My kid wanted a dollhouse. She may as well have asked for a pink sparkly dress to compete in a Honey Boo Boo beauty pageant. A dollhouse? I was of the generation that equated domesticity with lobotomy. I wanted more for my daughter. In the toy store, I showed her a set of click-together building blocks in screaming primary colors. “You can build your own house!” I said. She didn’t want to work that hard. I tried to talk her into a flame red fire truck. “It makes real siren noises!” I spoke with more exclamation marks than a teen text message.
“Mama,” she asked. “Why don’t you like girl toys?”
What the heck? In my efforts to liberate my daughter from gender stereotypes I’d managed to imply that girl’s things were inherently less interesting than those enviable boy things. I could practically hear her speed dialing Dr. Freud.