Imagine creating a custom toy for your child and seeing people comment, criticize and question your parenting skills – and even your child’s sexuality. That’s what father Andrew Hook sustained after making a kitchen set for his 2-year-old son, Yahoo! Parenting reports.
With $20, Hook purchased an entertainment center from Goodwill, Yahoo! Parenting adds, and remodeled it into a mini kitchen with a sink, stove, oven and refrigerator. On the refrigerator is a chalkboard for a grocery list. The toy was a gift for his son’s second birthday.
The photo of his project – originally posted on imgur – made its way to the Internet with positive reviews surfacing on the page. Several believe his son could be the next big chef like Emeril Lagasse and Gordon Ramsay. However, a few commenters spewed hate toward Hook and his wife Jessica about the gift.
“People called our 2-year-old son a faggot, claimed that we were going to turn him gay, things like that,” he writes on Reddit.
Comments even included wishing harm to the child, pushing Hook to speak up and defend his decision.
“He always wants to watch us cook and likes being involved, so we thought this would be a good idea,” he says. “I have seen him get excited and play with a broom.”
People who wrote the comments and moderators deleted the remarks but they still came as a surprise. Hook’s parents bought him and his brother the same model when he was young, he tells Babble.
“We never had the intention to challenge gender roles,” he says. “And honestly, it never even occurred to us that people would think it odd that we built a kitchen set for our son.”
When did kitchens become a girls-only toy?
I’ve met people – men in particular – who fell in love with cooking because of a kitchen play set they had as a child.
Stereotypically, society paints the picture of girls playing with dolls and cooking, and boys playing with things that are considered aggressive and masculine.
At 4 years old, my parents surprised my brother with an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas because he loved playing with mine. As a child, I played with Barbie dolls and did their hair. But not a day went by where I did not throw a football across the yard or play with my brother’s action figures. Our toy choices did not affect our sexuality or anything else for that matter.
We live in a world where anything is judged. What Hook did for his son was creative and showed he cared about him and his happiness. He does not consider himself to be a perfect parent but admits he is letting his son enjoy his childhood. The comments were unnecessary and inappropriate toward a child.
“We just want him to be a kid and have fun and be the best parents we can possibly be,” Hook says.
What do you think of the reaction to Hook’s toy for his son? Tell us in the comments section below.