I tried to resist, I really did. When I had my daughters, I told myself I would give them non-gender-specific toys to play with. And in the first year of motherhood, I did quite well. I bought Angelica Quattro Lego blocks, wooden jigsaw puzzles, spinning tops, wooden toy chickens and panda softies. I admit I threw in a pink trolley, but that was the only girly thing she had.
When she turned three, the Barbie floodgates opened, and I blame my husband. He went overseas and came back with a Barbie doll for Angelica. That was it! Seeing that she finally had her first doll, the rest of the family followed suit, giving her Barbies for her birthday, for being in town (my parents) and for no reason at all. Lauren also started getting Barbies. Now they have about a dozen between them, including a Rapunzel Barbie with impossibly long polyester hair that I have to untangle every now and then!
At this point, I would like to disclose that growing up, I had ONE Barbie doll, a Dream Date Barbie with a fuschia dress that you could style three different ways. My sister had a Barbie that had on a white sparkly dress. And that was it. TWO Barbie dolls our entire lives. ONE each.
Last weekend, out at the mall, we ended up in the Barbie aisle of the toy store. The variety of dolls boggles the mind. And the accessories - houses, bedrooms, bathrooms, poolside cabanas, convertibles, salons, boutiques, kitchens, pets, baby Barbies, clothes for every season! My Barbie had to wear her one and only dress three different ways!
There were even career Barbies. You could own a Pet Vet Barbie, a Doctor Barbie, a Race Car Driver Barbie and Ballet Teacher Barbie. How do you expect a five-year-old to resist? I couldn't even resist. I contemplated buying a doll house and furnishing it with the works. After all, the dozen Barbies we had at home needed a place to stay.
But fear not, we left the toy store without any dolls or accessories. Because some time in the last 35 years, I have grown up. Besides, my birthday is not for another three months.