Mom Defends Son's Pink Stroller On Facebook After Stranger Insults Him For It
Rheann MacLaren and her three-year-old son were minding their own business at a toyshop when a stranger decided to critique the little boy’s choice of toy. The stranger’s objection? He was playing with a “girl’s toy.” MacLaren was not having it; the mom defended her son’s pink stroller in an epic Facebook rant that has readers cheering. MacLaren’s post, which encourages parents to let their kids play with whatever toys they want, gender stereotypes be damned, is deservedly going viral — It’s been shared over 2,000 times since MacLaren posted it on April 28.
In her post, MacLaren, who is based in Fife, Scotland, recalls a strange woman approaching her little boy:
I saw the looks you gave me and my three year old son today. I saw the way you watched him pick out the pink dolls pram and push it round the shop with pure joy. I saw the way you came over frowning at a child simply enjoying a toy. I listened as you tried to belittle my son for his choice of toy. “Oh you don't want that, it's just for girls, not boys! It's all pink and girly. There's cars and dinosaurs over there, why would you want that girly thing?!”
MacLaren told Metro.co.uk that she was especially bothered by the woman approaching her kid without her consent: “When the woman came over, what annoyed me was that she spoke directly to my son. At least say it to me. There is no need to speak to him. He’s three.”
On Facebook, MacLaren recounts, “I was about to have a go at you, tell you off for being so judgemental and critical of a small child.” But her little boy cut in first with the perfect response to the question, "[W]hy would you want that girly thing?!": “Cos I like it.”
BOOM. That’s really all that needs to be said, isn’t it?
It's literally that simple. It's not about the colour of it, the labels behind it, the way it looks…. It's about the fact my child looked at it and thought it looked fun to play with. He pushed it all the way home from the shop proud as punch with his new toy, he told me about how he's going to put his baby dolly in it and push it to the shops for its milk, because yes, shock horror, my son has a dolly too.
She explains that her son likes all sorts of toys, regardless of how they’ve been conscripted by gender stereotypes. Toys are toys, her son like to play with lots of different types, and she’s just not bothered by it:
His favourite toys are his cars, his trucks, his bus... He loves dinosaurs and monsters, he's happiest when he's outside playing in the mud and puddles.. But sometimes he likes to play with a doll and pram, he'll play in the toy kitchen and pretend to do ironing, he likes pink things and watches with fascination when I put my make up on. Am I worried? No, not in the slightest. My child will grow up a well rounded, accepting boy who will NEVER feel pressured to conform to gender stereotypes.
Whenever I read stories like this — of random strangers judging the parenting choices of people around them — I always have to wonder, “Don’t you have something better to do?” Dear Meddlers: If you have enough time in your day to give unsolicited criticism to total strangers about behaviors that don’t affect you in any way, you probably have too much free time. Time to get a hobby.