Gender Biases

Disclaimer: Yes, I know we’re all supposed to be boycotting McDonalds because of Hummers and gas prices and the war, but honestly, as long as they keep making delicious french fries and are located conveniently on the way home from my playgroup that hets out at about 12:15, I just can’t help myself. Plus, the boy loves nuggets and the girl loves french fries.

Yes. I stopped on the way home from playgroup and got happy meals for the kids.

As most of you reading this already know, I have boy/girl twins that are two years old. The day I found out that I was pregnant with twins one of the nurses at my obstetrician’s office, who also had twins, told us this: “Buy two of everything. And don’t go thinking that you can get one yellow ball and one purple ball either. Oh no. Get two purple balls.”

There are two schools of twin parenting thought. The first school doesn’t like to waste money and they teach their children to share. I call this one the “Let Them Fight it Out” school. The second school, which the nurse and I both subscribe to is the “Buy Two of Everything” school. (Okay, this is an oversimplification, but I think you get my point.)

Often when I go to McDonalds and get Happy Meals they will ask me if I want girl toys or boy toys. I usually tell them that I don’t care as long as they are exactly the same.

See, I don’t believe in the boy toy/girl toy thing. Both of my kids have trucks and both of my kids have baby dolls. It is okay with me if Ian drinks out of the pink cup. I just don’t care. They both like Dora and they both like Diego.

Today the drive through people didn’t ask what kind of toys I wanted.

Maybe they peeked in the car. I don’t know. But I do know this. Today I got one of these:
toa hahli bioncle mcdonalds happy meal
And one of these:
Little Mermaid lip gloss bracelet mcdonalds happy meal toy

The top picture is of Toa Hahli. He is Bionicle. Who according to the LEGO website is:

Seeker of the Mask of Life!

Toa Inika Hahli may be the most important of the new heroes, for her Kanohi Elda, the Mask of Detection, will lead the group right to the Mask of Life! If the Piraka try to get in the way, her laser harpoon fires a mix of water and lightning.

Oh. I apologize. The boy toy is a girl. Whatever. SHE is a Bionicle.

The bottom picture is of a Little Mermaid bracelet that has lip gloss in it. Let’s pretend for just a second that a two year old has a use for lip gloss, just because I don’t even feel like going off about that right now.

I’m sitting in the van getting ready to merge onto I-495 when I realize that they toys are not the same. I am thinking that the kids are going to completely lose their shit. I don’t know which toy they are both going to want, but these are quite clearly very different toys.

I pass the toys back – the warrior with the sword to the boy and the bracelet with the make-up in it to the girl and hold my breath.

I guess McDonalds knows something that I don’t.

The Goon Squad is thrilled. Ian is making his guy fly and Claudia is opening and closing the special cosmetic compartment. I couldn’t turn around and really look, but at this point I wouldn’t even be surprised if she was applying the lip gloss properly.

The irony (if you can even call it that) is that I have spent the last year and a half telling people that there were innate differences between boys and girls.

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  1. When I go to McD’s…I have to get the boy toy because Dawson sees the toys in their display case and screams about which one he wants. The worst part is that he wants whatever one is not in the Happy Meal that week so I have to beg the employees to give me a special one to stop the toddler screaming. They often oblige as they cant’ stand the shrill screams either.

    I’m glad the GS was happy with their Happy Meal toys!

  2. McD’s? ewww. three words for you: super size me.

    alright, I will get off my vegaterian stool now and say as long as it’s easy and the kids are happy? more power to you! adn at least they were entertained for a while right??

  3. I am proud to be in the “Buy Two Of Everything” group. But they still fight…. Oh well!

  4. I buy two of everything and I only have one kid..what school does that put me in? I know…Nursury school.

    I do usually give the extra to her best friend…but sometimes the doubles gather in uncontrollable piles of crap. That makes me Valedictorian of the hoarding School.

  5. It’s still too early to tell which school we’re going to end up in, I think we’ll probably end up in the Buy Two of Everything zone.

  6. I’d like to rant about those little ring/bracelet/objects with lip gloss in them.
    I hate those goddamn things. I hate them like I hate Hitler and fascism and all the injustice in the world!! Why? Not because all you twits with girls who have Princess Birthday Parties and put thost things in the favor bags ,not because I begrudge you the princess parties, I would have them if I had a girl, not because you gave lipgloss to a boy – I don’t actually care about that I’m a lot like Sarah, boys can have girl stuff I don’t mind but…….
    How many times have I found glitter lipgloss smeared on tables and dressers and sheet etc etc etc because it was given to a little boy,and his mother thought it was just a ring so she gave it to him to play with and while he was in his ROOM he discovered it had a SECRET COMPARTMENT FULL OF GLITTER GOO!
    Warn a person.
    I have boys. I don’t have girls.
    I’m out of the loop – help me.

  7. I don’t even HAVE twins and I have to make sure the toys are the same…we have to rummage through the basket of useless junk toys at McD’s to make sure they had appropriate stuff that would stave off the wig out from either of them!

  8. Great to see you this am, FINALLY! I think I’m in the “let them fight it out” camp, though we definitely buy 2 blue or 2 pink when we buy 2. Who the f’ cares if my boy loves his purple baby doll while his sister carries around the blue one? Or that my boy loves that baby doll like he birthed it himself?

    Maybe I should take a page from the “Buy 2 of everything” camp if it will stop the incessant whining. Please say it does!!

  9. Does anyone else remember when Hummers meant something else? Or is it just me being a guy?

  10. Don’t boycott McDonalds! Global superpower corporations destroying the world need customers too.

  11. That is pretty funny !!!I loved this post!!
    Will they swap toys tomorrow? will they fight over those toys tomorrow !! Pretty interesting !!

  12. It’s funny you bring this up as the Kaiser and I are discussing Santa’s gifts this Christmas. The Count may get a science lab while the Princess a KITCHEN.

    When I thought about it, I felt guilty. Even if it’s what they want and would play with. So now I’m thinking maybe a science lab and a big art station. Or something. I don’t know. But doing the whole science/kitchen thing seems like playing right into whitey the man’s plan.

  13. Hey, I always say-at least they’re not screaming. That makes mama happy.
    However, McD’s-I can’t eat anything of that variety since I read Fast Food Nation and watched Super Size Me. Just can’t.

  14. I don’t have twins, and don’t have boys – 3 girls. But I’m in the “buy 3 of everything” school whenever possible.

    We visited cousins yesterday with 3 boys – there *is* a difference – you could see it and hear it (boys don’t screech). But the boys are much neater than the girls. :)

    My girls have a ton of “boy” toys. And when we could eat at McD’s, they usually loved the “boy” toys more than the girl toys. Now that they can’t get fast food toys any more (food allergies), they are choosing more gender neutral toys overall (well, other than dolls – we have dozens of dolls). Gotta love a girl in a dress digging up worms & bugs in the mud!

  15. Toys are sexist. Kids should play with rocks.

    I’ve noticed that the hellgate known as McDonald’s now has a Happymeal that is geared for both genders by placing “girl stuff” on one side and “boy stuff” on the other. Then, as you stated, they will provide the toy based on the gender of the child.

    What happened to the good old days when the box was for everyone and the toy was not gender-specific, but something any child would enjoy?

    I don’t want my kids playing with toys that have guns just because they are boys, and I wouldn’t want my girl, if I had one, to play with those hoochie Bratz dolls either. It seems that the idea of toys based on gender is geared towards the stereotypes of teenagers, not the three year olds that are getting them.

  16. Ok, first of all…there are parents of twins who try to get their kids to share? What’s that all about? Sharing is so not worth the yelling and screaming and hair pulling and the whiny “mooooommmmm.” Sharing is over-rated. 😉

    My twins were around the same age when I really started to notice what a girly girl my daughter was. I kept thinking she’d be a tomboy since she’s the only girl out of five kids. But she’s definitely no tomboy.

  17. My twin girls are 5 and the toys and McD’s HAVE to be the same…except if they come in pink and purple…in which case we have to have one of each or the planet will instantly stop spinning. So far it’s worked pretty well except for that time when the theme was Pirates of the Carribean and we found oursleves at home with two blow up swords. Yea, I was thrilled with that because I needed ONE MORE thing in my house that could be used as a weapon.

  18. WE don’t have twins, but Bryce and Quinn are a year and a half apart and we’ve always been sucked into the “two of everything” camp. It kind of bugs me, but it does save our sanity. Of course, we have two boys, so the gender based toys would have caused an interesting scenario for us if we’d had one of each…

  19. Oh, yess. There are indeed innate differences!

  20. When my b/g twins were babies, you could only get boy diapers or girl diapers. This drove me insane!

    When they were 8 months old I walked into their room. Abel was banging on the floor with a hammer; Ilsa was talking on a toy phone. Innate differences? Don’t get me started.

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