You know the drill….
You glance at the clock and see 1:17pm starring back at you;
SHIT! Next stop, McDonalds. You feel like you’ve successfully been running late all day and Princess Picky-Eater harnessed up in the backseat reminds you that it’s your responsibility to keep her alive… and fed.
You feel like the best-worst mom ever offering them this delightful plate of unidentified fried lunch, yet they would prefer any day over a home cooked meal, but at this point you have no choice, you’re too far from home base and the next destination will definitely be judging your motherly skills if you are much more than 5 minutes late.
You surprise them as the vehicle take an unexpected turn towards the golden arches and you feel good for just a moment as they screech with excitement in the backseat. It’s bitter-sweet because you doubt the chicken nuggets are even chicken at all;
McDonalds: Hi, Welcome to McDonalds, what can we get you today?
Guilty Mom: Hi, a kids chicken nugget Happy Meal please, with apple juice and a Cheeseburger kids meal with Ice Tea please (hey! they don’t know who it’s for, don’t pretend you don’t do this)
McDonalds: …and with the Happy Meals, is that a Skylander or Power Puff Toy?
Guilty Mom: *pause*
I look into the back seat and give the “and your answer is” look (because moms can totally do that; talk with their eyes). She looks back at me with an equally as confused look, why was this so different from any other time we’d rushed through the drive-thru? It hit my why, but I wanted to leave this to Princess Picky-Eaters to decide. The standard option of “would you like a girl or boy toy with your Happy Meals?” we were given an opportunity to make a real decision and I for one could not wait to hear the verdict.
McDonalds: …hello? Would you like a Skylander or Power Puff Toy in those Happy Meals?
Princess Picky-Eater: *yells from the back* Skylander please!
Although I’m not one to admit how many times I’ve actually been in this position, rushing through the McDonalds drive-thru, let’s just say we’ve been in this little predicament enough stopped in my tracks because of it, never have we been given the opportunity to choose a toy with our Happy Meals that did not come with a gender label.
Princess Pick-Eater: That sounded like a cool toy ‘eh mum? I wonder what happened to the girl toys and the boy toys, I guess they were all gone?!
Guilty Mom: Must be bubbs, must be! Can’t wait to see what you get!
That was Thursday and this is Sunday, I’m still tripping over the toy while I make dinner and it whizzes past my feet on it’s victory lap around the island. She’s been smitten with this toy ever since laying her eyes on it, with zero judgement on the fact that a mean-lookin’ shark is behind the wheel or it’s barbaric spikes coming off the back spoiler, OH NO! There is nothing to fear in this toy as it had no label, which means it’s perfectly fine for her to be playing with it. I must admit, I love hearing aggressive engine noises coming from her bedroom and the English accent that the shark has been given makes for some fun background noise especially when he chats with his newest BFF, Taco Terry.
Thank you McDonalds drive-thru attendant for quite possibly not meaning to, but giving my daughter the opportunity to make a choice for herself and not for what society deems she should.
WHAT ARE your feelings on the whole gender-stereotype in the kids toy industry? I thought I sat pretty neutral on the subject until this happened and I saw just how much a label can effect a little someones view on something.