June 29, 2009
With our fourth birthday quickly approaching, I've been trying to make a list of things I think the girls would like for gifts. Actually, I do a combined birthday/Christmas list since the holidays sneak up right after their birthday. This year I've realized how much easier it is to buy for girls than it is to buy gifts for boys.
I've always known little girls have a better selection of clothes. Dresses, skirts, pants, shorts.... don't tell my daughters, but sometimes I even scour the boy's clearance racks because the shorts and pants are cheaper. At this age, who's going to be able to tell the difference?
It's the selection of toys that makes everything a little unfair. My daughters have their fair share of baby dolls, Care Bears, dress-up clothes, fake food, etc. They also have cars, fire trucks, soccer balls. These days no one thinks twice about buying little girls toys that are traditionally associated with little boys. It doesn't bother me that my daughters don't always want to play with dolls. Some days they want to splash in the mud or race their cars around. But think about buying a boy a doll or a pink Care Bear and you may be setting yourself up for an argument. Now let's face it, not every boy wants to play with a doll, just like not every girl wants a baby doll. But why is it much more acceptable for girls to play with "boy" toys? Why do we even have "boy" and "girl" toys?
I did notice one exception to this "rule" many years ago. When I was in third or fourth grade, Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage. If you had one, you brought it to school. Suddenly it wasn't just the girls bringing their dolls to school... boys were receiving Cabbage Patch Kids and proudly bringing them to school, too. They, of course, always had boy dolls. It is the one time I can remember when it was acceptable for boys to own and play with dolls.
Boys want to have as much fun as girls, even if it means stomping around in dress up shoes. Have you heard the noise those shoes make on wood floors? What kid doesn't want to drive his or her parents crazy with those loud stomps?
On the flip-side, I don't push things on my daughters. If they want to wear pink and play with baby dolls, rather than cars, go for it. But on the days they want jeans and their fire truck, I'm all for that , too.