The other day I built this Lego set…every single piece, all by myself. As in, I would not allow the children to help.
If you think that sounds a bit odd, let me try to explain. As the mother of an 11 year old boy, I am no stranger to Legos. I have purchased countless sets, admired my son’s creations, organized them into bins, and my feet have been impaled by them numerous times. Which hurts way more than anyone would imagine is possible.
But all these Legos we have – Star Wars, Harry Potter, Minecraft – they’re all, like, BOY Legos. And my son seemed to have this innate ability to correctly snap those bricks together so there was never any need for me to actually help assemble one of these things.
Well, my 5 year old daughter recently received a Lego set of her own – the Lego Friends Adventure Camper, clearly marketed toward girls. And unlike her brother, for whatever reason, she had no idea how to begin putting it together. So she asked me to help.
Dumping out the pieces, I surveyed the scene on the kitchen table – pink and purple bricks, miniature food, hidden storage compartments in the camper, little bicycles with baskets – and suddenly I was a kid on Christmas morning again.
I became so engrossed in building the set perfectly I kept shooing away my poor daughter who just wanted to play with her toy. But she kept sticking pieces together all willy-nilly and screwing up my masterpiece.
My husband walked in just as I snapped, “Stop touching those pieces, I need them! Why don’t you go color?” And he was like, “What’s going on here? Why can’t she touch her Legos? What is wrong with you?”
And then the other kids start chiming in, “Mom’s gone crazy…she won’t let anybody near the Legos, it’s super weird.”
So fine, I’m a horrible mother for commandeering the Lego set but honestly, I don’t ask for much…is it so wrong to want to build the damn Adventure Camper in peace??
It’s not like they don’t have a billion other toys to play with.
Now, of course I realize this “girl” Lego set is the ultimate gender stereotyping cliché. And upon further research I found out that a lot of people are all up in arms about these “controversial” Lego sets being specifically marketed to girls…there have been petitions, rants of gender equality, sexism, etc.
But the bottom line is that for years Lego has been trying to get girls on board with building and they have failed…until they dyed the bricks pink.
And when did this, their profits went up 35%. Which means little girls are building where they might not have been before. So how is that a bad thing? All I have to say on the matter is “Lego…what the hell took you so long?”
And, as my husband so wittily put it, “Leggo my Lego!”