SHE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Wendy
Christmas shopping for a toddler is way more fun than Christmas shopping for a baby. You can pick out objects that you know will actually serve as more than just a chew toy. Your child’s imagination is developing, he’s beginning to role play, to pretend to fly his airplane, to open books and point to pictures and name them. Imagining the joy in his face when he’s surrounded by wrapping paper and boxes and shiny new toys has helped me recapture the magic of Christmas.
A little while ago, Alex and I were discussing what to get Lucas for Christmas. He’s obsessed with airplanes, so we knew that was on the list. He’s also big into his Sesame Street DVDs, so a stuffed animal Elmo was a must-have. But we wanted one big-ticket item that would be the big WOW. The one that would occupy him for more than 5 minutes so Mom and Dad could maybe sit down on the couch and not worry that he was going to slam his head into the wall running across the room (since that’s his favorite thing to do, as opposed to sit and play with his now outdated baby toys). A while back, I noticed that when we go to Eric and Gaby’s house for What?! Blog meetings, Lucas loved to play with Chinchilla’s kitchen. So I proposed we get Lucas his own toy kitchen.
Alex’s reaction: nooooooo. He wondered why we couldn’t just get him Legos or Transformers instead. Well, sure, we could always get him those things, but since he showed interest in the kitchen and played and played in the corner while we miraculously got work done, I thought it would be a great present. He still bristled.
Wanna know what I think? I think Alex didn’t want to get Lucas a kitchen because, in his mind, it’s a girl’s toy.
Alex may provide you a list of other excuses for why he didn’t want the toy kitchen, but at the end of the day, I know he’s much more comfortable with the toy selection we purchased for Lucas instead—a set of safari Legos. I have no problem getting Lucas Legos or airplanes or trucks or Transformers. But I also don’t have a problem giving him a toy kitchen. I think that, in this day and age, a kitchen is gender neutral enough. It’s not just Mommies cooking dinner and washing dishes in the kitchen any longer. Lucas will grow up to see me and Alex sharing the duties of cooking and cleaning, and he’ll think it’s perfectly natural for a man to cook up a meal or load up the dishwasher.
Now, I’ll be perfectly honest with you. There are some toys I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy for Lucas: Barbies, My Little Ponies, Bratz, etc. If he asked for them, I’d buy them for him in a heartbeat. And if he played with them at another child’s house, I would never step in and tell him those are “girl’s toys.” But I wouldn’t initiate buying these kinds of toys for him, either. Perhaps that makes me hypocritical. I can admit my fault here. But at the end of the day, I believe a kitchen, or a toy bake oven, or any other those formerly female kitchen/homemaking toys now firmly belong to both sexes.
Now, if only the toy companies would start manufacturing them in colors other than pink…but that’s another What?! Blog battle for another day.
HE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Alex
Have you seen those commercials on TV where this lady is all excited because she’s using an awesome vacuum cleaner?
1) Who gets excited about cleaning (besides Danny Tanner)
2) In my house, I do the vacuuming while Lucas follows me around wondering WTF I am doing but excited nonetheless.
In this day and age, those commercials are absolutely ridiculous. Just like getting your man a set of tools for Christmas just because he’s a man. Or thinking that vacuum cleaners or any other kind of cleaning product are strictly for women. As Wendy mentioned, in our house and luckily in many other houses now, chores such as cooking and cleaning are being shared between men and women. As it should be. Lucas will grow up watching me vacuum, clean the bathrooms, wash a ton of dishes, and occasionally attempt to cook. I say occasionally because in our house, Wendy mainly handles cooking while I handle the dirty dishes.
Lucas will not see these things as gender specific as many of us did growing up. What Wendy failed to mention in her blog post up above is that my reason for not getting Lucas a kitchen is because they are pricey (I think about $150-200). I’m not willing to spend that on him just because he banged a couple of toy pots together at Chinchilla’s house. At least not at this age when he can’t yet ask for what he wants. If at 3-4 years of age, he turns to me and says, “Dad, I want a kitchen!” then it will automatically go on his Birthday/Christmas list. Why? Because him asking for it lets me know he will use it. The only reason Lucas played with Chincilla’s kitchen was because it was new to him and that’s it. No special reason beyond that.
I mean, this was his reaction: OH! What is this? BANG BANG BANG THROW BANG BANG BANG CHEW
Yeah, I’m not getting him something super expensive based on that. Nor would I get him an expensive Millennium Falcon from Star Wars because he just doesn’t give a shit right now. He loves airplanes and that’s already taken care of (as well as Elmo). No need for more toys because the rest of our families are going to spoil him rotten. I will never have a problem with whatever toy Lucas chooses to play with when he gets older. He won’t be afraid of asking for anything either because he won’t have grown up in a house that thinks gay men are going to hell. He’ll know that all women and men, gay or not, are equal and that Ryu gave Sagat that scar across his chest. You know? Required knowledge.
Anyhow, Bad Boys 2 is on and I think they just sank a boat.