Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hungry, Hungry Hippo

So, when I was about four or five or six, my parents bought me some pretty cool stuff for Christmas. Two of the items I still have today. A child size rocking chair, and a hand sewn, numbered, 3 1/2 foot tall Raggedy Ann doll. I treasured them throughout my childhood. Now they are in D1's room, so that she can enjoy them as much as I did as a child. But on that particular Christmas day, when I found them under the tree, I did not quite see it that way. That year, more than anything, I really, really wanted The Hungry, Hungry Hippo game. It looked so cool, so fun, action packed and loud. After all the gifts and games were unwrapped, and I did not find the game I so desperately wanted, I had a full on tantrum. Said I hated all my gifts, didn't want to play with any of them, and I couldn't believe that Santa would do this to me. From my recollection, I slowly withdrew those statements, saying I hated everything but the doll, the rocking chair, the teddy bear and so on. From my Mother's recollection, I was a spoiled brat the whole day. Who is correct? I guess we'll never really know.

Years later, when I was 17, my Mother bought me the Hungry, Hungry Hippo for Christmas. It was a big show in forgiveness, something that must have been very difficult for her to overcome. D1 now plays with it when she visits her Mimi.

Looking back on that Christmas, I realize, obviously, that my Christmas was not ruined, however, my Mom's was seriously damaged. It's one of those things that I'm destined never to live down. She can hold it over my head to get just about anything, if she wanted.

So enter D1's fourth Christmas. Wow, I had to count that twice, has she really been with us for four Christmases already? It's all going by way too fast.

We got the girls a great play kitchen, musical instruments, lots of puzzles and craft supplies(which will be put away on a high shelf seconds after they open them - you don't think I'm that nuts, do you?), Plasma cars, and so on. Between hubby and I, plus the Grandparents, the amount of gifts this year are downright decadent. But D1 has started asking for something else. It was one of just two things she asked for in her letter to Santa. It's the Dora Prance and Fly Pegasus. It's a freaking plastic unicorn that comes with a Dora doll. According to the reviews on Amazon, if you put the Dora Doll on the back of the unicorn, the unicorn falls over. It's a piece of junk. An over priced piece of junk. $45! Before Thanksgiving, I told myself that if I found it for $29.99 I would buy it for her. I searched everywhere, checking multiple places online every single day, just in case the price was lowered. I bid on one through ebay. I searched Craigslist, I sent an email to my MOM's group asking if anyone had one their child no longer played with. I really, really tried, but I have not been able to find one for less than $39.99. I just have to keep to my original thought, I can't spend that much for a ridiculous toy that I know she won't really even play with for more than five minutes. But still, I keep thinking, is this it? Is this the year of the big karmic revenge? I told my Mom about the unicorn, and she said not to buy it, that D1 was getting lots of nice toys, and she needed to learn that she won't get everything she asks for from Santa, or the world for that matter. But I can't help but be suspicious over that advice. Did my Mom hang up the phone and start wildly cackling? "Revenge, so sweet, is finally mine!"

What if this is truly the only toy D1 wanted? Will I ruin her trust in all that is pure and magic? Will I crush her such a hard blow that she becomes a distrusting cynic at the ripe old age of three? Will this start a horrible trend of distrust for men the rest of her life? How can I possibly be responsible for such a decision? So my friends, please tell me - do I buy the plastic piece of crap for D1, to save her from a life of bad relationships, always ending because she can not trust a man? Is this really how it all begins? The weight of Motherhood is far too heavy!


Dumblond said...

I hear ya. My kids have requested multiple toys of the years that 1) are way too expensive or 2) I know will be such pieces of crap I can't bear to purchase them.
I explained to them very early on that Santa doesn't always bring what you ask for but that they at will always get something.
So far so good. Not one tantrum yet.
Good luck to you.

Krazy Kat Lady said...

Tough call. Honestly I think it is inevitable that a child's holiday is "ruined" by the lack of some magical gift. Even if they watch only 1 hour of TV a week the commercial breaks are filled with hypnotic ads of so-called amazing toys and it would be impossible and/or ridiculous to always get everything they wanted, particularly when the desired item is a piece of junk. Is she getting any other Dora toys?

kimbop said...

We've dealt with the same issue and you know what? Buy her the damn toy. Not just for her to love, but so that you get to watch her go nuts when she opens it and believe that dreams can come true.

kimbop said...

And I just clicked on all your ads! So it's like you saved $1 on the toy already.

Valerie Deneen said...

I say return another gift, and get her the Dora toy. Unfortunately, a little piece of you will die inside to purchase such a piece of junk, but in the end it is probably worth it. Well....maybe. If nothing else, it would be great material for a later blog post titled "A Little Piece of Me is DEAD Now".

Jenny Henny said...

I still don't know what to do! There is nothing I am willing to return (or able - a ton of stuff I bought early, and the toy story is now going out of business!) I stood in wal mart for a good 10 minutes just staring at the stupid thing, but I couldn't get myself to buy it.

Jill said...

Sooo...did you get the Dora? Did she care?