Tag Archives: messages

That’s What I Meant

9 Oct

3 birthday parties for 5 children in 1 weekend = a lot of presents to purchase. To accomplish this feat I brought my trusty advisers with me to pick out some gifts for their buddies (not the best laid plan, but, not the focus of this post). So to the toy aisle of Target I went with Katie (3 ½ ) and Annie (5 ½ ), and here’s a little snippet from our conversations:

Me: So Katie, what do you think we should get for Eli and Brian?

Katie: Something boy-lish.

Annie: There’s no such thing as “boy-lish” Katie. ‘Cause boys can like girls’ toys and girls can like boys’ toys.

Me: OooRrr….toys are for everyone, and boys and girls should get to play with whatever they like.

Annie: Right. That’s what I meant.

image credit: ms office images

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Saw It, But Didn’t See It

25 Sep

A couple of weeks ago I raised a concern about a sign that hung in Nordstrom’s children’s department which read “Boys Stink.”  The support from readers of this blog was fantastic, and I want to thank you all for lending your voice to this matter. I have to say, though, that the amazing response from readers was matched by an equally amazing response from Nordstrom. The Manager of the Scottsdale store removed her store’s signs, contacted the corporate office and PR departments of other stores featuring the same layout and design to encourage them to do the same, AND personally called all the folks that contacted her directly to say the signs were down and apologized for the poor judgment. In addition to the local Manager’s efforts, the Director of Visual Merchandising sent personal emails of the same tone to all of the people who contacted corporate about the signs.

In a phone conversation with a friend of mine, the Manager expressed gratitude for having this issue brought to her attention. She acknowledged that there really was nothing cute about a sign reading “Boys Stink” and regretted that it had gone up in the first place. And then she said something that I think we can all relate to,

“I saw it, but I didn’t really see it. You know?”

Yeah, I do know.

image credit: “Vintage Illustrated Poem” on eBay
What Are Little Boys Made Of?

How many times have we recited nursery rhymes that imply the superiority of one sex over the other? How many times have we heard chants that suggest some battle between the sexes? How many times have we read logos on shirts or titles on books that involve the degradation of one sex by the other?

image credit: zazzle.com

*  In the words of my friend Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies, “You don’t raise girls up by breaking boys down.”  Is there really a winner when the advancement of one means the decline of the other? The battle of the sexes is a zero-sum game, but since the beginning of time we’ve pitted one sex against the other while all evidence points to the fact that this is indeed not helpful to anyone.

Don’t we want kids to get along and respect each other? Isn’t that what we expect them to do as adults? The “boys versus girls” messaging is so prevalent, it is easy to see how many of us have become desensitized to it.  Yet, if we open our eyes to it, it’s plain to see how it is eroding relationships between boys and girls/ men and women and we need to ask ourselves “Why?”

I never doubted that Nordstrom would remove the “Boys Stink” signs from their stores, but I think what happened was a bit more than a store responding to “offended” customers by taking down some plaques. I like to think we helped a big corporation to SEE something. And for this I thank you!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

10 Jul

There’s a lot to be said about summertime in the desert, but one thing is certain–you’ve gotta get out-of-town if you can! Our plan for escaping the 110+ degree heat this July has been to bring the kids to my hometown where we will be staying with my parents for a few weeks. Alas, the best laid plans…..

Continue reading

Maybe she was listening after all….

26 Jun

Just when I think my words are falling on deaf ears…..

Annie: “Can Sasha and Aaron be friends?”
Me: “Of course. Why?”
Annie: “Because Morgan and Sarah said she couldn’t be friends with a boy, but I said she could. So I was right, right mom?”
Me: “Right.”
Annie: [Big Smile]

Isn’t it great to get it right?!  😉

June Book Salute: Brave Rooney

5 Jun

We are an iPad/iPhone lovin’ family. Of course I prefer my kids to play outside, create projects or read, but I have to say that at the end of the day (especially a day that involves a waiting room, a restaurant or a long car ride) these gadgets bring more peace than problems to my family.

image credit: Gerry Renert/Author

I love my iPad as an e-reader for myself, but until recently, I hadn’t found anything worth sharing with my kids in the way of children’s literature.  They weren’t very interested in hearing a story on the iPad when they could be frosting a cake or solving a puzzle. Well, that all changed with “Brave Rooney,” Continue reading

The Cycle of Gender Segregation

16 May

A post I wrote in January – 10 Reasons Girls and Boys Should Play Together – was recently shared by Pigtail Pals Ballcap Buddies and revisited by many (which was a thrill). In the post I make the statement that boys and girls don’t spend a whole lot of time together, and I go on to list some reasons why they should. I revisited this post myself, realizing it begs the question – why are girls and boys not spending time together in the first place? Continue reading

May Book Salute: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

1 May

In case you missed it, April 22nd marked the beginning of the first annual National Princess Week. Inviting children across the country to “celebrate the sparkle and wonder of every princess,” the long and the short of it is that Disney and Target partnered up (with Julie Andrews as a spokesperson) to get folks to buy a bunch of stuff for girls. Regardless of how you feel about the princess craze (and I pass no judgment here), I think we can all pretty much agree that these beloved characters are hardly lacking the attention and admiration that would warrant a week dedicated to their appreciation. But alas, as the Oncler once said to the Lorax, “business is business and business must grow!”

Photo Credit: PeggyOrenstein.com

So in the wake of Princess Week, it seems fitting to devote this month’s book salute to Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Continue reading

Getting Schooled By My Preschooler

24 Apr

The intention of this post is not to incite a princess debate. That being said, I certainly have my opinions, and I’ll admit that I can swing back and forth on the pendulum. Like many of you, the messages and lessons one can gather from fairy tales leave me uncomfortable. Likewise, the sheer overabundance of princess products in every aisle of every store makes me feel very put upon. I’m fairly certain I’d feel the same way about any commercial product that was showing up everywhere and stalling my progress in the grocery store by causing unnecessary “discussions” with a 3-year-old (translation: a 10 minute tantrum regarding a giant Cinderella gift bag we have no use for). Now on the other hand, I know my kids would love to go to Disneyland this summer, and I can’t imagine denying them the thrill of meeting the “real” princesses. We also have a number of princess products that have made their way into our home, and I will say that I rather enjoyed taking my kids to see ‘Tangled.’ So there you have it…I’m all over the board. But as I stated above, this isn’t about the great princess debate. It’s actually about me getting schooled by my 5-year-old. Continue reading

Messes and Messages

28 Feb

I will fully admit that I moved to Arizona kicking and screaming. I was not a trooper. I did not handle this relocation with ease nor with grace. But two kids and 7 ½ years later I have to say that living in the Valley of the Sun (especially in February) is pretty sweet. Continue reading

When you really wish they hadn’t heard that….

14 Feb

We do our fair share of TV watching in my house. I mean come on….a mom’s got to shower now and again, right? Now don’t get me wrong, my kids don’t veg-out in front of the television for hours on end. But, I’m not going to pretend I don’t let them watch TV because I do….. That being said I realize we are entering some troubled waters. My five year-old has begun requesting “big kid” TV shows, so I see that our days of mild, relatively commercial-free programming on Nick Jr. and PBS are inevitably numbered. Continue reading

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