Today I was on a quest – A quest to find my children their first gender specific toys. As I perused the toy aisles for the first time since I was an adolescent, I was reminded very quickly of how things were set up. My sight was flooded with a sea of pink as we turned down the “girl” aisle – Pink laptops, pink dolly’s, pink dump trucks. Screeeech. Hold on. Rewind… Pink dump trucks??
“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto”, I said to Will. (He didn’t get it.)
In the 80’s, I would’ve welcomed a bright pink dump truck. Back then it was unheard of. I was quite a bit of a tomboy, but was still a little princess at heart. For my worlds to have collided and manifested in a bright, shiny, pretty, pink, dump truck.. Well that would’ve been swell… But I digress.
I settled on a small, soft, bald-headed, Caucasian baby doll for Ari (there were no African American ones, but that’s a whole different post), and a florescent toy car for Jaxon.
When we got home, I handed my little tykes their new toy additions. Jaxon was so excited. Yay! My son is all boy! He found the closest smooth surface and started his tiny plastic vehicle on its course. Ari, on the other hand, was pissed. She wanted the toy car too apparently. It moves for cryin’ out loud! I kind of saw it all over her face. She wasn’t obvious or anything though..
I felt terrible.
To impose what society dictates as “gender appropriate” toys on my children was unfair and was something that my parents never did to me. One day I may have wanted Barbie’s Dream House, but the next, I wanted to help put together a model toy car. My parents were always happy to oblige. That open-mindedness opened my eyes to so many things, and I was ultimately made a better person for it. I should give my children (especially my baby girl) the same opportunity. What if she actually preferred driving dump trucks to being a Mother? My son and daughter have a birthday in three months. I know exactly what I’ll get Ari 😉