Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Boy Things and Girl Things

I went into a birthday invitation place after calling twice the other day - apparently they were having a hard time finding a science-themed birthday invitation.  Sicily turns six in a couple of weeks and I have waited way too long to order online.  I grabbed the box containing hundreds of kid birthday invitations but my search was futile.  

Had I been searching for a princess birthday invitation, I would have been in luck.  There were probably over a hundred.  I would have loved to have found a princess scientist.  When I went on line and googled women in science cartoon images there was an appalling paucity of material.  Take the one above, for instance.  Not that I am knocking her individuality, by any means, but as a 5-year-old would you have wanted this to appear on your birthday invitation?

I eventually enrolled each store assistant in various ways to help me.  One was looking online at a site where I had found one cute science invitation earlier in the day - we were trying to cheat and figure out the manufacturer, but they were too smart.  Another was going through large notebooks full of invitations.  No one at the shop could ever remember having a request for a science-themed party.  

"Aha,"  cried a clerk.  "I've found one."

It had a mini-Albert Einstein with glasses and a bunch of equations on the chalkboard.  It also had two things wrong with it.  1) no girl, which I would have been willing to overlook, and 2) it was the same invitation that was for a boy's science party that I was pretty sure Sicily was remembering as she created her ideal party upon my query last Sunday afternoon  ("At the house"  "CD's for party favors" "A science show" "vanilla cake").  So I rejected it.

Frantically I searched my memory for the "Add-ons" that the Mad Science representative I had booked earlier in the day had touted for an extra $25.  Cotton Candy making, Static Hair, and Laser Light/Indoor Fireworks show.  Hmm.  Fireworks.  Fourth of July.  There's an angle!!

I grabbed the Fourth of July Box and found a nice watercolor of sparklers.  I also found a lone multicolored firework display (apparently, on Fourth of July invitations, red, white, and blue fireworks command the great majority -- all others are heavily prejudiced).  The multicolored firework display was discontinued - go figure.  Probably not prejudice - just lack of sales.

Last night I overheard Ike explaining to Sicily the meaning of "tomboy" in a positive light.  It made me wonder if someone at school had used the term negatively, so I went in the kitchen to investigate.  Apparently, she had wished she was a boy aloud, so she could openly enjoy boy things, such as camping, fishing, and hunting.  I told her, "There are no boy things or girl things.  Just things.  You can do whatever you want.  Except stand up while you are going to the bathroom.  And you can do that if you want, but it might be messy."  Sicily giggled.  Ike agreed.  Apparently clip art creators and kid birthday party invitation manufacturers need to take some lessons.


Anonymous said...

I found the perfect Cicily b-day gift:

Gizabeth Shyder said...

That is freaking hilarious! Where on earth? What in the heck did you google to find that?

I think I will purchase some for our next camping trip:)

I am having a BLAST composing the Science CD. First song: Interplanet Janet. I also want to use Particle Man - TMBG. I'll send one to Parker. How do I send to China??

Anonymous said...

Aren't Lady J's a hoot? My roommate in grad school told me about them, and I gave her one for Christmas one year. I don't know if she ever made use of it. I'll have to ask her...

Interplanet Janet is the best! Parker would love the CD! I have no idea what my address is. I'll find out.

Good luck with the party. It sounds great!