Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Christmas Past ~ I Never Got a Train






As a young child, the one thing I always wanted for Christmas - and never got - was a train. My mom "knew" that trains were for boys, so she would never buy one for me.
I thought then and still do, that it was the worst possible argument for not giving a child what they really want. I could have accepted it more easily if she had said "we can't afford a train" or "we don't have room in the house for a train". But the only answer I ever got was "Trains are for boys!"

Do you find yourself still adhering to these old stereotypes?
Have you denied your child a toy because you think it is more suited to the opposite sex?
Is there a toy or other present that you coveted when you were small and never received?
Do you STILL wish you had that toy?

16 comments:

Jamie Dawn said...

I think when the kids in a household are not just all boys or all girls that you get the chance to play with all the toys meant for boys and girls.
My brother and I had dolls as well as cars to play with.
But, I never asked for a "boy's" toy except for sports equipment, which I always got.

Raehan said...

We have a train set for our girls. We never used it wih Rachel, because she had so many toys and didn't show interest. But now, with our second girl, both are showing interest in the choo-choo, so I unpacked the rains and cars and put them on our train table in the garage.

We're pretty girly around here, too.

rugdesigner said...

I remember wanting a Raggedy Ann when I was very little. It was the only doll I ever wanted. I was a bit of a tomboy. I finally got one when I was 14! I couldn't believe it when I opened the box. What was I going to do with a Raggedy Ann doll at 14?! Strange things parents do sometimes.

srp said...

I was fortunate, I did get a train and a doctor bag and a chemistry set. Yes, there were dolls, original Barbies. We couldn't afford the clothes so my grandmother handmade all sorts of dresses, suits and even a white velvet bride's dress for them. In one of the parent's moves when I was away at college, they gave my dolls to a needy family who had a little girl. I was crushed but know they were loved. I only wish I had those Barbie dresses that my grandmother lovingly made.

I'm 9 years older than my brother. One Christmas when he was three and I was twelve there was a big present for both of us. It was set of dolls in a teeter-totter. Chatty Cathy Baby Brother and Baby Sister....remember those...pull the string and hear them talk? Stephen got the boy and I got the girl.

Alisa said...

I almost got kicked out of kindergarten over a "gender" issue. We were doing painted handprints in frames and the teacher had selected enough "blue" frames for the boys and "pink" frames for the girls. Blue was (and still is) my favorite color and I remember having the tantrum of my life over it. To this day the memory of hot tears cascading down my face as my hand was forced into the pan of paint and onto that pink lined cork frame.... Ugh. My mother still has that awful reminder somewhere.

metten said...

From time to time, my son grabs a bag, fills it with "Thomas the Tank Engine" characters and says, "Okay, I've got my purse, I'm ready to go."

I think my dad may have popped me one if I had said that to him 25 years ago...

We just try not to take any pictures of the boy and his purse...

kenju said...

Metten, I wouldn't worry about him; I'm sure he will be just as macho as you!

Thumper said...

My kid got toys he wanted whether they were "gender appropriate" or not. And probably because, like, you, I was denied a whole bunch of stuff because it was "for boys."

I think back, and I hated most everything I owned because it wasn't ME, it was what my parents wanted me to be. Girly. Makes me laugh now because I married a nurse, and my dad can't bring himself to admit that... Heh.

Last Girl On Earth said...

I honestly can't say that there was ever any toy that my folks denied me. But what I REALLY wanted was A HARP! Not a harmonica kind of harp. I wanted a FULL SIZE play in the symphony kind of harp. They didn't go for that! Boy, my life would have been different if I had gone that route!

lucylocket said...

When my older son was a toddler, we were walking thru the toy dept.
On a low shelf,he saw a doll and latched on to it. My macho Latin husband tried to dissuade him, but to no avail.The doll was not gender specific. It had a rubber head and hands with a stuffed body.
He never referred to it as a baby; it was his "friend". He never did
"girly" things was dressing it or feeding it. He'd beat the heck out of it every now and then. When his
"friend" was beyond repair, we bought a duplicate. He paid no attention to it. It was not his constant companion of old. Besides, by that time, he wanted a GI Joe.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

When I was 5 or 6 my Mom gave me a plaster doll for Christmas. I threw it on the tile hearth. "I didn't want a doll!" So I got paddled because I didn't want a doll for Christmas.

Theo said...

thanks for reconnecting.

toys...hummm

the wonderful thing is, i don't have an leftover longing from childhood. i was well loved and got enough stuff i guess. maybe...maybe a Major Matt Mason Rocket. whew!..that takes me back!

Gerbera Daisy said...

I always wanted a plush (stuffed animal) such as a teddy bear. Never did get one until I was an adult and now I buy them for myself. When I was a little kid (around 4 - 5 yrs. old) Roy Rogers was very popular. My mom bought Cowboy curtains and bedspread for my bedroom!! I also had a cowboy boot mug.

dena said...

I don't recall wanting one thing in particular. I always asked for a pony and a chimp, but knew that wasn't going to happen. It never stopped me from asking, but it wasn't like I woke up looking for either of them on Christmas morning.

I did like playing with all of my brother's toys - trains, cowboy gear, cars. But I also loved my Barbie doll collection.

Weary Hag said...

The only time I recall stereotyping during my daughter's youth was when I offered for her to sign up for dance school and she opted for martial arts instead. I thought "how could she?" But I got over it quickly and let her enroll, figuring that it wouldn't last long. Nearly five years later, she was just about to test for her blackbelt and I had to pull her out due to finances.She took it quite seriously.

I don't really recall wanting for anything very much as a young child.

One question for you Judy, did you ever go out as an adult and buy yourself a little toy train? Just curious.

Carmi said...

Part of me wishes I had kept at least a couple of the toys that I played with as a child. How neat it would have been to pass them on to my own kids and watch them enjoy them all these years later.

But then reality prevails: given the fact that the toys of yore likely would have failed every modern safety standard, it's likely just as well that they're long gone.

Sigh...sometimes I hate reality.