van gogh vs. barbie

I have had few awkward moments at Kinder drop off and pick up lately regarding what toys the girls are in to.  A number of other mum’s have been asking me if the girls are into Polly Pockets, some Pet toy (can’t even remember the name of it) or the ubiquitous Barbie.  I have had to say no, the girls don’t play with any of the above.  But not because we have been militantly deliberate about what they are not allowed to play with.  It mostly has to do with what I can put up with and what is not going to do my head in!  There are some things we have avoided, Barbie is one of them, and anything with an excess of pink is another. But really it has been more about consciously exposing them to other options – ‘my’ music (the girls know David Grey’s ‘Draw the Line’ and Mumford and Sons ‘Sigh No More’ off by heart), galleries, the museum (the Melbourne Museum is amazing for kids, we go regularly), farms and farmers markets.

And it stands to reason doesn’t it?  Wouldn’t you rather listen to ‘The Sundays’ than nursery rhymes? Go to the Museum rather than Maccas?

At Kinder a couple of weeks ago, our girl was ‘star of the week’, which means that she got to do all the speical jobs that week, go first at activities and bring in some special toys and treats from home.  One of her special toys was a cube which flipped in on its self and had a different Van Gogh painting on each side.  It is a very clever and fun ‘toy’.  She stood up in front of everyone and showed her class the cube, explaining that Van Gogh was a painter and these were his pictures.  I was shocked and excited.  We had always wanted our girls to grow up aware of bigger things and ideas, not for knowledge’s sake, but so that they knew what was out there and what they could achieve (if Van Gogh can do it, why can’t one of my girls?).

However, I have also noticed that our eldest is sometimes the only one not to be privlege to certain information regarding the latest toy/show/character, and that has put her on the outside of conversations and playing opportunities (at Kinder).  It’s hard to be ‘Harmony the Fairy’ when you have no idea who or what that is.  Is it a price I’m willing to pay?  I think so.  She certinaly knows who Big Ted and Dora are, but she also knows who Van Gogh and Bono are too.  Ultimately I think that the girls will not feel the loss of pink and fairy’s in their lives, but perhaps they will feel better equipped for life with a knowledge of the world outside of ‘plastic, kid land’.  I think so.  I hope so.


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