Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Public Has Spoken....

The wonderful knitters at the Mason-Dixon Knitalong have chimed in on my MDK baby kimonos, and the consensus seems to be that either colorway is fine for a boy or a girl...as long as the parents are OK with it.

As the mother of a 15 month old girl, I can attest to the fact that it's pretty easy to OD on pink and purple gifts from well-meaning friends/family. Personally, I think it's good to shake things up a bit. But some other people...well, not so much.

I recently had a discussion about this with DH, shortly after I brought home a Little People garbage truck toy for my daughter. I remarked to DH that, forward-thinking as I like to believe myself to be, I still found myself debating over whether I should buy M the toy because it was -- well, it was a friggin' garbage truck. What kind of "girl toy" was that?

Of course, as soon as the thought crossed my mind (as I stood at the toy table in the community center fundraising tag sale with this brand-new, still-in-the-box-with-the-tags-on toy marked at only $3 in my hot little hand), I chided myself for being ridiculous. What child, boy or girl, wouldn't like a bright-green truck with eyes for headlights that made chomping, burping, crashing noises at the pull of a handle and had not one but TWO pieces -- a short, squat garbage man and a silver garbage can overflowing with plastic "trash" -- to take off and play with.

Needless to say, I bought the truck. I'm happy to report, it's one of M's favorite toys.

But back to my discussion with DH. I told him of my hesitation at the toy sale, and he said that it was perfectly fine for his daughter to play with toy trucks if she wanted to. "But," he added, "No son of mine is going to play with an Easy-Bake Oven."

Now, how ridiculous is that? First of all, if there's any toy that any kid, boy or girl, should go crazy over, it's one that gives out junk food just for playing with it. Do you see GI Joe handing out brownies at the end of a rousing game of "bayonet the enemy soldiers"?

I thought not.

Similarly, when I was pregnant, a girlfriend gave me bags and bags of baby clothes -- all in pinks and purples -- that her young daughter had grown out of. She had just had a second baby herself, a boy, and so got rid of the "girl's" wardrobe and replaced it with clothes in "boy colors."

I was more than happy to accept my friend's generous gift, and as I sat delightedly sorting through tiny outfits, my husband commented on how sweet a gift it had been. Then he added, "But what if we wind up having a boy?"

"He'll wear pink until he outgrows these clothes," I replied, not missing a beat.

When my husband began to go on about the dire psychological results that dressing an infant boy in pink could engender, I pointed out that if that's the worst thing our child has to hash over in therapy one day, then he will have had a very fine life indeed.

Anyway, you see what I'm saying.

Color, gender, stereotypes of all kinds.... It's amazing that these are even still issues in today's society.

Remind me to write about how my favorite toy growing up was, of all things, a big, black machine gun. I kid you not -- I loved that thing. And the person who gave it to me was...my mother.

1 comment:

J Tzanis said...

I'm happy you decided to get the garbage truck for your daughter!

As much as I did love my Easy-Bake Oven, I was always jealous of the great trucks and airplanes my brothers always got...