Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yesterday Adrian's scout group had their ceremonial wherein the kids received the badges they had earned over the year. Adrian got 8! The ceremonial was held at Kankakee River State Park, which is about an hour from our house. On the way home, Adrian asked to get dinner from the drive-thru.
Usually I avoid the drive-thru. I don't like the culture, I don't think the food is healthy, I don't like all the trash that is a result of a meal-in-a-bag. But I was exhausted from corraling 2 kids out in the woods all day, and he had been really good so we pulled up to a McDonalds. I don't really like McDonalds either--they are like the WalMart of the food industry and I find them distasteful. I placed the order for 2 happy meals, and the voice-from-a-box asked if they were for boys or girls. (a small alarm went off, but I ignored it) I said one of each. We drive to the first window and pay, then we drive to the second window and get our bags.

Once home, I get a good look at the toys. Adrian got a hot wheels car--cool. He loves those things and 1 car can keep him busy for HOURS.
Fiona got a Barbie compact with lip gloss.
I lost my shit.

Make up is not a toy. Children don't need it (they don't need hot wheels cars either, but that's not the point I'm trying to make).
In one seemingly innocent package, McDonalds manages to deliver a load of social conditioning and a message about gender roles.
Again, I lost my shit.
And I know some of you are probably thinking "Relax, it's just a toy. It's just about having fun".
Go and ask any grown woman you know WHY she puts on make up. I will guarantee you it's not because she needs a dose of fun before she heads out the door in the morning.
Halloween make up is fun. Clown make up is fun (creepy, but fun).

But a mirrored compact with lip gloss is just setting girls up for disappointment. There are only a limited number of play scenarios that you can use that particular item in. And none of them seem to encourage girls to be proud of their bodies and their brains.
I was hoping that we had moved past the idea that girls are to be concerned with how they look, whereas boys are to be concerned with how things work.

So, that's my soapbox.
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And now I'm back!

I went away for 4 days, to Connecticut/Maine/Connecticut to visit my brother/go to a wedding of a dear friend. It was wonderful and strange to be travelling alone. I got a lot of guff for leaving the kids behind, but I needed 4 days of not being a mom to put my head back on straight.

And then tonight, further evidence of Adrian's precociousness:

AD: Mom, is Santa real?

ME: oh god oh god think quick, don't ruin the magic yet, he'll be that kid on the playground, what am I going to--What do you think?

AD: I think he's imaginary.

ME: he can NOT have figured this out already, he's only 4 for crying out loud What does that mean?

AD: That he's like a dream.

ME: AHA! But he brings real presents.

AD: Sometimes dreams really do come true, Mom.

ME: (trying not to laugh) I guess so buddy.

Not really a lie, not really the truth. Is Santa real? I don't know. I know I perpetuate the myth because I like the idea of a jolly guy in a red suit who hands out toys to the good kids and coal to the bad ones. I'm fairly certain that's the first little step in teaching our kids the ideal of Justice. Plus it comes with the added puzzler of how does he see me all the time? And not just me, but every kid, all over the world?
So it's a lesson on justice and espionage. And who doesn't want that for Christmas?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

@ the philadelphia airport. I can't help thinking that it seems weird to eat a cheesesteak in the airport. Like you're cheating, somehow.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Putting Fiona down for a nap.
Me: I love you.
Fiona: I love dinosaurs!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

o hai

I just looked at the calendar and realized it was September. Ha ha. So I should probably finish the epic tale of our trip to New Jersey.
I could go on in detail, but it sounds like the kids are about to stage a World Wrestling Federation style throw-down, so I will be brief. Adrian swims! Nessa's sister-in-law, Dakota, came over for swim lessons. Fiona also swims, but I didn't get that on film (I know, major disappointment)
And the OCEAN! I love the ocean. Adrian also loves the ocean. Fiona likes the sand, but mostly she wanted to hang in the baby pool at the beach club. There's no accounting for taste, I suppose.

Nessa taught Adrian all about the intricacies of sandcastle building & decorating.