Sunday, May 23, 2010

Since When Do the Products We Wipe Our Bums with Need to Be Segregated by Gender?

Being the budget-conscious parents of twins that we are, we decided to try Target brand baby wipes for a change. We have tried the cheaper Walmart brand (papery-feeling and the wipes don't connect and pull the next wipe through the wipe box's slot like they should) but decided to also give the Target brand a try.

Here is what we found in the baby wipe aisle today. A blue box of wipes, a pink box of wipes, and a purple box of wipes. The blue box of course featured a baby boy and the pink box featured a baby girl. Blatant gender stereotyping. Upon further inspection, it appears that the wipes are virtually the SAME wipes, just packaged differently based on gender.
I have included for you a table that catalogs the details of the wipes by gender-marketed box:

Blue Box of Baby WipesPink Box of Baby Wipes
704 wipesXX
HypoallergenicXX
real-cloth wipesXX
alcohol freeXX
natural aloe and Vitamin EXX
cushiony texture for superior cleaningXX
ScentedX
"cushy tushy"X
"dainty wipes"X
boy baby on the boxX
girl baby on the box holding a flowerX

So, essentially, the two boxes of wipes are exactly the same except for the scent. However, Target has chosen to enhance this difference by including gender stereotypes like color, phrasing (apparently boys cannot be dainty) and object placement (the "girly" flower). And how about that lack of scent for the boys? I guess boys don't need to smell nice.

Perhaps I harbor a mild bias because my children are boys. What most concerns me is what all children will take away from this. Boys are rough and tumble; girls are dainty. Boys like blue and not pink; girls like pink and would never wear blue. Girls like flowers; boys do not. Beyond what kids will see, what characteristics will the adults in their lives put upon them simply because their world is stereotyped from day one?

I hope you take note of gender stereotypes in your world and do what you can to challenge them.

P.S. - If you are curious about the purple box of wipes, it's the same as the unscented boy box only labelled "sensitive," "majorly mild," and "ideal for newborns." And I would argue that purple is not a known gender neutral color. I would guess that most people associate purple with girls and thus, thanks again to Target, might now associate sensitivity and mild tempers only with girls.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Prayer for 30 More Minutes of Sleep

My friend Hilary lent a book to me today called Mommy Prayers. Included in it are all the concerns new mommies find themselves talking to God about. There is a prayer for "my unwashed hair" and a prayer for "pumping at the office" (I can totally relate after 4 months of awkwardness spent in utility closets, aka, "lactation rooms") and a prayer for "the lost binkie."

Tonight, I offer you my prayer for 30 more minutes of sleep.

Dear God, I know this seems trivial, but you are my last hope. Charlie and Weston really are good little boys. Beyond the occasional bump and bruise acquired by new crawlers, they are happy, healthy, and good sleepers. To a point. Why has Charlie started waking up at 5:47 a.m. for the last two weeks? What happened to the sweet little boy who slept until almost 7:00? Why has he been replaced by a mischevious pre-6:00 a.m. riser who coerces his brother into waking too? Please God, take me back to the time before two weeks ago when this mysterious "growth spurt" or "phase" took over my child and prevented him from sleeping past 5:47 each morning. Please let my boys sleep until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow...ok, 6:45 at least (though you have been known to work miracles) so we can all wake up on the right side of the bed again. Thank you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Secret Desire to Learn to Play the Banjo

In terms of musical talent, I wouldn't rank myself up there with Pavarotti or The Edge or even Beyonce. I would say I'm more on the level of the first American Idol castoff of the season or your neighborhood kid forced to take piano lessons. (a 3-year graduate myself and all I have to show for it is Yankee Doodle.)

Despite these obvious setbacks, something in me has always wanted to learn to play the Banjo. Why? Well...do I really need a valid reason? I mean, my friend Crystal has joined a curling league and curls every Sunday morning so does one really need to explain their quirky extracurricular activities? I think not.

The banjo is round, country, a string instrument. I just think it would be fun. Here are two examples to help you understand:



And if funnyman Steve Martin can do it, I'm on the bandwagon.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Red Poppy Fest Recap

As small town festivals go, the annual Georgetown Red Poppy Fest was quite entertaining. Up early thanks to the twins, we hit the downtown square about 10:00 and enjoyed the beautiful weather as we walked 6 blocks of crafty booths and vintage cars at the car show.

Around lunch time, we stopped at the "food court," (the parking lot where all the fried food trialers were parked) and treated ourselves to sausage dogs, homemade potato chips, and lemonade from Alex's Lemonade Stand. We parked the stroller in the shade and watched the people go by while we ate and then headed straight to Galaxy Cupcakes for dessert. This is one of my favorite new additions to our town. I had chocolate raspberry and Aaron had vanilla.


Having traversed all there was to see downtown, we then took a Saturday drive past some of my favorite cottages who were celebrating the fest with yards festooned with poppies.

Green house on the corner
Grey two-story

Yellow house with blue door

Until the next poppy fest...I am going to work on convincing my Hubs to let me scatter poppy seeds all over our front yard. We'll see what he says. ;-)

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