It seems that department stores have been especially fraught places these days, both when it comes to their toilets and their toy aisles, where the wheels of progress continue to grind forward, crushing genital-obsessed folks under their unforgiving treads as they sob over little girls buying LEGOs and little boys picking out baby dolls. One day, the world will be at peace, knowing that children who choose the toys they want to play with aren’t doing so in a bid to make jerk-face strangers in toy aisles unhappy.
Until then, we’ll probably keep hearing about jerk-face strangers like the one who started in on a little boy who wanted to buy a toy stroller for his doll. Fortunately that also means we’ll get to keep hearing about the moms who stick up for their kids and bolster their self-esteem by refusing to apologize or make excuses for their gender-bent play choices.
U.K. mom Rheann MacLaren is one of those moms. She took to Facebook a few days ago to call out one such fogie who seemed overly concerned about her son’s choice in recreational accessories — so concerned that he might suddenly begin sprouting vaginas (the horror!) all over his body should he purchase and utilize the stroller that they forwent all conventions of etiquette to be a total jerk to a 3-year-old:
It’s hard to even imagine how absolutely unself-conscious you have to be to make a total idiot of yourself by scolding a little boy for not going straight for the trucks in 2016. It certainly defies belief that anyone not making six figures at Hasbro would deem themselves the arbiter of things that kids like to play with. But the upside to all this is that the people who do know what kids like playing with — the kids themselves — give zero fucks about what weird strangers in toy aisles think and shake it off with something as simple as, “‘Cos I like it.”
If you think about it, that’s got to be the most epic thing about this entire encounter. It’s completely awesome that MacLaren sticks up for her little boy and doesn’t let him believe in the farce that is “boy toys” and “girl toys,” because her little one will probably grow up to be an amazing citizen of the world. But it’s even more awesome that the kid himself probably listened to this strange giver of unsolicited advice with complete placidity before shrugging his little shoulders and saying, “‘Cos I like it.”
It’s almost as though the adult with ideas about how toys should be played with (hint: if genitalia play a part, those aren’t kids’ toys you’re shopping for) was the tiny human with a limited, obtuse understanding of how the world is, and the actual preschooler in this situation was the wise adult. Good on you, little dude!
There are lots of things to take into consideration when you’re shopping for toys for your kids. There are an equal number of things not to take into consideration. Things like what parts your child has, the color of a toy they enjoy and what a stranger who is not raising your child and whose opinion has literally no importance beyond highlighting how ignorant some people still are has to say.
Arguably the most important thing is whether or not it meets the child-placed barrier of “‘cos I like it.” That, and if they’ll look as cute playing with it as the little guy above does.