I think I’ve seen Moana like 30 times…this month!! I listen to the sound track EVERY TIME I get in the car. We also own the blue-ray/DVD combo with the free digital copy. And it’s on Netflix. There is no escaping this strong, crafty, beautiful 16 year old fictional girl. Our son won’t let us! This two year old is thoroughly obsessed with Moana, Maui, Hei Hei and Pua. He sings all of the songs emphatically, even though he barely speaks full sentences! He laughs when it’s funny and he gets sad when they do. It’s quite adorable to see. With that being said, I have done the unthinkable….
I bought my son a doll…
Today, on what seems like our daily trip to Walmart, we went to the store to pick up a few things for dinner and I wanted to get Flash a puzzle focused on shapes. I do not travel down the toy aisle very often because my toddler thinks I’m a millionaire, but my bank account says otherwise! Last time I went, I came home with a tricycle. Last time Hubby went, he came back with Cycle Spin Mickey (Silly Wheelie Mickey). This time was no different.
Back to the puzzle situation, since I have no clue what aisle the puzzles are on, I try my best to navigate down aisle that have NOTHING that my son would want. I go down the aisle with cards and board games. Nope! No puzzles here. I cut two aisles over, to avoid going down the “learning gadget and growing baby” aisle, to the aisle with all the baby dolls. Nothing here, but princesses in fancy dresses and purses to match, or at least that’s what I thought until I spotted it…
I saw Maui’s Fish Hook and was like, “Awww s*@%!!! I’m screwed!” But, they were sold out of Maui and my kid has no idea what a fish hook is, so I was good! And then I saw, the baby version Moana with her flower and turtle and so did Flash. He motions for it, so I hand it to him. The toy doesn’t do anything special, so handed it back to me, and I put it back on the shelf with no fuss from the kid. No sooner than I put it down…
He sees IT.
He sees HER.
In all her Polynesian glory: FULL-SIZED MOANA!
I am officially kicking myself for coming down this aisle. He grabs the box and puts his hand inside of the hole and she starts SINGING!!! Y’all!!! It’s a wrap. And I know it. I called Hubby, and he knew it too. So to avoid the mother load of epic meltdowns, he carries Moana, including Pua and Hei Hei, to check out, singing the entire way there. That’s when I start getting the looks.
People are looking at me, then to my kid, then to the doll, and back at me. Some smile and others look concerned. We go home, drop off the groceries, and open his new singing Moana doll with the poppin’ curls! He’s having a blast with her! Singing the abc’s to her! He’s in kiddy heaven! About two hours later, I need to run to the store again (because God forbid I ever get all I need in one trip). There is no leaving Moana at home, so she comes with us to Publix. We get more looks in the store, but no one says anything. As usual the cashier finds him adorable, we leave, and he keeps on singing.
Here is my problem: It’s 2017!!! Y’all still imposing gender roles and stereotypes on babies!!!!??? WHY? Folks were really giving us the side-eye over a doll he’s had for 2 minutes! I know that people will think buying our son a doll is terrible, because it’s for girls. I’m pretty sure their feelings are rooted in the idea that a doll or anything feminine will make my son less masculine later on or it will turn him gay. Two things: 1. Nothing turns anyone homosexual! Let’s make that super clear. 2. Nothing will make me love my son any less! He is talented, a musical genius, and quite handsome! His sexual preference won’t change any of that. Flash is balanced and well-rounded. He has plenty of cars, blocks, dinos, and dump trucks, but he also loves Dora, and had a pink and teal Dora bath mat!
Let kids be kids! Boys can play with dolls, just as girls play with trucks. Furthermore, you can’t put gender roles on people who are still discovering the world. For the first time!! He’s been alive for two years! The world is going to bombard him with who they think he should be, how he should act and so much more, especially because he’s Black. My job is to make sure he’s well fed, happy, has good manners and that he knows he can be whoever he wants to be! I make sure learning is fun for him. I make sure he is cultured and has experiences.
So again I say, let kids be kids.