We’re still debating what to get K for Christmas. We picked up a dollhouse a while ago, only to find, after marching her up and down the aisles of various toy stores, that she doesn’t want dolls. She didn’t really want the cute little animal families I picked out. Nor did she want the princess dresses curiously absent from our dress-up box. You know what she wants? Trucks. Especially fire trucks.
It’s not that K isn’t girly. Her favorite colors are pink and purple, so much so that she thinks everyone’s favorite colors should be pink and purple. So it’s a bit confusing for her: how come M gets to have trucks in his favorite colors? Where are my pink and purple fire trucks?
So after an exhaustive in-store and online search, I’m here to tell you that there are no pink and purple fire trucks. There are no pink or purple trucks or cars, period.*
*I’m exaggerating a little here. I’m aware that there are two such vehicles made by Fisher Price. The first is a purple SUV, which we have. She does not play with it, maybe because it features a mom and her baby running errands around town, and we all know that firemen are too busy to be running errands. The second is a pink dump truck. A little, lame pink dump truck. Trust me, it would pale in comparison to the garage full of working rigs M has collected.
I’ve struggled with genderization before (like here and here). I want to get on my soapbox about the stereotypes we have about kids and how they contribute to this dilemma. Here’s what stops me: K has another present she wants. It’s a baby that drinks milk from a bottle. In the midst of her truck search, she paused for an eternity to let this creepily realistic baby suck on her plastic bottle. She patted the baby, let her drink more, gave her a kiss, and then stroked her as she fell asleep (did I mention this thing was creepy?). So I’m biting my tongue a bit. But I still think, out of principle, that there should be trucks in all kinds of colors, instead of just boy. And maybe creepily realistic babies should come in some other shade than pink. And just for kicks, maybe we could consider that gender roles don’t have to be so clearly defined by the tender age of two.