So tomorrow’s my daughter’s party for her fifth birthday. She’s been amped up for a week; can’t sleep past midnight in anticipation of being the center of attention and getting presents. She wanted a Barbie theme; Th’ Wife and I were unable to pull the trigger on that. We didn’t introduce her to Barbie, either. I think a neighbor kid did; next thing I know, the Sadie Monster’s got a sack full of second-hand Barbies and a wardrobe full of little tiny high-heeled shoes, ready to work a little tiny Haven Street.
Th’ Wife looked into ‘Barbie cakes,’ which I highly recommend you should Google sometime. It — like every other toy-centered thing on the Internet — is a highly-developed subculture, and also of Super Mom Cake Art. To her credit, Th’ Wife earnestly intended to make a proper Barbie cake at the outset. It was only after viewing a vast array of Super Mom Cake Art: Subset Barbie that we gave ourselves a back door out of the whole ‘Barbie’ thing while still making a tenuous connection to stuff the Sadie Monster actually likes:
Up until Th’ Wife and I put this mutant Cake/Golliwog together not four hours ago, I never had second thoughts about encouraging my daughter to do music-type stuff. But now that I think about it, I think it’s actually worse than encouraging Barbie’s lifestyle of conspicuous consumption and rigid gender roles. “That’s right, dumplin,'” I see myself explaining, “now that Barbie’s a musician, she doesn’t have a car or her own place to live anymore. She’s what we grown-ups call a ‘mooch,’ or a ‘drain on society.’ She’s in her thirties and lives with her mom.”