We recently purchased a toy kitchen set for our daughters Pumpkin and Peanut. And when I say cute, I mean this thing is freaking cute.
I was stifling the urge to elbow her out of the way so I could play with it.
These things didn’t exist back in the Stone Age when yours truly was growing up. Can you blame me?
When my husband and I were first searching for a play set online, we came across a myriad of them. Picnic. Supermarket. Tea party (we already had one). Baby food. Sushi.
Then we came across a BBQ set ( which was definitely also worth an elbowing). It came with a “grill” and spatula, tongs and other accessories. There was an apron included and oh! Let me tell you about the food—a hot dog which could be removed from its bun AND which came with a squiggle of ketchup. A hamburger which could be taken apart–bun, meat, cheese. Ketchup and mustard bottles. And so on.
WHEN MY HUSBAND AND I WERE FIRST SEARCHING FOR A PLAY SET ONLINE, WE CAME ACROSS A MYRIAD OF THEM. PICNIC. SUPERMARKET. TEA PARTY (WE ALREADY HAD ONE). BABY FOOD. SUSHI.
We seriously considered ordering it until I asked, “Do you think it’s too boyish? Should we get more of a kitchen instead?”
I couldn’t believe I was saying those words out loud, but it seemed right at the time. I just couldn’t visualize my daughter in front of a (albeit imaginary) smoking grill serving up a hot dog and hamburger while wearing a Kiss the Cook apron. So instead we focused on a kitchen where she would be in front of a (albeit imaginary) hot stove, also serving food.
Maybe I’m being a bit too theatrical, but I don’t know why it made such a difference to me how she prepares her adorable plastic food. Are we still reinforcing stereotypes from the 1950s in the form of plastic?
My daughter won’t know the difference. All she cares about is having fun, which she is in spades. And I’m happy about that. I hope looking back that she won’t think I was placing her in a box.
And who knows? Maybe she’ll be the next Julia Child. Or the first female president…
…man, that kitchen is cute, though!