A recent discussion on kids and gender identity reminded me of an incident from my childhood.
When I was a little kid, I wanted an Easy-Bake Oven. Now, my parents were generally pretty tolerant of whatever weirdness I threw at them, but apparently this is where they drew the line. I can picture my dad saying “No son of mine is going to play with an Easy-Bake Oven.”
But…. I don’t think they “got” why I wanted it. It’s not that I wanted to play housewife, pretending I was cooking and baking in the kitchen all day. (Not that there would be anything wrong with it if I did, but that wasn’t it.) Here’s the thing: These things made REAL cakes.
Now, mom might bake a cake once in a blue moon, and I understood they were a lot of trouble to make, but they were delicious. But now, thanks to modern toy science, here was this machine, made just for kids, that could bake a little tiny cake. I could make it myself. All by myself. At any time. Think about it… I could have cake ANY TIME I WANTED. I love cake. This. Changed. Everything.
Seriously, this was a game-changer. No more waiting, no more begging mom, I could have cake whenever I wanted, thanks to this little miracle of a machine. I didn’t know exactly how it worked, but if kids could do it, how hard could it be? I was excited, downright giddy over the possibilities.
But alas, it was never to be. I never got my Easy-Bake Oven. And all because they just didn’t understand. I didn’t want to play at being a mom. I just wanted cake.