Zoe and I were browsing in the Halloween section at Target last weekend, and she pointed to something and asked her favorite question: “What’s that, Mama?”
I looked, and I was puzzled. “Well, it’s . . . I guess it’s . . . Halloween lights. But they look just like . .. Oh. Those are Christmas lights.”
To my horror, there they were, staking out their territory next to the Halloween costumes and plastic jack-o-lanterns. Christmas is coming, and it’s never to early to start buying too many presents for your child.
We did that last year! And the year before. And despite my best intentions, I’m sure we will once again buy too many presents for our child, who will get plenty from her grandparents and aunts and uncles, since she is the only grandchild on both sides. And since, let’s be honest, it is just more fun to buy toys than to buy boring grown-up stuff.
This year, I am incredibly tempted by toys based on Zoe’s favorite TV shows. I am going to try really hard not to buy them. Or at least not to buy all of them. Here are a few of the best (or worst, depending on your perspective):
It’s the Wonder Pets! And the School House! And they are Mega Bloks! And it is $37.95. And, I would still feel the need to buy one of these bad boys:
Because, as any Wonder Pets viewer knows, the Wonder Pets are nothing without the Flyboat. Bizarrely, this Mega Bloks product includes only two of the three pets, which makes no sense, because: teamwork. Teamwork is what the Wonder Pets are all about. (Pro tip: I have watched this show hundreds of times, so I know whereof I speak. Do I ever.)
Zoe has recently become a fan of the late 1990s preschool classic Blue’s Clues, or, as it is known at our house, “Blue’s Blues”. (Which, by the way, is not a bad title. I would be blue if I could only communicate by leaving three clues around my cartoon world and waiting for Steve and his friends to use their minds a step at a time. That’s no way to live.)
Anyway, while we were watching “Blue’s Blues” the other day, Zoe looked around and said, “Where’s my notebook?” Because you need a handy dandy notebook to write down the clues, of course! Well, guess what, Zoe? Your notebook is for sale on Amazon:
It’s only $14.95! And, you can also get the Handy Dandy Nighttime Notebook and the Handy Dandy Treasure Notebook, sold separately! And, yes, I know what both of those are. I don’t remember high school physics, but I know about all the different Blue’s Clues notebooks. Such is life.
I was seriously considering this purchase (it comes with crayons that look just like Steve’s, and paw print stickers to mark the clues–come on! it’s awesome!). But then Mike pulled out one of these:
“Can we just stick a crayon in there?” he asked.
“Well, we have to put a picture of the chair on the cover,” I said.
“Well, we have a color printer. And scissors,” he said.
“Sold!” I said.
And you know what? Zoe and I built a pretty sweet flyboat out of blocks tonight and loaded it with farm animals. Then we built a flyboat out of a blanket (pro tip: this involved spreading a blanket on the floor and saying, “It’s the flyboat!”) and put our whole family in it.
The lesson here? When we use our minds, take a step at a time, we can do anything that we want to do.
To put it another way: We’re not too big and we’re not too tough, but when we work together, we’ve got the right stuff.
To put it a third way: someone has been watching too much television.