Ben and I went shopping for our Godson’s birthday gift last night. After a quick consult with his mom, we went off in search of a present related to tools, cooking, Elmo, or Barney. (Tools were added to the list when Dude interrupted our phone call with a mad dash across his house, trying to escape with a screwdriver before his mom could confiscate it.)
Since Dude’s mom said that our godson is constantly trying to help cook dinner, I was determined to convince Ben that a play kitchen was a better idea than a toy circular saw or fire truck. (Heaven help me if we end up having a boy. My house will be filled with plastic red vehicles with high pitched sirens.) Not only was cooking something that held Dude’s interest, it would help his mom by keeping Dude occupied at a safe distance from the dangers of the actual cooking area.
Besides, he can always use his play tools ON said play kitchen and pretend to fix the play dishwasher. His future spouse will thank us, for sure.
Unfortunately, our options for boy-friendly cooking toys were pretty lackluster, unless we had the means to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars. And when you’re buying gifts for a two-year-old, there’s still the risk that the cardboard box will entertain him more than the expensive, fancy gift inside, so that wasn’t happening. The choices in our price range were a toy BBQ Grill and a play Cupcake Oven, decked out in copious amounts of pink.
Much to Ben’s chagrin, I still contemplated the Cupcake Oven, despite the overly-excessive feminine packaging, until I realized the damn thing didn’t have stove burners or a sink, or anything besides a cupcake-adorned oven door that made it resemble a kitchen.
It wasn’t worth arguing the issues of stereotypical gender roles in toddler toys with my husband if the stupid pink toy doesn’t have a stupid pink stove top or microwave.
So we went with the grill, which was honestly just as cute (and cheaper thanks to summer clearance sales).
As I texted Dude’s mom later to fill her in on what we chose, I couldn’t help but wonder why there still aren’t more gender-neutral options so we can show both our sons and our daughters that they can be the next Gordon Ramsey or Rachel Ray.
And seriously: Why not just use colors you’d actually find in a kitchen? You show me someone who actually has their residential kitchen painted pastel pink and purple, and I’ll show you someone who should’ve gotten an interior decorating play set for their birthday.
Do you have suggestions for where/how to find boy-friendly kitchen toys?