The other day when I was shopping with the Tornado
I got sick and tired of her lollygagging and plunged on ahead she ambled down the toy aisle and became entirely riveted by a Ken doll.
Mama!! Look! She shouted. It’s super cool! It’s a talking Ken guy!!
Seeing as she’s a Barbie-girl (to my chagrin) & rarely interested in Ken my curiousity was piqued enough to retrace my semi-annoyed steps.
When I found her she was standing in the aisle, GRINNING FROM EAR TO EAR, & cradling the doll pictured above as he announced repeatedly: You are a pretty princess, Tornado! in an odd, robotic, I-guess-that’s-how-Ken-sounds voice.
I laughed (it was kind of funny & Im easy like that) & then I took a closer look at the box in her hand.
And, as a feminist misfit raised on a steady diet of Free To Be You & Me, I was horrified.
Barbie dolls are bad enough (for the 9834578 reasons better bloggers than I have written about)––but a “sweet talking” male our daughters are supposed to long to own so he can SWEET TALK THEM (!)—–I lost my mizmind.
I fired off angry missives.
I ranted *at* poor Ren Man and anyone else who would listen.
I let my imagination run the proverbial a’muck with precisely what Mattel thought Ken would sweet talk my Tornado into.
Then I took a deep breath, stepped back, & had a little sweet talkin’ AH HA! moment of my own.
Was there a chance good ole intended as trashy Sweet Talking Ken could be utilized to teach The Tornado a positive self-esteem lesson?
I ‘got real’ with myself (as Dr.Phil would say).
I acknowledged I
flew off the handle was displeased because as an adult I was aware what Mattel presumed our girls would program Sweet Talking Ken to say.
It was precisely what the Tornado initially had him utter.
It occurred to me, however, S.T.Ken was the perfect tool for teaching her how she should expect to be treated.
One of my fave quotes is we teach people how to treat us.
On an adult-level this alludes to complicated renegotiating of relationship dynamics.
On a five year old level this is as simple as carefully choosing the words we program Sweet Talking Ken to say to us.
As a parent to a five year old it’s about harnessing the power of a potentially trashtastic toy & using it as a teaching tool about the power of words both good and bad.
The Tornado didn’t forget ole S.T.Ken as easily as she had other toys.
She begged (never works around here).
She whined (seriously?!).
She offered to earn him (that’s typically an option at Casa MizFit).
What transpired comes later this week.
Are you are offended as was I at first glance by Sweet Talking Ken? Or were my feminist-sensibilities merely on HIGH ALERT?
What’s YOUR definition of “sweet talking” & does it resemble my *immediate one* verging on coercion, convincing & underhanded?
Please to give me a reality-check in the comments below…