The Proof Is In the Way He Holds A Doll

To be a judge for the Great Stork, you have to really know your stuff. You have to know what little boys like, what little girls like, what they expect out of a sibling of the same sex, what they expect out of a sibling of the opposite sex, and so on. I have recently been reviewing applications for boys who say they want a little sister and giving my reports from their auditions to the Great Stork. In the end, it is the Great Stork’s decision who gets a sister and who gets a brother, but I make the recommendations based on what I observe during the auditions.
Recently, I went to the home of a little boy who was getting his first younger sibling. Taking the form of a fly, I sat quietly on the wall as his friend, who had brought along a little sister, engaged him in play. Now, if a little boy wants to be the big brother of a little girl, he must be very special. He must be patient and kind and willing to play by her rules. This little boy started off fairly well. He fed the doll in its high chair gently. However, when he went to pick the doll up out of the chair, he grabbed her by the head. Big mistake! Dolls must always be treated like babies—with great care and gentleness. I recommended that this little boy get a brother.
A few blocks down, another little boy was having a tea party with a neighbor girl about his age. She asked him to pour, and I knew this would be a great test. He held the teapot over the cup, but lingered too long, and she told him he had spilled tea all over the table. Worse still? It didn’t seem to bother him and he didn’t offer to clean it up. He, too, will probably get a little brother. Little brothers don’t mind messes. In fact, they rather enjoy making them.
Then I came across young Garrett who was visiting his aunts, uncles and grandparents at his Aunt Brenda’s house where his young cousin Adelyn lives. Now since Garrett wasn’t at his own house, he didn’t have his usual toys, which meant he would be playing with Adelyn, an interaction I just couldn’t miss.
Again, I sat on the wall in the form of a fly and observed. I’m surprised his Aunt Brenda didn’t find and swat me. At first, Garrett and Adelyn played the gender neutral game of balloons. He gave her first choice of colors between green and purple rather than just claiming the green one, so he passed that test. She chose purple anyway. They bopped the balloons into the air, Garrett taking great pride in getting his to hit the vaulted ceiling, a very boy thing to do but not anti-girl. Then Brenda suggested to Adelyn that she show Garrett her room, which he seemed genuinely excited to see.
Moments later, Garrett pranced out of her room pushing a small, pink umbrella stroller with a doll in it. He didn’t look sheepish or embarrassed, so he passed that test with flying colors. He even had a big smile on his face. Adelyn followed behind with more dolls in a tiny pink wagon. Garrett asked her what the doll in his stroller’s name was and she answered, “Shelley.” Score 3 for Garrett!
Garrett parked the stroller next to the couch and took the doll out of it, holding it gently like a baby which seemed to please Adelyn. He rocked it, fed it, and put it to bed saying, “Goodnight, Shelley.” Garrett didn’t balk about pretending he and Adelyn were a couple. He stretched out next to her on a small sofa that unfolded. It was bright pink with fairy princesses on it. When the dolly cried, he got up and took care of it. Kudos to Garrett!
After a while, they went back to playing balloons again. I observed closely and watched as Garrett smacked Adelyn in the face with his green balloon. Shame on him! But I couldn’t grade him too harshly because he did pass all the tests involving playing with dolls and it was just a balloon. She didn’t even bat an eyelash and, in fact, she smacked him back.
I have decided to recommend that Garrett get a little sister. His younger brother Grant, on the other hand, will probably fail the tests, but he wasn’t available for an audition Sunday due to illness. I still hold out hope since Garrett is the oldest. If any 6-year-old boy deserves a sister, it is Garrett. I have given my report to the Great Stork, who will ultimately have the final say. I guess we will all find out when the baby is born in May.
Do the people in your family find out the sex of their babies? Do you know of a little boy who tenderly plays with his little sister or a big sister who plays rough and tumble with her little brother? Please leave your answers in the comment section below.


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