|multitasking momma and new baby|
T has named her Baby Beluga and has also suggested the same name for "the baby in Mama's belly". She arrived at our house after a long trip from Florida, and a very knowledgable set of Facebook friends who identified her for me when T found a similar baby doll at the kids' hair salon.
Baby dolls typically creep me out. The "lifelike" ones never look real, they just look scary. The run of the mill cheap ones you find at Target or Wal-Mart are just ugly, and I don't feel much better about the expensive American Girl baby dolls either. But Baby Beluga is super cute - very cartoony looking but I don't freak out when I see her lying on the floor.
I hate the gender implications - most baby dolls are dressed in pink and marketed towards little girls specifically. I don't buy T any toys I wouldn't buy for a son and I usually avoid the "pink" versions of things unless I've asked T to choose and she picks it. Unfortunately while the original Baby Beluga at the salon had a purple outfit, the only one I could find to buy was pink. I can live with that.
T still loves her stuffed animals, though. She's got far more animals than dolls (by design) and I'd like it to stay that way. I'm uncomfortable about the idea of being deluged with baby dolls, or worse, Barbies, and all the pink accessories. It's not the things themselves (I have other issues with Barbie and her proportions/coloring) but that I don't want to reinforce the idea that T can (or should) only play with "girls' things" or that there exists a separate world of "girls toys" and "boys toys" like Target seems to believe.
I'm not stressing about it (yet!) because as far as I can tell, when given a choice, T doesn't always gravitate to the "just for girls" thing. She picks what she likes. I'm sure we'll go through a "girl stuff only" phase and it'll drive me nuts. But for now, I'm trying to focus on complimenting things other than how cute she looks, giving her all sorts of different toys, and letting her choose clothes and shoes from both the "boys" and "girls" sections.
It's a long road ahead.