I have two little girls. Being the Dad of two girls means I play many games with them. I play the typical games you would think; softball, soccer, riding bikes, board games, getting mani-pedis by them, and being the guest of honor at tea parties, many tea parties. During these tea parties I get to meet many stuffed animal/doll characters that you would expect to live on/in/under the bed of a young girl’s room. I have sat next to Dora the Explorer, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, a rainbow striped dolphin, build-a-bears, Scooby-Doo and the gang, and of course several American Girl dolls.
They are all fine company, except Dora the Explorer. Hate her. Honestly Dora, I really don’t care about your stories and how everything you do involves going over a bridge and thru a forest. I mean every story Dora? Really? I get it, got it, ok lets move on, but NOOOO you then have to talk about this Swiper animal-thingy that takes things from you. Is Swiper really that scary? All you do is tell Swiper “no swiping” and he leaves. Really? That’s it? This guy is going to mug you and you just tell him no? How out of touch. Thanks for misleading my daughters into thinking they just have to say no and all will be sunshine and unicorns with gummy bears falling from the sky.
Besides that annoyingly happy Dora, I have as much fun as one can have eating plastic cake, trading stories with stuffed animals and drinking invisible brown orange juice. Yes, that is correct, my youngest makes me invisible brown orange juice. Oh believe me I tried ordering regular orange orange juice, but she says her’s only comes in brown. Is this just some joke on Dad? “Give him the “brown” orange juice, haha”. I asked if there was anything else to drink and she replied in a somewhat irritated mobster voice “no, just the orange juice, and it only comes in brown”, hmmm ooookay. I informed her the health department would probably be visiting her tea party regarding her brown orange juice, she didn’t really seem to care and added that they aren’t invited anyway, so they wouldn’t get in.
So, like I said, I love playing these games, and cherish my V.I.P. status at these tea parties. I would, however love to add some of my childhood destroy-everything boy mentality to these parties. (I’m still a boy, an old one, but still a boy) As a kid I grew up having spacemen fight WWII Army guys, had a fortress under my bed, and built Lincoln Log Bases where my League of Justice action figures could launch an attack against Darth Vader. Like I said, I want to include some boyhood antics. I would love to have GI JOE and anyone from Star Wars sit at the royal tea-table. Tell your explorer stories now Dora, Yoda would destroy you like Miley Cyrus destroys foam fingers.
People are often asked if you could have dinner with three people who would it be? Abraham Lincoln? Gandhi? Mother Teresa? For me it’s my childhood hero characters, Optimus Prime, Han Solo, and Chuck Norris. If I can’t really have dinner with them, why can’t they be at the tea party? I suggested it once but got shot down quicker than I did on prom night. I get it, I do, I understand those toys are just not girly enough for my girls. I thought I was always going to be regulated to mega-girly tea parties, that is until I discovered LEGO marketed to young girls, and inadvertently to Dads of young girls. These LEGOS may not be manly-man LEGOS but I can make a manly-man Dora hunting robot with them, see I really do hate her. My girls and I have common ground when it comes to LEGOS. There are all sorts of LEGOS for girls; picnic LEGOS, princess spa LEGOS, animal refuge LEGOS, and no, all you femministas I’m not being sexist, I’m just saying. They get to build dream houses with them while I get to build dream Space-Stations.
Ok so, they are made for girls, but I can still build what I want. I can still create tanks, bunkers, planes, spaceships and more. Who cares if they in the color of chartreuse, sea coral, saffron and of course valley-girl-pink. Even though my Tank-O-Destruction is colored periwinkle blue with a touch persian rose and looks like it was on some sort of hybrid Pimp my Ride/Extreme Makeover show, it’s still a TANK. A tank Barbie would be proud to chauffeur Kenneth in.
Not only do I get a break from ultra-girly tea parties with these LEGOS, they serve and even more important purpose. They get my daughters involved in science and engineering. They encourage them to build and create. Sure they may build things only a father could love, like a roofless, doorless house in the color of saffron, but they still build. They create, design, think. Many girls start to leave science and math behind around grade 5 or so. LEGOS keeps them interested in engineering, in math, in science. It would be a disservice to not to build spaceships and princess castles with them, plus it’s a win-win-win. They create, I re-live childhood, we play together. Now I just need to get them to ditch Taylor Swift for The Black Keys or perhaps Bob Seger.