annual toy angst

I’ve done all the Christmas shopping. I almost called it ‘holiday shopping’ but even though I’m half-Jewish and K is Buddhist (but really just Marxist) I won’t fall into the ‘holiday-seasonal-winter-festival trap. I lost my tolerance for extreme holiday celebration political-correctness the first time I heard the term ‘spring orb’ used to describe an Easter egg. We give the kids presents on December 25th so I’m calling them Christmas presents. So there.

Anyway, I’ve bought them all. And last night I piled them all on the bed after the kids were asleep so I could count them and make sure they’re evenly distributed and doubt my choices and ensure that I don’t waste any time not festering or obsessing. They matched. The kids will receive an equal amount of crap.

Akka’s pile looked like this:

Malli’s pile looked like this:

Then I felt like throwing up. If the piles of presents could talk, Akka’s would say “the most important thing about you is how you look and it has to be exactly like this.” Malli’s would say “play! pretend! build! But also kill things and always, always be strong.”

I’ve been calming myself down by remembering that I also used to love girly toys and tiny little collectible useless things and I turned out ok. Cabbage Patch kids, Sweet Valley High books, china horses, about a million little Bonne Bell lip glosses. Ah, those were the days!ย Akka will be fine. And hopefully she’ll learn not to apply too much blue eye shadow. It’s never too early for important lessons like that, right?… Right?!!

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7 responses to “annual toy angst

  1. I’ll bet you a latte at Cherry Bomb that by Boxing Day the American Girl doll is godzilla as she stomps the legion of lego army dudes to the Sex Pistols soundtrack that Akka picked from the itunes gift card Santa put in her stocking!

    Malli’s for sure going to wear those pink slippers in his Sir Lancelot garb while Akka uses the crane to load the Barbie dresses into Lightning McQueen for their next cross-Canada road trip.

    Then when the post-carbon apocalypse comes, your kids can use the tractor to find new ways to turn eye shadow and nail polish into a fuel source so you can make maple syrup in the spring.

    K. and the kids can take turns seeing who is faster – K. sprinting in the heels or the kids on the skateboard.

    Everyone I know who is an interesting sentient adult played with all kinds of nasty stuff when they were kids and we still learned how to think, be activists and have fun. Hell, I had ‘Grow Up Skipper’ – crank her arm and she grows breasts. No kidding. Baby Alive too – putrid beast now back in circulation. I had boat loads of Barbies. I didn’t care what they wore, I made palatial houses for them.

    Never underestimate the creative and insurgent capacity of your kids. And, given the pics you took your kids will probably be super happy on Christmas morning – all good! I look forward to seeing what the doll looks like after her first haircut ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh man. PJR! I feel soooo much better. I love all the scenarios you describe. Except that’s a finger skateboard so K has a bit of an advantage, even in heels…

    • I think you overestimate your smarty-panty’s dude’s athletic prowess – my money is on the kids ๐Ÿ™‚ Tell them to call the Cat in the Hat for help!

  3. I don’t understand how they can seal baby alive in plastic. If she’s alive, then get her out of the box!

  4. Fabulous, Leah! In my day of parenting a little girl, (1971 on up) I remember some kids living in a commune who were not given gender specific toys. Two of them at about age 3 took an empty 48oz Apple Juice can and wrapped a dish towel around it. Voila! They had a baby all of their own! We learned so much from that little scene.
    I don’t believe we had quite as much pink to contend with though. Your wisdom will see you through as always ๐Ÿ™‚
    love Kate

  5. Thanks Kate. Yes, I think there is more pink these days and certainly more varieties of apple juice cans to dress up. Also, I’m pretty sure kids are catching on to toy trends earlier than we used to. 24-hour kid shows on TV are part of it: we used to have to wait until after the news for Polka Dot Door and if we were too late, it was over and there was nothing on but M*A*S*H.

  6. i finally found a little non-white doll for baby-gorilla (with shiny black hair like his own) that wasn’t $80, on Roncesvalles. he very occasionally picks it up by the hair, but he does much prefer anything with wheels. he’ll flip over whole shopping carts and strange (empty) strollers so he can spin the wheels. i found a little log on wheels for him to play with, but to tell the truth, he prefers the cars and trucks! perhaps because they are colorful and shiny?

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