C has just started reading chapter books. Before I started frequenting parenting blogs (and my children were well before pre-reading), I didn’t think of that as a milestone – I certainly don’t remember that milestone in my own life.
But now, the fact that C can disappear for half an hour and sit quietly with a book he is desperate to get to the end of is thrilling me no end. The slight quirk in this momentous voyage of discovery is that, rather than the Roald Dahl we’ve been trying him on every now and again for the last six months, the books that got him hooked were the Rainbow Magic series. It doesn’t bother me so much that they are clearly quickly written pot boilers with one plot between the 46 (!) of them. I read enough Enid Blyton in my day that I know graduation is possible. But E is a bit worried that C might have a hard time in the playground for liking such a girly book.
A while ago, Jody from Raising WEG had a post about gender reinforcement. In her kids preschool, boys get pushed down the boys’ toys path much more than girls do. I haven’t noticed that, really, with my two boys, but I suspect it is because C is fairly oblivious to social pressures. Not necessarily a good thing, but he’s not a great listener, so someone teasing him will often be frustrated by C not even noticing what’s going on.
Anyway, since he discovered the Rainbow Magic books because one of his (female) classmates brought one to school, and his (female) friend from around the corner also loves them, I’m hoping it’ll just make C more popular with the girls, and not damage his standing with the boys in his class.
It’s been quite amazing to watch his class separate into boys and girls this year. They usually have about 10 minutes before the bell goes in the morning, and when I occasionally take C in, there’s a pretty clear gender divide. They might talk to someone of the opposite sex if the two parents are talking, so proximity comes into play, but generally its a smooth separation.