Being a child of the 80's, and a mom in the 20-whatever we call it right now, has made my head spin. I was a tom-boy growing up, died when my mom forced me in a Christmas dress for "pictures", and loved spending my weekend in the dust of a softball diamond. With that being said, I had balance when it came to my toys. I loved my pretty collector Barbies [man, as I write this I'm thinking 'husband' may not have been the obvious spouse for me, and why gender stereotypes aren't fair] and loved to dress up in sheets and pretend to be royalty [or the witches from Hocus Pocus].
I try not to over think parenting. That also means, I try not to over think the toys my daughter plays with. But, geez, it is getter harder to ignore what they sell on the shelves for girls. And this is where my amazing family and friends comes into play. They get it too. They get that Everly can play with pink toys, and red ones, and blue one, and yellow ones. I try to keep toys more in the wooden range these days, just because they tend to be made stronger and will last my strong pint sized baby girl, and they also tend to be a little less flashy. Because folks, that's how I would describe toys these days, especially the toys for our daughters. And then we wonder why our kids lack focus and imagination when they get into school when they have spent the first five years surrounded by flashing, blinking, music playing, image over-loaded toys.
And so, I can honestly say I am so blessed with the imagination building toys that our Everly was given for Christmas. A little kitchen that she can create masterpieces in, where she makes the sound effects, and the magic happen herself. Building blocks in varying sizes and shapes, that even came with magnets inside to help Everly "build" as she grows. And even a little Brio train, not a girl train, but a train, for a child to play with. And all of these goodies are balanced with dolls, stuffed animals, and fun little pull toys. Happiness for me comes when I see my daughter holding Ariel in one hand, and a train caboose in the other.
My hope for my daughter is that we can continue to surround her with toys that will inspire her, allow her to choose what she likes, and if she's anything like her mama, she will love a little bit of everything. If she wants to wear a tiara and tutu while pushing her tractor through the mud, well, I wouldn't have it any other way.
This post was inspired by the above ad from Lego, 1981. The article compares the toys of my childhood to the ones being sold today, and man, it is a strange place we have taken our daughters. Good read for any parent, or child of the 80's. And for the record, Everly has about thirty My Little Ponies from my collection ready for her - we got a couple out for her, but she thinks they are Sophies, so we will wait until this teething wave passes.