Saturday, November 21, 2009

Making a list, checking it twice

We received two Christmas toy catalogs the last week of October. Before we would have only glanced at them before tossing them in the recycling bin. But now they hold new interest for us. Remi pored over them the first night like some men do the sports pages. We were wondering what to get Juliette for Christmas, of course. There were the little pony rocker type toys. Or the little trains kids can straddle and push around with their feet. Or little play sets of blocks (like we need more stuff littering floor the already covered by multi-colored toys).

I was pretty adamant about not (ever) getting her the play ironing set or cleaning cart. Those just seem like the most stereotypical girl toys. I commented on this to Tata Marie. Her own granddaughters aged 2 and ½ and 3 in fact wanted those very toys I’d “banned” from my list. Sigh. I guess girls see their moms, ‘cause let’s face it, it’s usually moms who iron, doing these activities and want to imitate them. My own British friend told me her 3 year-old son wanted a toy vacuum, so I guess it’s not limited to little girls. I joked with Remi that if Juliette ever did want cleaning type toys we might as well get her the real thing and put her to work. I think the vet set is a nice compromise. But I'm realistic enough to know she'll have her own opinion really soon.

These catalogs are also fascinating for Juliette, even though she still doesn’t know about the frenzy of Christmas (this will no doubt be the last year we can get away with that). She will spend a good fifteen minutes calmly on the couch next to us turning the pages and crying out “baby, baby” when she sees one next to a toy. (She does this with the Ikea catalog, too.) Or “cat-ki” and “woo-woo” when she sees a stuffed cat or dog. I try not to pressure her into liking the girl or boy toys, but I find myself rather bored with the “boy toys” of transformers and cars myself. I guess I’m a victim of the pink and blue toys, too, though my sister and I loved Lego, which is sometimes marketed more for boys.

In the end we still haven’t totally decided on her presents for this year. She would probably be just as happy with a big card board box anyway. Or a suitcase. So, readers, what were your favorite Christmas presents as kids?


Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate those toys to copy 'mum' - i think they are more popular in france where men and women still stick to (or are educated into) their 'roles' - more so anyway than in the UK.

I liked lego too but loved plastercine and play dough. haha, those were the days.

Lindle said...

Well, I have to admit that other than the guitar Santa brought us when I was nine, my favorite Christmas present was a little doll called Mary Jane, I think, and I loved her dark bangs and red plaid skirt. She was a small doll, no bigger than my hand and had bendable legs--something that was actually quite ground-breaking back then. Lego--always. It wasn't Christmas without Lego.
As for the cleaning toys---nope. I'd get her a pint-sized broom and make her help you.
She needs things that stimulate her brain...things she can manipulate.

Anonymous said...

Dear Milam,
I think she will like anything just like you did. You and Jess were very easy to please. JuJu is smart like you two, so she will probably fall in love with something like those little dolls you called the Kittles and write wonderful stories about them like her Mom.
My favorite toy as a child was an Easy Bake Oven. I just made those little cakes for everyone and they all acted like it was the best cake they ever ate. I can't even imagine what they really tasted like.

Love you all,

Jenenz said...

Those are colorful catalogs! The vet office with the puppy on the table takes the cake.

I was a big fan of legos and colorforms. Do they still make colorforms anymore? I did like playing house, so fake food, dishes, and cooking utensils were fun. It encouraged me to cook real food. I used to make paper dolls and design clothes for them.

My favorite item was a transistor radio. Even at an early age, I loved listening to the radio.

And yes, baby will most likely get more fun out of a large box. We always turned our boxes into tents and houses!