So apparently as if our kids don’t have goofy-enough toys these days, some toy company decided to make a breastfeeding doll for little girls to add to their probably already-too-huge doll collection. Riiiiight. 😛 As you can imagine, this is causing an uproar among certain groups of opinionated folks (*cough cough* Bill O’Reilly *cough cough* :-P).
Really, I’ve heard about all the mass-politicizing about nursing babies in public and stuff, and I consider it to be a bit of an acid test for just how immature folks are. Unfortunately, too many men are stuck in Junior High mode for far longer than their middle school years and are like, “Dude! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS!!!!!!” utterly forgetting of course just what exactly those things are for in the first place. I understand this boob-taboo thing in our culture is largely an American thing too and in other parts of the world this type of stuff isn’t even a discussion, or who knows? Maybe the boob-taboo is some kind of secret conspiracy by the baby formula industry to encourage sales. 😀
Regardless though, I think this kind of doll probably isn’t a good thing overall, for reasons unrelated to the aforementioned Boob-Taboo. 😛 Probably one of the things I hear from parents including folks my own age who’ve had kids is that they’re really bummed out that their kids grew up too fast. In some cases I’ve heard folks feeling sad that their kids grew up so fast they almost didn’t get to have any kind of happy childhood, whether because of problems the family faced, a divorce, the bad economy over the last several years, or something else along those lines. There’s a biological side to this as well, with all the studies showing for various reasons kids are approaching puberty at younger and younger ages these days compared to generations past, even my generation. When I was growing up, it was either 6th grade or definitely by middle school when kids hit 13 and were like, “Oh yeah! I’m a TEENAGER now!!!” Apparently, that age range is now obsolete. A recent Reuters article now pegs the age range for boys at 9-10 and girls at as young as 7 or 8.
The whole “tween” thing also adds to this, with apparel and other industries targeting pre-teens as if kids being kids for any significant amount of their childhoods is now just as taboo as this nursing doll might be if the right people have their way. 😛 Then again, on the flipside, baby dolls for girls have been encouraging them to grow up a little too fast for generations. There’ve been dolls that “sleep” (the ones where their eyes close when you turn them sideways), dolls that can be bottle-fed, Baby Bubbles back in the day that “spit up” and had to be cleaned up after (I remember the commercials for that thing getting made fun of by folks of all ages), and even the controversial “Pregnant Midge” doll a few years back. Aside from that though, girls were “playing house”, taking care of baby dolls, having toy kitchens to “cook” in, Easy Bake Ovens, etc., meanwhile, what did us guys have? “RAWWWWR HUGE MONSTER!”, G.I. Joes, rubber snakes, Nintendo for the most part, a.k.a. a noticeable lack of toys teaching boys to be decent fathers. Hmmm… I wonder if that might explain all the “girls mature before boys do” thing I kept hearing back in the day, or even parental trends where fathers don’t stick around to raise kids like they should, but that’s another speculation for another day. 😛
I just hope one of these days society will let kids be kids again, so the aforementioned amount of bummed-out parents who think their kids grew up too fast can cheer up a little. 🙂 In the meantime, here’s that old Trace Adkins song that I think probably applies here. 🙂