I’m on the prowl for presents for Babycakes who is turning 1 next week. She’s at that age where the wrapping paper and the box would keep her just as enthralled — maybe even more — than the actual present. The first birthday is for the parents, really. And for the adorable picture of cake frosting smeared on baby’s face.

I’m looking for presents that don’t say they’re going to teach my daughter her ABCs, colors, shapes, sounds, numbers with lots of flashing lights, computer chips and electronics. She’s 1 for crying out loud. She needs entertaining stuff like wooden blocks, mega blocks, and I even considered the Fisher Price Rock a Stack.

True, it says its for 6 month olds, but I remember kids playing with it at older ages. It’s rainbow-hued stacking rings were perfect for chewing, floating in a bathtub or banging on the floor. But that’s when I found this classic toy had been pink-ified.

I enjoy shopping the adorable pink aisles of Babies R Us or Target, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate pink. We’ve got all kinds of pink stuff at my house. But I couldn’t believe this classic toy needed a gender-specific makeover. And I didn’t see a blue one anywhere around. There were two. Rainbow, and this. And then I saw the pink school bus.Was the yellow school bus clashing with the decor of little girls all over our country? Is that why there would be a need for a pink school bus toy, exactly like the yellow one? Was there a blue school bus? No? I guess the yellow, multicolored school bus is masculine.

Next door was the pink Little People plane.

Perfect for those girls’ getaways … to a spa or a bachelorette party, right? The Sex and the City girls probably flew to Mexico in one of these after the big wedding scene. I’m going to New York this weekend and if my jet isn’t pink, well, it just won’t seem right. Again, no blue plane. Just the regular multicolored one. What was next? The pink Little People Barn? The pink Little People Tractor? The pink Little People Fire Truck?

As I came to the end of the aisle, one more surprise awaited.

The pink corn popper. While this little toy is the bane of some parents for the delight toddlers get in constantly wheeling it around the house to the incessant pop-pop-pop-pop-POP-pop, I secretly love the popper. Which is why I bought one for 25 cents at a yard sale this summer and have already given it to Babycakes. A regular, multicolored popper with red, yellow, blue and green balls and a blue handle.

Sigh. It will clash horribly with her pink bedroom. I hope she still knows she’s a girl.When she’s old enough to realize there’s a difference.

Way less than 8 and gr8tful!

So I have been watching a lot of Jon and Kate + 8 on TLC recently. Have you seen this show? It’s my guilty pleasure. Jon and Kate had twin daughters and thought they’d try for one more. They had fertility issues so they got pregnant with assistance both times. Turned out the last time, Kate was pregnant with sextuplets! Eight kids. When I started watching it, the sextuplets were under 3 years old. Now they are either 4 or about to turn four.

Anyway, Kate keeps them on a schedule, which is no mean feat. I mean we’re talking eight children under the age of 7 plus at least one photographer, sound operator and a producer! On some shows, I know they’ve got to have more crews. Sometimes she comes off a little harried, but I utterly sympathize. On my worst day with two kids, I’ve got a walk in the park comparatively speaking.

I bought Lexie shoes on sale at Stride Rite a month or so ago. $29 bucks. On sale. Now multiply that by six. Buy some more shoes for the older girls. Double it. Not to mention the toys, the clothes, the laundry, the dinners, the potty training, the books, the diapers, the pull ups, you name it.

How does this show make me feel? Grateful. So very, very grateful.