Sunday, December 23, 2007
A special toy from a special store
In preparation for the "big trip" we've been warning Miriam about for the last few days ("warning," because it involves many hours of driving), I decided to buy her a special toy to use for the first time in the car. This toy, whatever it ended up being, would need to meet four requirements.
1. no small pieces or other attachments that could come apart and litter the car during the trip;
2. no potential for problems that would require parental intervention from the front seat;
3. no annoying voices; and
4. something exciting that we wouldn't usually get for Miriam.
I had pretty much decided to get her one of those storybooks that reads itself to you. Generally, I am against that kind of toy, but in this case, it would fulfill requirement #4.
So we went to Toys R Us, of all places, because I had seen an ad for a good sale on such items there. Otherwise, we avoid that place like the den of iniquity that it is.
I found the talking storybook aisle (yes, there is one) without too much difficulty, but I realized very quickly that I would not be making any purchases from it. You see, every single book was a "branded" item, meaning it featured Dora, Nemo, a Disney Princess, Thomas the Train, Elmo, etc., ad nauseam. I would have had no problem buying any of these books if they were about a young, explorer-type girl, or a fish, or a princess, or a choo-choo train, or a lovable (?) stuffed animal. But I refuse to buy into the brandification of my kid (except when it comes to Hello Kitty band-aids, because Miriam won't accept any other kind, and that was started by Grandma, anyway). Besides, the Elmo one at least would have been in flagrant violation of rule #3.
In the end, we bought one of those magic color pads. There were Nemo coloring pads and Disney Princess coloring pads, but I chose the one that was just normal. It met all the requirements (except for the pesky marker cap and rule #1) and Miriam had a grand old time with it in the car.