as you like it

I just went shopping for a little girl’s birthday present. I’m guessing she is about five-ish, I have no idea but I got suckered into going to her babyparty because she is a friend of Jake’s and her mom is my cousin’s friend so I’m officially on the list. By default. Or courtesy. Or whatever. I’m totally a B-lister so that means that I can just sit back and watch the pink unfold before my eyes. Erase that. I didn’t mean to say that. It sounds really porny, but all I meant is that there is going to be a lot of frilly stuff there (little girls tend to surround themselves in it) and I’m not an official family friend so I can sit in the corner and not take part in the madness. You guys have dirty minds.

I always head to The Children’s Boutique for kidgifts because they have a lot of original stuff there and they aren’t corporate and you are almost guaranteed to not buy something the brat already has squirreled away somewhere and not a lot of people from my neighborhood brave downtown, especially if they are in the market for toys. I’m usually bowled over with choices but I had a hard time finding anything appropriate.

Appropriate girls’ toys to me are non-pink, non-princess, non-ballerina, non-popstar, non-slutty, non-dress-up, non-kitchen, non-dolly, non-Disney, non-Dora, non-non. After today I’m adding non-High School Musical, non-Hannah Montana, non-Madeline, non-Groovy Girls and non-Bratz. What did I end up with? A Barbie and her kitchen complete with 30 pieces of flair. Whatever. It’s not my kid.

JUNK! Girls toys are junk! Sexist, silly, syrupy, sparkley junk.

Don’t tell anyone I’m admitting this- Barbie I kind of like, but this progressive new Barbie is atrocious. Where are her boobs? What’s with the eye make-up? Why isn’t she tan? Why is she dressed in more than a bathing suit? How is America supposed to keep her daughters skinny, busty, blonde, and dippy with this new Barbie? I hate.

It’s so much easier with Jake, who is only really into cars and skeletons. And buses, trains, ambulances, helicopters, planes, trucks, and wagons. And tractors. And his Bear. And cookies.

I try really hard to never ever buy anything that has to do with any sort of popular character but stuff finds its way into our house despite my best effort. We have a Spiderman t-shirt upstairs from an aunt, a Bob the Builder (“Bobbabilda“) book from a judge, a few Winnie the Pooh books from a neighbor, and a Superman ball from my mom. Jake knows who Tigger and Piglet is even though I never talked about them until he did (disclaimer: I’m okay with the vintage Pooh stuff. It somehow seems okay to me). He knows Dora and Diego, every damned resident of Sesame Street is his best friend, and I almost threw up the other day when he pointed at a lady in a purple sweater and screamed “Bahhhneeee!!!!”. I’m okay that he loves Elmo and Ernie and Big Bird. I’m okay that he feens for Boohbahs and “‘Tubbies“. And I’m even okay that he likes Curious George, but I’m not okay with Bahnee.

And I’m completely at ease with the fact that whenever he sees a skeleton he wants to “kiss da bones”. It’s very normal, I’m sure.

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