RANT: I’ve got something to say

I've got to get this offa my chest!

Parents of the world, mothers in particular, I’ve got something to say. Now, if you’re a regular reader you know that 99.99% of this Hobo Boxcar is 100% silly, sarcastic and devoted to WASTING PRECIOUS TIME! But every once in a while, I take it to the AFTER-SCHOOL SPECIAL territory…this post is one of those.

Now that Angry Baby is a hardcore sitter, and actually likes to play with toys, instead of her usual flinging and throwing them at my face, I thought it would be a FUN(!) experience shopping for BABY TOYS(!)

Last Sunday, I felt the need to invest in some additional developmental toys at Babies r’ Them, truth-be-told: between Christmas, showers and other random baby presents, we hadn’t bought a SINGLE TOY! What I witnessed last weekend was something that I am still boiling MAD about today. I’ll get to that soon enough.

Now I know a LOT of you LOVE shopping at Babies r’ Them, but I can’t stand it. I’m not getting all high and mighty about the fact it’s a PANTHEON OF THINGS YOUR BABIES DON’T NEED, or the fact that everything is marked up within an inch of legality, I’m just stating a fact that every time I think of even having to go into that dreadful house of retail horrors, my stomach lurches.

During last Sunday’s  MAGICAL DAY away from “Queen La-Teef-a,” one of our shopping stops was  Babies r’ Them. Seeing as I hadn’t been in a better part of a year AND it was to buy toys, I had a bit of a spring in my step. We made the arduous hike across the DESIGNER(!) buttcheek changers, to the other side of the store, the TOY section!!! That’s when a curious phenomenon became apparent, one I am going to share with you now in photos.

All of the classic toys of your and my childhood, are “Princessed up” AKA in Lavender and Pink, just for GIRLS(!)

Look,  I refuse to dress my daughter in pink/purple only. I hated the fact that when I was baby registering (AKA the first time I had been in Babies r’ Them,) I hated that EVERYTHING for girls was pink or purple. I thought, ok this goes away once children grow and their sex doesn’t need to be proclaimed with a color. But apparently, it never stops, now fundamental baby toys are pink and purple. The Truth: Every time I dress angry baby in a color other than pink or purple, I’m told what a handsome little boy I have. I’m ok with that, she’s pretty tuff for a boy! 

I suspect this is a marketing ploy. Targeted at YOU! Who?

1. Mom, your sense of matching and style is going to get the best of you and trick you into buying this nonsense.

2. Frantic child’s party guest who says: Hey, I don’t know anything about this kid, but SHE is a GIRL!

YOU must be buying it, or better yet, CLAMORING for it! You are to blame. Companies aren’t trying to randomly brainwash our little girls, they are merely catering to what we’ve told our gals they like since the day we found out they we’re a girl. In the interest of full disclosure, I must let you know that my favorite color since childhood was and is, Purple. I remember choosing purple WHENEVER it was an option. But you know what? I had PRIMARY COLORS when I was a developing baby.

That’s what we’re missing here, primary colors are a key tool in developing babies brainmeat, they stimulate, teach and dazzle our little lumps of Anger and provide the basis for relating with the world. Think about it, colors are the gateway lesson to a TON of things, why would you want to deny any kid that, let alone a girl, because it looked cuter to have all pink and purple toys. Boo!!! Hiss.

A Note of contradiction: I will give one exception to this rant.

I have two friends who are the mothers of TWINS. Mothers of twins are oracles of wisdom, they are SUPER- Supermoms. As all mothers of twins know, the kiddos often fite and argue, it’s just the nature of the miracle. Not only do these women have double the baby duty, as they grow, she is also a full-time ref. One hard rule of twindom (and all of sibling kingdom) is, “whatever they have I want too.” So if you’ve got twins, I say buy BOTH Sets of colors, because you’re going to have to negotiate many a toy theft treaty, you might as well be able to tell whose is which easily.

For every other parent, or partygoer of a little girl, stick with classic colors first. Let her pick out  a purple suede jacket and matching purple outfit when she’s in 7th grade and get laughed out of the cafeteria, favorite colors on her own. But what do I know?

I know that if you wear too much purple, you end up looking like a bruise.

Muuuuch Better! Thanks for listening!


RANT: I’ve got something to say — 7 Comments

  1. Even though I’m a self-proclaimed Queen around my house and gobble up all things pink, purple, and sparkly; I HATE that toys and clothes and baby-what-not is separated by gender. The other day my son picked up some nail polish and my husband said, “That’s not for boys Buddy.” I immediately lost it! He’s two! He probably liked the color. Let kids be kids. Stop forcing them into gender roles. Society will wreak that havoc on its own. I loved my He-Man and Battle Cat. And often they would go on adventures with Jem and Barbie on Little Ponies. Preach on Crib Keeper!

  2. I’m with ya on the toys. I don’t mind pink, frilly, prissed up clothing for baby girls…in fact, I love it…but there’s no reason to priss up all the toys.

  3. You are so right. It does not get better either. I have a boy and a girl and I think they pick and choose the colors they like and wear the things they want to wear, and so be it I have better battles to fight with them over then colors and clothes. Primary colors rock.


  4. Don’t hate me. I like the different colors that they have for toys. I like the pink. I love seeing the pink sports equipment the best because it is a new option, like it is okay to be athletic and feminine. But that’s a bit down the road.

    However, KP (my son), started picking favorite colors when he was a little over a year old, and pink happened to be one of them. So, we bought him pink toys. I like that they have both options. What I don’t like is when you aren’t even given an option. For example, KP went through a phase where he liked dolls. But the only dolls we could find were all frilly and girly girl. He wanted a policeman doll, but not an action figure. Also, he went through a kitchen phase. We finally found something, but your standard kitchen options are all decidedly girly.

    So, I think having pink options isn’t bad since there are still the primary options. I think that you can dress your girl in tutus and bows and still teach her how to kick a**. But it’s where there just isn’t a choice because the gender stereotypes are so ingrained that irritate me the most.

  5. No Hate Margot, everyone is entitled to TOY COLOR PREFERENCES!

    I like that KP’s a fan of pink, I’m glad you don’t stunt his preferences. I remember there being boy-themed plush animals in the 1980’s “My pet Monster,” was one my brother had, he also played with cabbage patch kids.
    It just shocked me to learn basic toys (stacking rings) that were designed to help babies learn colors are now available in PINK! Why couldn’t they have at least done a pastel rainbow!? A 7 month old has no set color preferences. She DOES however need to learn ROY G. BIV!

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