Friday, May 20, 2016

20/52

I microwaved Cecile's shoes the other day. I wonder, is it better or worse that I did so intentionally? 

Some context ... Last week my mother-in-law picked Cecile up from school for a little grandma-granddaughter time. How great, right? Also great was that she offered to get Cecile's feet measured at a shoe store--an errand I'd been putting off for weeks now. Well, they came home with pink sparkle princess light-up shoes. I couldn't tell you which I found most offensive: the sparkle, the Disney princess (and her coquettish head tilt), or the bright flashing lights that appeared with every stomp around our kitchen. 

I'm sure some may read this and call me crazy, say I'm too tightly wound, and ask how can I deprive a three-year-old of what may be her most prized thing she's ever owned. It's a phase, they'll say. Cecile is just trying to make sense of herself and her preschool world--a world with a zero-sum understanding of the gender binary: boys wear blue, pick up bugs, play sports; girls wear pink, fear bugs, do ballet. But while I don't have a problem with tutus or tiaras or ballet lessons (keep in mind, please, that I was a ballerina until I turned 23), nor do I have a household ban on princess paraphernalia. I do, however, take issue with the pervasive marketing to young children, and how the peddled princess garb (mostly by Disney, sorry) is more often than not something stored in the bedroom dresser, not the playroom costume bin. 

There. Done with my rant. Now back to the shoes: If you, too, wish to short-circuit light-up kicks, place the them, one at a time, in your microwave for four seconds. You'll feel terrible following the execution (wine helps with this), and your toddler will ask what happened (our answer: the batteries ran out). But with time, you'll both get over it. And with a little more time (and maybe with an early purchase of summer sandals), you'll forgive your mother-in-law, whom you truly do love ;) ;)
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