judifilksign: (Default)
[personal profile] judifilksign
I was at Toys R Us, having Sparkle pick out a toy for a friend's birthday party.  She'd picked out Dr. Girlfriend, and I was hinting that perhaps a different toy might be better (as neither eight-year-old has ever seen Venture Brothers, and aren't likely to in the future, and I wasn't sure a "Dr.  Girlfriend" would go over well.)

We still had Dr. Girlfriend in the cart, though, dressed in her hot pink Jackie O outfit.  Sparkle stops at the Monster High dolls.  Another little girl says to her very coiffed mother, "Here they are, mom!"

The mother looks at the Monster High dolls skeptically.  "They're kindof creepy," she says disdainfully.  "Like creepy Barbies.  Who makes creepy Barbies?  Why would they even make creepy Barbies?"  She turns to me.  "Do you know why they even make these things like this?"

I say, "Each doll is different from Barbie.  I think the idea is that if you have a doll you love that is really different, and play with them along with your traditional Barbies, then you'll be more likely to think different is okay, and play with different kids."

"I don't want my kids to play with kids like that." the mother stated flatly.

I stood blinking at her, somewhat stunned.  I mean, that's the kind of statement someone might make inside their head, but out loud like that?  Wow.  I didn't know what to do with it and still be nice.  I found myself wondering if the mother was being that way because she could tell Sparkle was different, or because she couldn't.  (Either bad.)

The little girl pointed to the werewolf doll.  "Pleeeease, Mommy?"

"No!" barks the mother.

The little girl turns wistfully to Sparkle, as if seeking support.

"I'm sorry," says Sparkle.  "Your mommy doesn't want you to be friends with me."  And Sparkle took the Cleo (Mummy's daughter) doll for the party.  Stunned, I trailed in Sparkle's wake, thinking there was nothing else I could say, or wanted to, to top that.

Date: 2011-11-19 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daisy-knotwise.livejournal.com
I don't know the dolls you are speaking of, but I think you may be judging the mom a bit harshly. You may see people who are different, another ethnicity, or differently abled. She may not be a fan of the current fantasies, but sees the dolls as monsters, scary, nasty, Hammer Films kind of monsters.
To her they might fall into the category of snakes, spiders and public speaking.

For instance, Zombies are popular right now. They are considered fun. They make me very uncomfortable. You can have fun with zombies. I'll find other things to do, thank you. Does this make me evil?

We don't know what pushes other people's buttons.
GHR

Date: 2011-11-19 10:16 pm (UTC)
chryssalys: (from then on it got complicated by ligno)
From: [personal profile] chryssalys
I can see your point there, but the statement from the other mother in direct reply to what Judi said? It comes across as a blatant "my kids are to play with kids just like themselves" statement, IMO. She didn't say she didn't want them to play with dolls like that, she said she didn't want them to play with *kids* like that.

Date: 2011-11-20 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scifantasy.livejournal.com
I think you've possibly thought more about what that mother said than she did. Which cuts both ways, of course, in that on the one hand, she didn't think, she just spoke, and that can be revealing; on the other, she probably didn't really think about what Judi said either.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
Yeah, a lot of not-thinking can make the world a not-fun place, sometimes.

I kind of hope that she heard what Sparkle said though, and maybe thought a little more.

Not that it makes a huge difference in my immediate world; she isn't someone I know or have to deal with on a constant basis or anything.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:42 am (UTC)
chryssalys: (from then on it got complicated by ligno)
From: [personal profile] chryssalys
It could be that I'm thinking more about what she said than she did. But that just comes down to - she didn't think. And that's the real problem, isn't it?

Date: 2011-11-20 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
That is clearly the message Sparkle got. I see where Daisy is coming from, too, though.

And now, from the mouths of babes, maybe she's heard herself, and given it another thought.

Although I don't think her kiddo can count on a monster doll any time soon.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:46 am (UTC)
chryssalys: (from then on it got complicated by ligno)
From: [personal profile] chryssalys
LOL! Likely not.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
It was certainly clear she thought the dolls were creepy.

Seanan posted a link recently that talked about a trend right now of pretty teen dead girls on young adult books. Looking at library sites and talking to folks, there are a lot of people disturbed by that trend.

She may not want her kids to play with kids that like creepy things.

I guess I'm just really glad that she was a random mom in the store, instead of someone I knew.

Never thought of you as evil, and your statement "You can have fun with zombies. I'll find other things to do, thank you," reinforces that, because you aren't enforcing your discomfort/dislike on other people's fun. (Mother rules excepted for all us mothers, of course.)

Date: 2011-11-20 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catsittingstill.livejournal.com
I think Sparkle hit the nail on the head, really.

Otherwise the mom would have said "Oh wait, that's not what I meant. I just don't like zombies or werewolves."

I mean, isn't that what you would have said?

Date: 2011-11-21 06:46 pm (UTC)
sheistheweather: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sheistheweather
I am truly impressed at Sparkle's seeming assessment of the situation.

Date: 2011-11-19 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peteralway.livejournal.com
After googling up these toys, I am amused. I think their exaggerated Barbiness is far more creepy than their toned-down monstrousness.

Date: 2011-11-20 02:33 am (UTC)
jenrose: (FilkerKazoo)
From: [personal profile] jenrose
This, exactly.

Date: 2011-11-19 10:14 pm (UTC)
chryssalys: (Happy Ianto Love It by jpren678)
From: [personal profile] chryssalys
Woo! You go, Sparkle! *wild applause from all members of this household*

Date: 2011-11-20 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
It occurs to me that Sparkle getting to get a doll right in front of a kid who'd just been told no, she can't have one rubbed salt in that poor girl's feelings.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:48 am (UTC)
chryssalys: (from then on it got complicated by ligno)
From: [personal profile] chryssalys
Probably. And I do feel sorry for the other little girl.

Date: 2011-11-20 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johno.livejournal.com
Sparkle may be far more perceptive then anyone thought. It's that she's just now learning how to vocalize her perceptions.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
There is a LOT that goes on under the surface with Sparkle. And she sure thinks not only out of the box, but in a different plane a lot of the time.

Trying to process with her about it, though, I only got non sequiturs. And irritation that we didn't buy Dr. Girlfriend.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darcy807.livejournal.com
You are an awesome mom who is raising a brilliant daughter.



Thank you.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
And I've got an awesome team of folks at her school who are busily giving her all sorts of tools in her kit that she can pull out at need, too.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dormouse-in-tea.livejournal.com
Sparkle is AMAZING. And so is her mom.

Thank you.

Date: 2011-11-20 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
She really amazed me, too. Stuff like this gives me some long-term hope.

Date: 2011-11-20 02:57 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
This. Definitely.

Date: 2011-11-20 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sweetmusic-27.livejournal.com
*snorfles* Booyah! Go Sparkle, and go you. *tips hat*

And a little child shall lead them...

Date: 2011-11-20 08:22 am (UTC)
ext_18496: Me at work circa 2007 (Default)
From: [identity profile] thatcrazycajun.livejournal.com
Sounds like you are definitely doing *something* right; the more I hear about Sparkle, the more I like her and hope to meet her one day real soon. Good on you both.

Date: 2011-11-20 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catsittingstill.livejournal.com
Go you for trying for tolerance.

Go Sparkle for speaking truth to power.

Go other daughter for being more tolerant (or at least more interested in difference) than her mother. May she grow up unscathed.

Date: 2011-11-21 08:28 pm (UTC)
mneme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mneme
What strikes me here is Sparkle's perceptiveness. She's an amazing kid!

Date: 2011-11-21 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judifilksign.livejournal.com
This is one of those things where as a mom, I'd never seen Sparkle identify herself or show awareness that she is "different" from others until now.

Half of me is amazed at her perception. The other half cringes because she has become aware enough for it to be a noticeable difference.

Now, my older boys are aware that they are geeky and different, but they also know my circle of geeky, fannish friends, and don't think it's an awful place to be. They are aware they are apples from the same tree as me. It remains to be seen whether Sparkle identifies with us, or with other.

Date: 2011-11-21 09:32 pm (UTC)
mneme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mneme
*hug* It's true, and that's somewhere where only time can tell.

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