Guiding preferences

BB loves her art and she uses her right and left hands interchangeably.  There have been times that I begin to think she’s developing a preference, when suddenly she switches to the other hand.  This holds true for drawing, using scissors, and also throwing, using utensils and anything else. 

In our bedroom we have a picture of the house, an inn, where Hubs and I were married.  BB likes to talk about it.  Today she was bouncing on our bed and we had a conversation something like this:

BB: You and Daddy were married there (looking at the picture).

Me: Yes, it’s a nice house.  We’ll have to take you there, sometime.

BB: Okay.

Me: When you get married, you could get married there.  When you get big.

BB: I’m big now!  (jumps higher and higher to prove this)

Me: Yes, you are.  But you’ll need to be much bigger.  Grown up.  You’ll have to be able to make your own bed (I was finishing making the bed she was jumping on).  You’ll have to have your own house.

BB: This is my house.

Me: Yes, it is.  I mean your own house that you pay for.  You can buy it with your husband… or your wife.

BB: I want my house to be PINK!  And PURPLE.  And it will have rainbows.  I can get married there.

Me: Sounds pretty.  That’s a great idea to get married in your own house.

According to what I’ve read, most children develope their hand dominance between 18 months and 3 years of age.  I’ve been watching BB with interest on this for a long time, as I find it fascinating to watch her switch back and forth with ease.  She’ll be 3 in 3 weeks, so I’m expecting a preference to emerge anytime.  Ninety percent of us are righties; 10% lefties.  Many parents are prone to guiding their children toward a right hand preference, putting utensils, etc. in their right hand when they can.  I have to admit, I’ve done this.  Why?  Because it’s a right-dominant world and I want life to be easier for BB.  I don’t want her to always be in search of the lefty scissors, desk, …  I don’t think there’s a stigma anymore.  And actually, I’m not sure how difficult a lefty’s world is once they hit adulthood, outside of an outsider’s constrained world.  But I’m a righty; I don’t know.  Any lefties out there to weigh in on the subject? 

What about preference toward a future love-object.  Am I gearing her in a certain direction there?  Notice my hesitation in the conversation above?  “your husband… or your wife.”  Now you might say, “but you included a wife, look how open you are!”  Or maybe, “Cavatica, how could you?  You horrible sinner, guiding your daughter to be one of those people,” but I’ll ignore that remark, as it’s irrelevant to my family.  But, I did hesitate.  It was an afterthought.  I expect this is because I’m married to a man, so BB lives in a man/woman parental household.  I don’t think it’s the only good way, it’s simply our way.  But do I guide her toward a future with a man because, like being a righty, I think it will be easier?  Hmmm.  This bothers me.  I’m hoping the stigma will be much less in 20 years when this is really important for BB.  I’m hoping that being a young lesbian in 2030 will be pretty much like being left-handed.  Like finding out your friend or your neighbor is left-handed now.  It’s simply an interesting fact. 

I don’t really care which hand BB uses or if she likes boys or girls.  I just hope she’s happy and loved the way she is, whoever that is.

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6 Responses

  1. Xiao-Ping and I are both right-handed. Gege is left-handed. Odd.

  2. we have a bunch of lefties in my family……gabe my oldest…..was much like BB…….but he eventually chose right but does archery and other stuff like a left handed person……..

    about the gender thing…..i really try not to say much…..eve often wants to be a boy…..and i say okay……….i talk about homosexual relationships with gabe……and tell him that is the way some people live and that it is okay……..

    basically i don’t want my children to fear who they are…..and i try my best to keep myself out of that kind of stuff……though i make mistakes…….lol

    we just want the best for our kids………

    keri

  3. We have 3 righties and 2 lefties. The lefties (Austin & Paige) seem to be more ambidexterous than the righties, who showed their preference much sooner.
    I don’t think It would occur to me to say “husband or wife” in everyday conversation, even though I think it.

  4. I read that lefties are more likely to be cross-dominant, meaning they will use their right and left hands for different activities. I remember my father talking about a teacher he had who could write the first half of a sentence with his left hand and the second half with his right hand on a chalkboard at the same time! I can’t even talk and write two different things at the same time.

  5. Right/Left…… I don’t see much of a difference. Most of the more professional/educated/rich friends I have are left handed.
    As for wife/husband I hear many, many people now referring to their “partner” which is genderless leaving me to beg the question… and I refuse to beg but it makes me realize my own biases.

  6. I’m a lefty. And I am more ambidextrous than most, I guess. I will say that small annoyances still exist, but you get used to them, I guess. No stigma though… not anymore.

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