Jon Stewart Marvels at the Differences Between Boys and Girls

03/10/2009 at 08:00 PM ET
James Devaney/WireImage

For Jon Stewart, life with a son — 4 ½-year-old Nathan Thomas — and a daughter — 3-year-old Maggie Rose — has been nothing if not predictable. “My children are like 1950’s gender stereotypical,” he said during a recent appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. “With [Nate], everything is a gun, and [Maggie] just wants to play princess.” The 46-year-old Daily Show host and wife Tracey have “tried desperately” to reverse the roles the kids have assumed — but without success. Recalls Jon,

“One day, I said ‘Maggie, you are going to play superheroes and Nate, here’s a baby doll.’ And I turn around and the Incredible Hulk has an apron on. Meanwhile Nate, baby man, is gouging out the doll’s eyes.”

Maggie’s love of all things girly-girl even extends to makeup. “In the morning, she’s [potty] training, and she’ll say ‘Daddy I need privacy,'” Jon explains. His daughter then uses that private time to apply some lipstick, however, and her technique needs some work! “She does not have the motor skills…So bless her heart, we leave in the morning to go to school and I feel like I’m on a date with a miniature, aging French hooker,” Jon joked.

Meanwhile Nate has been busy perfecting his “taunting” skills! Jon shared that he recently suffered through a nasty stomach flu that required an overnight stay in the hospital, and he had an even ruder awakening waiting for him at home!

“I was just getting changed and I hear this rustling and he’s [behind me], just leaning against the door like this [rocks back and forth, arms crossed]. And he goes, ‘Diarrhea.’ I couldn’t even believe it. I literally was like, ‘Oh my God, this kid is going to take my lunch money…What am I gonna do? I’ve gotta get out of this closet!'”

Source: Late Show with David Letterman

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Michelle on

Before I had kids, I always thought that those gender roles were more “nurture” than “nature”, but since then (and I only have boys), I’ve pretty much changed my opinion . . . .

Erica on

I am close in age to my brother and we were always very stereotypical boy and girl too. I loved anything pink, princesses, makeup and dolls. He liked toy cars, trucks and cartoons. My mom would paint my nails and he would be like “Why would you do that?” from the time he was little. I also LOVED dresses, and wore them almost every day, where my mom had to fight him to wear any clothes at all. We still are like that- I’m very girly, he wants nothing to do with clothes. So I do think there is a natural difference and it’s not the way you were raised. I was just more nurturing with my dolls, and was just rough and tumble.

Natasha on

I’m with both of you on that one, my brothers were so rambunctious (sp?) and I wanted nothing to do with it. Give me my dollhouse and some barbies and I was so set to go haha

April on

My daughter is 3 and does the same thing with needing privacy and using it as an excuse to get into things!!! Yesterday I was busy doing laundry and lost track of how long she had been gone. Went upstairs and she had gotten into a box of bandaids and put on at least 15 of them. I had to laugh. I’m thankful it wasn’t my lipstick!!

Sarah on

I shared a room with my brothers till I was 12, and I loved Barbies and babies, but I was then and still am now, a jeans girl. I loved superheroes, and comic books, and power rangers and stuff like that. I think it just depends on the personality.

Eliza on

Too funny! He always tells the funniest anecdotes about his kids!

Jane on

When I was little I was very much a tomboy, I played outside all day, shared a room with my brother, watched all the super-hero tv shows. But as I got older and went to school and started spending more time with girls I got a lot more girly, to the point where anyone would laugh in my face if I tried to tell them I was a tomboy when I was little.😀 There are kids who are influenced by their environment in situations like these, but there are also tons of kids for who it just seems to be predetermined genetically. I love Jon’s stories about his kids, they’re always so cute! on

My son and daughter do everything together: play Star Wars, take their baby dolls to the doctor, set up the doll house, make guns out of Legos and hide and shoot from each other and bake in their toy kitchen. Having said that, my son is a boy through and through and my daughter will never refuse tights and a dress. They’re both very well-rounded, but also obviously wired to be a boy and a girl. Can’t wait to see how their baby sister fits in the mix in a year!

Stephany on

Yeah, my brother and I were definitely stereotypical kids. My brother was into his action figures and video games and being messy and dirty while I was into my Barbie dolls and princess movies and hated being messy and dirty. Not to say that I didn’t venture into the world of action figures every once in a while and that I didn’t force my brother to play Barbies with me.🙂

taegan on

It’s great to hear him talk about his kids. There are some who are very stereotypical, but also at times step out of the box.

Love Jon S

Mary on

I think that one of the reasons why eldest children are different from the rest of the children a family has is that by the time the second one arrives, parents have fewer illusions about their role. We were determined that our older son wasn’t going to be given toy guns (yeah, 20 years later it sounds ridiculous to me, too), but not only did he become the neighborhood pest (“I see your gun?” “I wanna play your gun”) but everything imaginable “became” a gun. The day he pointed a piece of toast at me (and fired it), I gave up. People have remarked since my sons were tiny that they couldn’t be more different, but I always ask them, “Would your daughter prefer to wrestle than eat? Does she stand on the coffee table with a “sword” in one hand and a “rifle” in the other, bellowing indecipherable battle cries?” There is something about testosterone that I just would not have believed until I had boys…

Elle 711 on

I love Jon Stewart. If I don’t get a fix of JS every day it’s just not right. I grew up an only child but played with tons of neighborhood kids. The boys were always playing army and jumping off the roof of my house. Us girls were in the backyard playing dress up. I did jump off the house a couple of times and could usually be found up a tree but the gender differences were fairly clear even then.

Mia on

I think boys, and girls can be into both things, but naturally-the hormones win and boys tend to be geared towards more testosterone driven actives than girls, and visa versa.

My brother, and I were very close growing up, and even today-I’ve always had all guy friends just because I get along with guys better than girls. I enjoyed sports, and video games that dealt with car races and fighting, but I still very much loved playing/taking care of my baby dolls, barbies, playing house, and having a “kitchen” (plastic toy food), where my brother loved karate, fencing, and toy guns (like the nerf guns from the 90’s).

Kay on

Growing up, my brother and I played the same roles, except we flipped them. My brother would spend hours in front of the mirror with dresses and barbies while I would spend hours outside with dirt. We have both since found a happy medium.

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