Not To Be Trusted With Knives

My niece is turning 3 this month. So, being the super aunt that I am, I actually decided to buy her present well in advance of the date, in order to be able to it to her in time for the big day2.

So, I’m standing in a toy store and another shopper notices my deer-in-headlights look and says to me, “Are you looking for a birthday gift?” and when I say “Yes!!” her immediate question is, “For a boy or a girl?”

“A three year old… girl,” I say, with a bit of hesitation. To me, the “three year old” is the more important part, but to her, not so much.

“Oh, I only have boys, so I know all about toys for boys, but not for girls.”

“I never buy girly toys,” I say. “I prefer “boy” toys3 myself.”

She shows me this air hockey toy thing were you get to kick the disc thingy, which floats on air of its own accord, around your house. Its edges are padded so it’s OK to play inside.4


“Too bad it’s hockey,” she says, “They used to have a soccer one.” “I play hockey!” I say, “This is perfect!”

And it was like she didn’t even hear me. Almost as if “girl” and “hockey” in the same sentence did not compute within her brain. She just kept going on about the soccer one.

We chat for a little while longer and then, as she leaves, despite the fact that I am holding the air hockey toy and have loudly declared “I am *totally* buying her this!”, she says “It really is too bad they don’t have the soccer one, it would have been perfect for her.”

WTF? I mean, the soccer one is the EXACT SAME TOY, just painted differently!

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve actually decided to give my niece the hockey toy for Christmas because I’m going to Ontario for the holidays, so I won’t have to mail it (it’s kind of big for mailing). This is in no way because I want to be able to play with this toy too, which I can’t do if I mail it to her now, but I can if I bring it with me for Christmas. I can’t believe you would even suggest that!

For her birthday I’m giving her this:


I found this toy in the same store while talking to the woman who is unable to understand that girls can play hockey. My sister had this game when we were little. You fill it up with water and then you press the little white button on the front to send the little balls floating up and you try to get them into the little plastic bucket in front of the crab. Simple, but I swear to you, hours and hours of fun!! And if Madeline doesn’t like it, I know that Nancy will!

I also got her this:


It’s bubbles that don’t burst when you touch them, so you can like grab them and carry them around with you. God knows what chemical is in them that allows this to happen and I’m sure we’ll all get cancer and die from it, but damn, that sounds like hours and hours of fun!!

1That title is there because I don’t want my sister and her bf to read this blog posting because it will ruin the surprise for them of what I got Madeline for her birthday.

2Unlike the rest of all y’all, who routinely receive your birthday presents from me a month after your actual birthday. Apparently I am a super aunt, but somewhat of a mediocre friend.

3By which I mean toys that are marketed for male children. Not the other kind of “boy toy.” Not that I object to those personally, just not for my niece!

4If the idea of people kicking stuff around in your house is a problem, Nancy, speak now or forever hold your peace. Oh righ, I told you not to read this posting… hee hee!

et cetera