Around this time of summer, I always get a flurry of queries about what Willow might like for her birthday. The subtext is, I suppose, "I know how picky you are. What can I give your kid that you'll actually let her keep?"
This subtext is valid. I am really picky. I don't do battery-operated toys (exceptions: one Leapfrog phonics thing, three walking/roaring dinosaurs), any DVDs unless they're documentaries, anything with a cartoon or other media character on it (unless it's fangeek), any article of clothing that refers to the physical characteristics of my child (no "cutie-pie" tees, etc.), any pants or shorts from Wal-mart (they hang off my girls' butts to show their plumbers' cracks and make me afraid that my girls have oddly-shaped butts), any bath products with synthetic chemicals in them, or anything plastic (a lot of exceptions here, of course, because EVERYTHING is plastic).
I could give you an entire dissertation for my reasons behind denying each of the above offenders, but would you really want to hear it?
Things that are always okay by me: experiences (Chuck E Cheese? Sure. Walking with Dinosaurs the Live Show? Hell, yeah!), handmade items, toys made from natural materials (wood, cotton, etc.), art supplies, books (unless they don't meet my strict moral/ethical/gender awareness/cultural tolerance guidelines--I can also be picky about books).
Anyway, I've been dipping around on etsy a lot these past few hours (I have a spot for my pumpkinbear etsy shop in the Supplies Showcase, but the Showcase section is BROKEN in Internet Explorer today! Will it get fixed before the day is over? Will I get my money back? Stay tuned...), so here's a roundup of some cool handmade stuff Will might like for her birthday: