Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Tea Set for Young Monkeys

I am watching the monkeys play with their new most cherished possession, a porcelain children's tea set we picked up for them today from the consumerist halls of Toys 'R' Us. You might ask yourself if this fun is likely to last long with a 2 and a 3.5 year-old. Indeed, over the last half hour my repeated call has been, "Careful, girls. You can't throw the tea set in a bucket, or you will break it!" But then, one of our reasons for selecting this particular tea set was that it was not emblazoned with some obscene creature such as Barbie, the cups were of demitasse cup size (I can't abide the little sets with non-functional, thimble-sized cups), and the four cup (plus tea pot, sugar bowl and cream pitcher) set cost all of $9.99, which means we can buy spares without much pain.

After playing at drinking tea for the first half hour, they have now moved on to putting all the pieces in a bucket, carrying them to another part of the room, laying out the tea set complete with a spoon lying next to each cup and saucer, and then putting them back in the bucket again.

As I contemplate the prospect of having three little princess monkeys running around the house drinking imaginary tea, I find myself wondering what it is that makes tea drinking such a compelling past time for very young women. Although I drink one to two cups of capuccino every morning, and if I have to work late two more after dinner, we are not a family that is in to tea ritual. Indeed, when MrsDarwin or I make our occasional cup of Prince of Wales, it is usually done in a full size coffee mug, not a tea cup with saucer. Yet the girls fully believe in the importance of drinking tea.

Some inspiration, I am sure, come from one of their favorite books, A Bargain for Francis, which prominently features a tea set and the vicissitudes of human nature.

Nay the less, I believe there must be something in the small feminine soul which pines for tea and culture. Let those who believe there are no innate sex differences rage: I say them nay.


Anonymous said...

Most guys I know when asked if they would like some tea, would prefer it in a 44 oz. cup with ice and a lemon... SWEETENED.

Amber said...

My daughter loves the tea set she has at her Grandma's house, and I've been meaning to get one for her here. In the meantime, she's adopted an old espresso set we had laying around and uses that for tea parties. In about a year and a half of use we have one broken saucer and chipped one cup, which I think is pretty good for a now 3.5 yr old. We're not ritual tea drinkers here either by any means, although we do drink tea upon occasion. I'm not even sure we've read anything that really has much in the way of tea parties and such, but she's certainly latched onto the idea.

mrsdarwin said...

The girls have already broken a cup and three saucers, but we'd lain in a supply of superglue just for that eventuality. Actually, it's young Babs doing all the breaking; Noogs plays quite carefully for the most part. They're so cute to watch...