As the gift-giving holidays come and go, the more I realize the challenge I have in raising a daughter - at least a daughter who doesn't think the world revolves around fairy princesses, dollhouses, and a kitchen.
I feel like I've sort of lost the battle on the clothing front. Ever since she discovered PINK, she seems to need to be dressed in it from head to toe. Hell, even her bike had to be PINK. And while most of the skirts and dresses she owns were gifts, I started investing in them myself when her casted leg made pulling on pants a ridiculously difficult undertaking.
But toys? Toys are the worst. It's either a kitchen or a really cool workbench. Or a doll house or a rockin' race car track. Hmmm... Let's see. How much more can I force gender roles on my child?
"Here honey. Make sure to put the eggs in the refrigerator because your husband won't like bad eggs with his toast in the morning."
But then I realize, that while my daughter doesn't watch much television (at least tv with commercials) she does watch me. And she sees me cook and clean (on good days... heh), and put my make-up on. So, it just so happens that she likes to do the same.
What's a parent to do? Deny her the kitchen toy she thinks is really cool because I don't want her to think her life has to be lived in the kitchen and give her a workbench instead? I mean, are these toys really telling her "you can grow up and be a carpenter too" or are they just toys?
So, when her Aunt asked what she'd like for her birthday and sent some links for toys, I picked three things:
Two dinosaur toys and My First Purse
Yeah. I know. My First Purse. Chock full of her own cell phone, keys, wallet, mirror, and... lipstick.
And she fucking loves it. I see her putting her lipstick on about 12 times a day (sort of like me, but with a little more flourish). And then she goes off and feeds her two dinosaurs oatmeal, plays with her train set, and rides her bike around the house.
I figure the least I can do is show her the best of both worlds. That she can play with cars and trains, and slap on a pretty pink lipstick all in the same breath. And my hope is that she'll know that the world is her oyster and it doesn't have to be so black and white.
Isn't that what choice is all about?