Four boys between the ages of five and ten gathered in my minivan and home over the holiday break while their sisters played together elsewhere. I have tried to accurately record the events of that meeting.
1. One boy answered a question about gifts saying, "My sister got Polly Pocket stuff for Christmas. I hate Polly Pocket." All in attendance agreed that Polly Pocket is "stupid." Strawberry Shortcake and Hannah Montana were similarly denounced as "stupid, dumb, and too girly."
2. Hello Kitty was trashed even harder. "What kind of cat doesn't have a mouth?" was asked to much nodding in agreement.
3. Webkinz were played on the computer, but all "girly" activities were avoided.
4. An indoor bowling game was played repeatedly. The most exciting frames involved light sabers as well as the expected ball and pins.
5. Three vinegar and baking soda volcanoes were created and erupted.
6. A lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and/or quesadillas, pretzels, goldfish crackers, and cookies was heartily consumed. Several members insisted on either the Incredible Hulk or Scooby Doo lunch plates. The Barbie and Disney princess plates remained in the cabinet.
7. Total elapsed time: 3 hours 2 minutes.
Hours later, in a quiet moment alone with his mother, one of the five year old boys asked, "Pippi Longstocking isn't really girly, right? Anybody can like it." His mother agreed. After all, Pippi is an expert tree climber, can carry a horse, has a pet monkey, and funny is funny, no matter your gender.