When The Professor and I were expecting Miss Serious, we decided that we would provide her with gender neutral toys so that she wouldn't feel pressured by any preconceived stereotypes (academics can be so annoying). She was given a wide array of toys, including dolls, trucks, and the like. She tended to prefer the toys that were traditionally meant for girls. When Big Trouble came along, we did the same, and if he could get his hands on something with wheels, he was in heaven. So much for our little experiment.
Several years later, we are experiencing the next round of gender preferences - Big Trouble has become a computer game junkie. Miss Serious has always enjoyed playing the occasional game on the computer; she plays a game or two, has a good time, and then moves on to another activity. Big Trouble is a whole other matter; if left to his own devices, he would plant himself at the computer in a trance and emerge only to use the bathroom (one would hope).
Yesterday he spent some Christmas money (oh yes - Mom knows how to drag out the fun!) on a game called Zoo Tycoon 2. I don't play a lot of computer games, but as this one required more reading than his little 5 year old brain can process, I went through it with him to learn the ropes. The game requires you to build a zoo basically from scratch. You need to create the exhibits and place the animals, giving them the proper food, shelter, habitat, etc. An excellent idea in theory, but unfortunately I created this:
For future reference, when playing Zoo Tycoon 2, try not to enclose the zoo visitors inside the grizzly bear exhibit - your zoo will lose a 1/2 star from its rating. (I have to say, I felt that the raters were rather generous in this regard - one would think this sort of problem would result in much harsher penalties).
Surprisingly, Big Trouble has decided that he now understands the game enough to no longer require my services.