I know I say I want a girl. I know I have purchased girl outfits for the daughters of friends or random nieces. I know I say that I think it's cute that they care how they look and actually choose clothes they like based on some instinctive desire to be pretty. I even claim to be intrigued by the idea of girl toys, cute little purses, backpacks filled with miniature animals who each came with their own tiny accessories or dollies with blankets and bottles. I know I almost have myself convinced form time to time but I must confess despite the occasional longing for pinkness in my life the girl toy aisle is a scary place for me.
The other day I was at Wallmart picking up a few things when I remembered that I have two little nieces with b-days that I've either just missed or will soon. So I think, "this is your chance to be really organized get those gifts and get them mailed". So motivated by the thought of actually being organized for once and by the fact that I had no boys to annoy or distract me I put my head down, muscled past the bikes and transformers, the end caps filled with Bionicles and super heroes and the Matchbox cars. I marched past the unisex two and under rows until, there it was, pink, girl toy, paradise I could count the times I have actually been on this aisle using relatively few body parts. I pause, take a deep breath and turn my cart resolutely down the glittery, pink, princessy row.
I make it two feet by only using peripheral vision, these are little girls, four and two, I think I can safely pass the... feather boas, beads and make-up, for the.. umm, little lady of the night? without a direct glance. It occurs to me that I not only have to think about what the girls might want but what their mom and grandmas might think. Boys are easy, "oh, look a car and it doesn't have to be assembled, great gift." I pause in front of a row of Bratz? My head turns quizzically to the side, is it just me or are these baby aliens with lots of hair, make-up and a trendy teen wardrobe? OK, Bratz are out. Across the way are Barbie's, uhh who knew there were so many princess Barbies, I think I gave these little girls princess Barbie's last year and danged if I know which ones so...moving on. Ahh little purses shaped like...a bug? bunny? forget it, I at least want to know what species of purse I'm giving. I push my cart a little further down the row, oh look baby dolls I walk past a box on the floor suddenly at ankle level I hear Maa, Maa I jump out of the way, while bending to see if I hurt the baby, back into the stuffed animals and start a bottle drinking duck on a quacking frenzy. Somewhere in the mound of stuffed animals a kitten is meowing piteously and I'm at the end of the row facing some miniature cabbage patch babies, I grab two with names that I can kinda pronounce and run.
My escape from pink purgatory leaves me in front of the Transformers, panting and glancing furtively over my shoulder. I reach out a shaking hand and grab a transformer, cars that turn into robots, now that I can handle, I throw it in the cart for my nephew because I know what boys like and I know I probably missed his birthday a couple months ago and I know I said I want a girl but....