I have 2 kids, a boy and a girl, we were lucky we went from no kids to 1 year later we had one of each make a model available to us without importing. Having one of each is both a blessing and a curse, each child is so different before you even look into gender variances. My daughter is more likely to hug something to death while my son is more likely to shake something to death, I guess in this example the end result is the same so it’s just the path they choose to get there. This is fodder for a much longer blog later in life.
The reason for me writing today is for insight, my kids want for nothing, they have one of everything, it’s one of the luxuries of the money we make in this day and age and possibly me making up for the few things I had as a child. As they get older they have toys they really love and things they really want be it based off cartoons they love, commercials or a walk through the toy section at target. We also picked up as my daughter aged that if they don’t LOVE it in the store, they won’t play with t when it comes home. No matter how cool we as parents (or Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts) believe it to be. My son was late jumping on the wanting band wagon. Anyone who has met him knows he loves balls… he really loves balls and he could play with balls all day long and be the happiest kid in the world. He has maybe chosen 5 toys in the stores that were not balls or somehow ball related.
Here is the reason I am writing, with a sister just a year older, the age range for all their toys cross over and he has now started to fall in love with things she has fallen out of love with. However, many of these toys are clearly toys bought specifically for a 1-2 year old girl with many of them in purple or pink. Keep in mind my daughter was the first born, the first grandchild on my wife’s side and the lone “child” left among my nieces and nephews. She got everything. So there are a lot of things in this house based around Princesses, the color pink, ponies and the color purple. The kitchen my two kids both play with daily has her name scribbled on the front and is in pink pastels, they share pink chairs, he carries purses when we leave the house and the latest toy is a purple leap frog dog named Violet.
My daughter has been over Violet for over a year now, she just recently was pulled from the closet and my son quickly fell in love despite the fact that the dog was purple and was programmed to say my daughter’s name what seems like 3 times every 10 seconds. None of this has ever bothered me, I have no issue with the amount of pink, the Little Mermaid purse he just took through Target this week (it was filled with balls) or the fact that he has fallen for a purple dog. I played with Erin Tessmer’s My Little Ponies as a kid, I played with Jeanie Grabowski’s Cabbage Patch Kids and Barbie Dolls as a kid and I turned out fine. Heck, I still love Care Bears to this day thanks to their strong positive and uplifting message (and the fact that they are so stinking cute). So, what is bothering me you ask…. well, have I robbed my son by not getting him boy equivalents of his favorite toys or asking him to play with Hand Me Down versions of her favorites? There is a green dog named Scout that does the same things that I can expect from Violet, but he doesn’t love Scout, heck, he doesn’t even know Scout. It’s not like he doesn’t have toys of his own, he does and he loves those, so does Mia. Maybe I should be excited that the same kid who plays with cars and balls can rock out with ponies and princesses. Today I re-programmed Violet to say my son’s name and tonight my son will take this purple dog to bed with him and if it’s anything like last night he’ll play with this lady dog for an hour or so before falling asleep only to chuck her out of the bed when he is done with her. Maybe those are the boy instincts kicking in and I have other lessons I need to teach the little guy. It’s okay to let them stay the whole night, sometimes it’s even the best part.
Be Good to each other, stay awesome.
Miche is a dad to two adorable kids, he love care bears and write for michedwenger.com