been a little more concerned I was raising a future cheerleader. This morning, any and all peppy girly-girl worries were swept away when I discovered she wasn't just displaying an honest affection for her stuffies, she was arming herself.
That's my girl.