Little Girls Need to Vroom-Vroom, Too

She doesn't need a prince on a white horse to ride her off into the sunset. She's got her own little red sports car.
She doesn’t need a prince on a white horse to ride her off into the sunset. She’s got her own little red sports car.

She shrugged her shoulders, and set the box aside. Should I have been surprised? My girly-girl, wanna-be princess ballerina, got a belated Christmas gift from her great grandmother–remote control cars. Not pink ones. Not purple ones. Not sparkly ones. Just a red one, and a police car one.

“Can I keep looking at my dresses now?”

Along with her Christmas gift, she also got a black plastic trash bag full of hand-me-down clothes from an older cousin, filled with frilly dresses, fun slippers, and Disney-themed pajamas. Now that was more her style. While she disrobed and slipped the new-to-her Tinkerbell jammies over her head, I headed to the kitchen with my hubby to put batteries in the cars. I’m not sure why, but I felt determined to make it all work. She would play with these cars, and she would like them. We fumbled with the teeny-tiny screws sunk down into the teeny-tiny holes (who are they kidding with these things?), and finally heard the wheels whir to life with the push of the remote button.

Was it worth all the effort? Should we have even taken them out of the box? Our cat would probably get more enjoyment–or terror–out of these things. But still, it was nice to get something not so…pink. Don’t get me wrong, our girls made out like bandits for Christmas, and loved each and every female gender specific item they received. I couldn’t help but wonder though, if it was all a little too much. Glitter, glam and girly-girl are taking over our house. It’s time to put the brakes on. But not before we put the pedal to the metal and raced some little plastic cars around our old floors.

“Sweetie, your car is ready!” I set the four wheels down on the kitchen linoleum, and gave it a spin. The remote communicated two commands, forward, and back. The car jetted around the kitchen all willy-nilly, looking more like a DUI waiting to happen than a show of speed. I couldn’t help but giggle. This was fun! The toddler didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, and finally settled on grabbing the car and holding it midair while the wheels spun.

My preschool princess came into the kitchen to see what all the fuss was about. “Can I try?,” she asked quite regally, flipping her long blond locks over her shoulder. I handed her the small remote, and showed her how to push the buttons. Then, I stood back and watched her transform. She took great delight in running over her baby sister’s feet, and quickly figured out how to navigate around the obstacles in our home. “Let’s have a race!” I handed little sister the keys for the black police car, and set big sister’s red sports car beside it. “On your marks, get set, NO! Make your car go forward baby!” The toddler had thrown her car in reverse, and was content with watching it spin its wheels rammed up underneath the kitchen cabinet.

Despite failing to host a successful Kitchen 500, I considered the venture to be a success. Amid all the usual chatter of fairies, magical kingdoms and pretty-pretty princesses, I heard a new phrase. A sound symbolic of a life with boys, but a sound every little girl should have the opportunity to make, too. “Vroom! Vroom!” Music to this momma’s ears.


3 responses to “Little Girls Need to Vroom-Vroom, Too

  1. Cat, I love the honesty of your blog. I almost cringe to be this honest myself for fear of flying objects (seriously) but I had to share…my husband and I have made the very intentional decision to not purchase or allow gender specific toys in our house. Yes, we did receive 1 doll this Christmas from great-grandma and no we didn’t make a fuss over it. Only time will tell if our decision will have an impact on our daughter but for now we have an ecelectic mix of cars, sock moneys, and build-a-blocks!

    1. Nicole, you need never fear being honest! Better to be hated for the right reasons, than loved for the wrong. 🙂 I think it’s wonderful that you’ve made this intentional decision. I personally believe intentionality is one of the most important steps to being a great parent. We’ve taken the path of allowing some things (no Barbies until age 10), and educating along the way. So far, it’s worked out okay. We’ve finally resigned ourselves to the fact that she’s just…girly. And that’s okay. As long as she knows it shouldn’t stop her from doing what she wants to do. Thanks for checking out my blog!

  2. I hate the fact that everything is so gender-specific. We have definitely not made a big deal when Leo has played with his cousins Barbie’s and loved Dora and all the other girl-centric shows on Disney and Nick Jr. But what really irked me was when Lego came out with girl “flavored” Legos. Why?! Can’t boys and girls play with the regular yellow, red and blue bricks? I just didn’t understand the need to girly up a toy that both boys and girls could enjoy.

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