Rheann MacLaren, 25, was browsing through a children's charity shop in Dunfermline, Scotland when her son Harry McGregor started playing with a pink doll's buggy. The three-year-old was happily pushing the toy around the shop when Rheann says a "frowning" customer came over to say, "Oh you don't want that, it's just for girls, not boys. It's all pink and girly." The customer then suggested he might want a dinosaur toy instead.
Rheann, of Glenrothes, Scotland, was furious. She said, "I was completely taken a back by it at first. I was a little in shock to be honest - not only that someone actually believes those things in this day and age, but that they thought it was okay to approach a young child they don't even know and try to embarrass or shame him into not buying the toy he wants. Harrys always enjoyed playing with a wide range of toys, he's just a normal kid and loves to play. He has cars, dinosaurs, dolls and teddies; we've always encouraged him and gone with what he's shown an interest in. No child should be put down for having an imagination and wanting to play."
Before Rheann had the opportunity to say anything to the customer, her son said, "cos I like it." Rheann posted to Facebook about the incident, and it now has 1,100 shares. Rheann and 27-year-old dad Ryan McGregor, who works in customer care for a building society, say they are both supportive of their son's taste in toys. In addition, Rheann says her son will grow up to be well-rounded and not pressured to conform to gender stereotypes.
Rheann added, "I think there's too much focus on 'boys' and 'girls' toys - toys are toys at the end of the day. Kids just want to explore and express themselves and if it's a buggy or a monster truck that helps them do that then so be it. Men push buggies with their children in them as adults so what's so wrong with a child doing it? Women learn to drive every day so what's wrong with a little girl playing with cars or trucks? We just need to encourage kids in their interests. Our son's happiness is the most important thing in the world to his dad and I and if that means playing with a wee pink buggy then so be it."
Mother outraged by stranger's insensitive comment over son's choice in toys.