Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mighty Morphin Toy Selections

(There's no way I should be writing this post right now. I have a ginormous book to edit, a family birthday party to implement, a house to level to the ground clean.

But why attend to the shrieking to-do list when I can fritter time away?)

In the past I've worried a bit about girl toys -- mostly how to keep the princesses and Barbies at bay, let alone, God forbid, Bratz dolls. This hasn't turned out to have been much of an issue because Allie prefers to play with whatever Sean plays with. In other words, cars, trains, and trucks.

Those boy-end-of-the-gender-spectrum toys have always been in my violence comfort zone as well. Sean's never played with guns or other weapons, and his exposure to superheroes has been pretty mild.

Enter the birthday party, and the attendant birthday gifts. Sean's kid party was last Saturday, and I steeled myself for the possibility that he'd be receiving gifts that I would never purchase in a million years. For the most part, though, the gift choices were reasonable, if a little on the obnoxious side (like the big recycling truck that plays a version of the "William Tell Overture" with the lyrics "To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump" and the monster truck that plays and shimmies back and forth to "YMCA" [why, I ask you, why?]).

Then Sean opened a big box of Power Rangers. Power Rangers! Did you know they are back? This particular set is quite charming, with several villains that are brandishing a wide variety of weapons. I had hoped that Sean would forget about this toy amongst all the other booty, and I even went so far as to hide it in my closet. (Is that wrong? Wait, don't tell me.) The ever intrepid birthday boy found the box, however, and I didn't have the heart to confiscate it again.

And then my sweet, not-exposed-to-violent-toys-or-shows-of-any-kind son started playing with the action figures. Despite my attempt to sugar-coat the weaponry (the torch that one guy carries is designed to help him see in the dark, the huge mallet held aloft by another is a hammer so he can build things -- I know, totally lame), he knew just what to do with it. Those bad guys were being dispatched most efficiently, and not with a firm "Please stop that, bad guy," either.

Sweet Jesus. It's as if some testosterone switch has been flicked on.

Has anyone else witnessed this with boys? Should I be alarmed?