This isn't the first time vegetables have turned into a plaything. Once in a giant Costco size bag of carrots (guess which vegetable the kids will eat) we found a carrot that looked like legs, and one that looked like a torso and head. It was thrilling. So, naturally, we put them together with a tiny nail and named it Mr. Carrot Man.
|But with arms and legs. And less phallic.|
Mr. Carrot Man was cheerful fellow. He liked to entertain us with song and dance numbers. He enjoyed fraternizing with the toys and having grand adventures. He sat on the counter and kept me company as I slaved over boxed macaroni and cheese. And then he got old and shriveled up and gross and I had to throw him away. Oh, Mr. Carrot Man, we hardly knew ye.
I like that the kids play with unusual things or play with their toys in different ways, (possibly minus the time that I stumbled upon their stuffed animals embroiled in some sort of hostage situation, bound and gagged and strung up from the bed posts. That one was a little disturbing.) Especially Girl, who loves princess and baby dolls and ponies and refuses to wear anything but dresses, with the exception of the occasional tutu. I want to be one of those progressive parents who only has gender neutral toys carved from sustainably sourced beets or whatever, but I somehow ended up with plastic superhero action figures for the boys and sparkly high heels and tiaras for the girl. Anything else just gathers dust.
Sometimes I worry that they'll be restricted by gender norms. That my daughter will grow up thinking she has to be pretty to be of worth. After all, hasn't feminism long been associated with rejecting all things feminine? When I was growing up, it felt like anything that was girly was inferior. That it should either be rejected outright or hidden in shame.
I like to think that Girl's generation may be a new kind of feminist. One that doesn't see the disconnect in being feminine and being strong. Because she does kick-ass and look good doing it. And I hope that she'll never find it strange to wear her fanciest dress to poke a stick in mud puddles, have lightsaber fights in heels, or have Barbie pool parties with an alligator, three army men and Princess Tiana. After all, who says girls can't play with carrots?