Background: I grew up the type of little girl who preferred to play with the neighborhood boys. I'd rather be Luke Skywalker over Princess Leia any day, nifty hairdo notwithstanding. I received far more babydolls and Barbies for Christmas than I ever wanted, which mostly sat in a sad pile of neglect in the corner of my closet. Surprising most of the concerned adults around me, I turned out relatively normal and able to function in society.
Dear husband took our 7-year-old daughter to McDonald's for lunch (I'll put my disgust over the whole ground meat controversy aside for one moment) and she ordered a Happy Meal. For the toy, of course.
The toy choices on the wall were between a Build-A-Bear stuffed animal (girl toy) and a plastic Bakugan...somethingorother. I don't know what it is, exactly, but it's the boy toy. She opened the box and found within a pink stuffed animal with "Baby Rocks" printed on its shirt.
She frowned. "I wanted the Bakugan."
"Okay, we'll see if we can switch," said the husband, ever the doting dad.
Back to the counter they went. The employee looked startled. "But she's a girl. She got the girl toy." Now, this couldn't possibly have been the first time she'd encountered this scenario. Maybe she just startles easy.
"Yes, but is it possible to switch?"
"I suppose. You really want the boy toy, honey? Okay."
My husband said she was nice and all. Polite. Even let daughter pick which Bakugan she wanted. Still. Daughter was taken aback. She would NOT want to be confused with a boy. No no no. She's not even all that tomboyish.
I realize that if she were a boy who wanted the girl toy, the level of shit from the employee, and from society overall, would have been much greater. No! Stay within your pre-defined gender roles!
Anyway. I'm sure she won't be scarred for life. But, grrr. Sometimes parenting really is like reliving your childhood.
What kind of kid were you?
*By "wild" I mean "mild."