Girl Toys Galore

1) For whatever reason, I seem to have a great desire to take a nap each day I am at the office at the 2 o'clock hour. I just want to lay down of the floor.

2) Kid parties. Nobody loves them. Except maybe the kids. My favorite thing about them are the other adult faces I get to see. For example, today I will be seeing Christy, one of my C. Street roommates, for her daughter Olivia's birthday. I remember meeting Livy in the hospital when she was born. I was taken by her beauty. Now she is 5. Some photos:

Christy and I before babies of any kind entered the picture. 

Caleb and Olivia

Christy and I with our boys. Caleb has turned one, while Isaiah was just born!

Last December

This was at Isaiah's 2nd bday a few months ago.

Our handsome little men, ages 2 & 3.

Olivia Grace, Age 4. Turning 5 like...NOW!

Anyway, these are some of the faces I am glad to see at these parties, and these are the reasons I go to them, risking my health and sanity among the many small children that are sure to be there.

Just kidding. I only got strep throat at the last kid party I attended. No big deal. ;)  But seriously, while I don't see them enough, I love them. 

3) I went to Target today on my lunch break to get Miss. Livy a birthday present. The child is as girly as they come. She is also just like her mother. But that's besides the point here. Point is, I was terrified by the selection at Target for girls! Granted, I was in a rush and loosely explored 3 aisles of pink doll/barbie/crap. But still I could not help but be freaked out. Overall, the toys aimed for little girls were lots of unnatural looking dolls with lots of tiny waists smaller than my pinky, long slinky spider legs, some with freakishly large heads. There wasn't much of a selection that spoke to critical thinking or building. The creative toys seem to enforce standards for what should be girly. Or course there are things like playdoh and building blocks, but nothing aimed for the girly girls that encourage invention or ingenuity. 

Instead I saw: 

I am not saying there is anything wrong with dolls or girls wanting these things (even though the first photo looks particularly terrifying. Like a doll clowns gone wrong). I am just making note of this huge disparity I saw when searching for my 5 year old little friend. I wanted something to challenge her in some way, besides the onslaught toys that seem to show a depiction of what beauty is. Big eyes. Shiny hair. Small waists. Made up faces. 

I was never allowed to have barbies as a child. I didn't have much in lieu of toys. In Caleb's three years of life, he has had more than I ever did. It is actually a bit much. 

I had blocks, some stuffed toys, and books. I loved, loved, loved books. But I always wanted a barbie and a doll. Even when a beautiful Mulan doll was given to me, my mom took her away. I tried hiding her, and she was gone. I was so sad. I don't think it is necessary to deprive children of these things. If we are worried about what these kinds of toys communicate about beauty, this is something we can talk about with our daughters. Because it is an important discussion to have. And so often with girls, even in every day passing by comments, we tell them how cute or pretty they are. Or compliment their pretty dresses or shoes. These things are fine, and important even to remind our girls that they are beautiful inside and out. But I think on the flip side, making an emphases on their attributes as people is just as important, and far less common. I kind of touched upon this during a random rant I had here.

I ended up getting Livy a toy, which lucky for me was on clearance. ;) I chose it because of how it incorporates creative design and ingenuity.

It does go with some huge headed dolls, and I can see how this could be fun for a child to have. I think I was just alarmed by my little experience today in shopping for a little girl. Boy toys are different. They encourage different skills and speak to different abilities. I guess I was just unprepared for the disappointing lack of variety that I saw. 

Anyone have thoughts in agreement or disagreement? I'd love to hear them! I think this is an important and interesting conversation to have.

That's all for now! Have a good day! I'll be partying it up with Caleb, Amanda, Grace, Christy and her gorgeous family, possibly Amy, and many more at Chuck E. Cheese today!