It all began as innocently as childhood itself. George and Claire were ripping the paper off a Christmas gift with great anticipation. My daughter excitedly pulls a box from its wrapping and George says, “Oh, cool! Candy Land!”
I’m flooded -- not with distinct memories, but with the intense but inchoate images and feelings of a young child. I don’t remember the game’s specifics or its characters. I feel happiness about winding along a path of friendly colors through a swirling world of sweet fancy.
I lean in to look at the box with Claire…
Candy Land's gotten a sexy makeover.
I'm flooded again. This time with rage, helplessness and disappointment along with a barrage of thoughts:
“Ah, not my Candy Land! Is nothing sacred? My Candy Land didn't have creepy bimbettes posing around the board! This game’s supposed to be for little kids! Can’t we just wait a few years?... Oh, shit, get over yourself, Rachel. You are such a control freak. You can’t shield Claire from everything in this world. There are so many other things to worry about than the sexualization of a dumb board game. She can still enjoy the game… Maybe, I’m just pissed I can't recreate my own past through my daughter. Or, maybe, I’m becoming one of those ‘things aren’t the way they used to be’ kind of cliches.”
As the wheels in my head spin, Claire and George open the box and look at the pieces. Another newly-opened game sits on the table next to Candy Land. Claire points to Chutes and Ladders, the green and blue board filled with children of diverse racial backgrounds playing actively, absorbed and engaged -- how I would like Claire to imagine herself in her world. She looks at Candyland…
“Mama, Candy Land is for girls and Chutes and Ladders is for boys,” she says.
The screaming in my head comes to a screeching halt. Claire cuts through my bullshit every time. Out of the mouths of babes is how the saying goes.
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Welcome to The Sunday Parenting Party, hosted by Dirt and Boogers, Play Activities, Crayon Freckles, Taming the Goblin, The Golden Gleam, Prickly Mom, and The Tao of Poop. The SPP is place for readers to find ideas on nurturing, educating, and caring for children, as well as honest posts about the stresses of being a parent or caregiver. Links to reviews and giveaways are welcome as long as they are relevant to the topic. All parenting philosophies are welcome with one exception: please do not link to posts promoting physical discipline, as this is something we would feel uncomfortable having on our blogs. (P.S. By linking up you agree that your post and photos are Pinterest, Sulia, G+ and FB friendly. We will be showcasing ideas on The Sunday Parenting Party Pinterest board.)
CHECK OUT THIS WEEK'S FAB FEATURES:
MY SKEWED VIEW, HE SAID WHAT?
DIRT AND BOOGERS, MY SON SAID HE DOESN'T LOVE ME