On the very outset, let me just say that I LOVE THIS BOOK. I really do. I think it's funny and it meant well but then half way through writing it, the author realized that her audience is not at that age to receive its message and pandered.
Lil O got this book as a gift on her 2nd birthday. She is much too young for it. I read it and I am much too young for it as well. I went from 'Neat' to 'Wait, what'?
It starts out with the very popular lil piglet-girl Olivia
(annoying TV series) pondering on her existence.
Like every 6 year old kids, Olivia is depressed! (I remember when my mom or dad explained what 'depressed' meant and I, all of 8/9 yrs old was depressed everyday from then on - depressed when I didn't get candy, depressed when yelled at, depressed at bedtime... it was ridiculous!)
This one was having an identity crisis!
Because she is and wants to be different from other little (not depressed) six year olds.
The message is great so far. She wants to be different from all the little ballerinas and entitled princesses in the world. I so want to be teaching this message to my girls. I kept princesses out of lil O's life until one day Lil O wears a new dress and says, 'So cute, O is princess'. And I was so taken aback. You can try to keep the world out but you can't keep her from the world. Sigh!
Lil piglet-girl Olivia continues to ponder and differentiate. She sums up perfectly.
Instead of a princess maybe she could aspire to be a nurse (why not a surgeon?), adopt orphans (pets too maybe?) or be a reporter to report on corporate malfeasance (I can't even say that word - is this book for kids at all?). Then she stops wondering because she has hit upon exactly what she should become to be different.
Sigh! So much for that. Is this what is about to happen with me too? Am I going to give up trying to stop lil O and Lil A from fixating on the physical aspects (or assets) of Barbie dolls, American Girls dolls, Princesses in need of Charming guys to rescue them?
When I wanted to buy lil O a doctor set, all I could find were sets in blue. Incidently blue is her current favorite color. Out of curiosity, I looked around some more for sets in purple or pink (though no one likes pink in our house except BK) and all I could find were tea cup sets and kitchen sets. Really? REALLY?
Recently O went and grabbed a tool kit set and started hammering and sawing away. I was proud of her and had she asked for it, I would have said No because there is enough noise in my house. But the point is, she knows what to do with a hammer and saw. Or how to navigate a crane for that matter.
The same thing goes for little boys. If a little boy (or girl) grows up knowing what to do with an egg or Ox tongue, Yucca, Watermelon, Beets (thanks Chopped!), then that's a huge value add for them, not less, MORE. If a boy (and little girls) can clean and make beds and organize, then that's awesome and makes them smart. If a girl (or boy) can change her own light bulbs or fix a hole in the wall, that's great. In today's world, these are not just nice-to-haves, it has become a necessity to be Jack/Jill of all trades.
On another note look at lil O's reading corner. I wish I had one so cozy and inviting.
What do you think about gender neutralized toys for all kids?