My Son Wanted a Baby Doll Carrier
I didn’t know I was starting World War III in my family when I gave in to my youngest son’s desire to have a baby doll carrier. I have 2 boys and 1 girl, I have never raised my children to think in terms of “boy toys” or “girl toys.” No one in my family batted an eye when my daughter wanted a Hot Wheels race track and cars for her birthday when she was 6-years-old. I really don’t understand all the freaking out about my son wanting a baby doll carrier.
A Surprise at the Toy Store
When I asked my son what he really wanted for his 5th birthday, and he answered, “A baby carrier of my own.” I didn’t think twice about it, I just put it on the list of things I wanted to get for his birthday. When I went to the toy store, I asked the first clerk I saw where the baby doll accessories were.
And he said, “We have different styles for different ages, how old is your daughter?”.
I said, “I need a baby doll carrier for my soon to be 5-year old son.” And the silence was deafening.
He was nice enough to lead me to the aisle where the baby doll carriers were. I was still trying to shake off the daughter question. When you don’t live in an environment where your kids are limited by their gender, assumptions others make are a little unnerving. I did find him a nice blue baby doll carrier and got him a doll to carry in it.
My Son Gets His Baby Doll Carrier
When the day of his party arrived, the doll carrier was easily his favorite toy he unwrapped. None of his friends or his young cousins had anything to say about his baby doll carrier which he immediately strapped on and wore for the rest of the party. In fact, no one really seemed to be up on arms about it during the party. I tucked my son in that night, and I had to wait until he was asleep to take off his baby carrier. I set it on the table by his bed. The next morning when he came down for breakfast, he was wearing the carrier. Today no doll, it was filled with his favorite plastic animals he was taking outside to go make a zoo. I realized at that moment how narrow minded I had been. A baby doll carrier isn’t just for dolls. My son was clearly planning a lot uses for his carrier.
WWIII Starts Over a Toy
A week after my son’s birthday party, I got a concerned visit from my mother and sister. They were concerned I wasn’t teaching my son to be hard enough. They were concerned he would be too feminine. I had to completely bite my tongue. I reminded my mother how cold Dad had been to all of us. My father had passed away 3 years ago, but I can’t recall a single time he said, “I love you” or even said he was proud of either my sister or me. I told her a cold man was not the sort of man I strived to put out in the world. I am proud of my son, and I didn’t go into detail, but I said this entire baby doll carrier experience with my son had taught me an important lesson as well. They both did the big sigh like I was never going to understand the true point and I had it all wrong. And that’s pretty much where the conversation ended, and they are both barely speaking to me at this point.
Many, Many Uses
Since he got the baby doll carrier, my son has used it for his doll which he pretends is everything from an ill patient being transported by Life Flight (the baby doll carrier is the Life Flight) to a tote for his toys to an overnight bag when he stayed over at a friend’s house up the street for a sleep over.
Even though my mother and sister are still up in arms about the baby doll carrier, and the rude man at a store that got an earful from me after he told me son to put away the girly toy, I’m thankful for the entire experience. I learned a good lesson from buying a simple baby doll carrier. My children have brought amazing lessons to me from the time each of them was born. I had the concept of not putting toys into gender columns, my son took that further and showed me, don’t put a toy in a single column.