No matter how I begged, cajoled, pleaded, or attempted blackmail, I couldn’t get my parents to budge on their toy purchases for us when we were kids. While my friends were rocking out their Super Nintendo, I was stuck playing “Kris-Kross Make My Video” (which is something I will never, ever, ever play again) and/or gnawing on those now-popular wooden toys (although not generally at the same time, because obviously).
I can’t imagine where on earth my parents found such toys – they weren’t tragically hip or organic back then – which means that my mom probably found them in one of her weird sage-scented health food stores. In fact, they were probably covered in lead paint, which may explain a thing or two about me. As I lack(ed) an imagination, it was damn near impossible for me to get too excitable about stacking wooden blocks again. I’d rather have watched grass grow or play out in the mud with the worms.
I’d have cut a bitch for something garish and made of plastic. I wasn’t allowed Barbies which meant that I’d have happily eaten aforementioned wooden toys if it meant I could have a Barbie Dream House complete with working bathtub so that she and Ken could get down and dirty, obviously. Why else put a bathtub in a house? BATHING? I think not.
When I had my own kids, I was pretty pleased with the notion that I could, in fact, now purchase them the toys I’d so longed for. While my mother scoffed at the EZ Bake Oven, always promising, yet never allowing me to use the real oven instead (probably a good idea on her end considering my track record with appliances), I couldn’t WAIT to buy one for my kid. Until, of course, I did and the “delicious cake” tasted more like urinal cake than chocolate.
(don’t ask how I know what a urinal cake tastes like)
I’d realized this year, after perusing the Black Friday sales, that it was finally time for my kids to actually select their own Christmas presents because they’re so damn finicky that it’s damn near impossible for me to buy them an item of clothing without allowing them to select it first. They are, as Mimi gleefully sings, “Stubborn Assholes.*”
Friday night, after a botched Thanksgiving, I had Mimi over to my apartment for our weekly Girl’s Night. I have lofty hopes that one day we can paint our nails, play Truth or Dare, and talk about boys, but for now, Girls Night means that we watch whatever Mimi would like to watch and play the games she likes best. The youngest of three and all, she loves being in charge.
I’d been carefully perusing the Black Friday Deals at my boyfriend, Target.com when I came across something I knew my wee masked avengers would either love or hate, so I called my daughter – by far the pickiest of the three – and together we examined toys.
Because my kids range in age from 3 to 11 and my apartment is *ahem* cozy (read: small), I have to make certain that the toys I buy are toys that they can all play with – together or separately. Not always the easiest of tasks, but since Ben is happy to play with his siblings on their level and Mimi and Alex are precocious, it works out well… if’n I can find the right shit.
For the first year EVER, I managed to get ALL the Christmas shopping done for the kids (likely the only presents I’ll be buying this year) by Friday night with the help of one tiny moppet named Amelia who discovered that Fisher Price makes a series of toys called “Imaginext,” which is a dumb ass name for some neato toys. I vote we petition for a better name, like Sparkle Sparkle…. er, SOMETHING.
Anyway. Amelia quickly noted that they made a BATMAN series and fell in pink-puffy heart love. Thanks to crowd-sourcing via The Twitter, I able to find these toys on sale, which always makes me happy in the pants.
While I’m thrilled that I am, for once, on top of my game with the whole I’M NEARLY DONE WITH THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING shit, I’m more than a little sad that my daughter, my VERY OWN daughter has, once again, foiled my attempts at the whole, “my daughter needs a Barbie” thing. I’ve offered, begged, pleaded, and blackmailed, and still, she thinks Barbies are dumb.
When I stop hyperventilating, Pranksters, I’ll let you know.
P.S. I really want to do a Christmas card exchange but that seems like a crazy-bad idea. Is it? Should we do one?
*No, I did not happen to teach her that phrase, but it cracks me up whenever she sings the song.