The End of the Toy Age

Today is my daughter’s birthday. In fact as of 8:05am this morning, twelve years ago, I became a mom. We had a small party so she could celebrate with her friends this past weekend. There’s nothing like having five hormonal “tween” girls all sugared-up on cake and orange soda in your living room. I’m surprised I didn’t have my hair pulled out and blood dripping from my ears by the time I reached Space’s house that night. Back to my story… since it is her birthday, that means I had to shop for presents last week. Now that she is almost a teenager, it wasn’t as easy as it used to be.

With earlier birthdays, I would head to the toy section and just start grabbing toys. She preferred play sets because she loved pretending and making up stories to go with her Hamtaro, and Littlest Pet Shop toys. She could play by herself or with friends and family for hours with those little plastic things.

I even remember one time when she experimented with the tiny little plastic food for one of the play sets. I was staying home with her because she was sick. She was about three, but I trusted her with small parts; she was very smart for her age. She walked up to me and whimpered, “Mama my dose.” I figured she pronounced it that way because she was congested, so I said, “Yes sweetie, I know, your little nose is stuffy because you’re sick.” She continued to say that, however, and kept pointing to her right nostril. That is when I saw it… mini plastic broccoli. I laughed to myself a little, but then the seriousness set in. I may potentially have to take her to the emergency room. I grabbed tweezers and gently tried to grasp the plastic piece, but it was too smooth, I only succeeded in pushing it back further. Now I was really scared. All of a sudden I had a flash of clarity, like it was divinely given to me: plug and blow. I pushed her empty nostril closed and told her to blow out of her nose. It took three tries before that little stuck piece of plastic broccoli shot past my head with a trail of mucus following it. Just like a little green snot comet.

Now my daughter was never really a girlie-girl. She was in ballet for three years but when it came to toys, she liked action figures and other “boy toys”. My husband loved this. She had Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teen Titans, Spider-man, and any other non-typical toy you would find a girl owning. Every now and then she would play with a very traditional girl toy. The one I remember the best was her silver sparkly magic wand. With this wand she could make anything better. If I had a stomach ache she would touch the wand to my stomach and say, “Bing! I make you all better.” One day, she accidentally hit my husband on the outside corner of his eye. His first reaction to the pain was to grab the wand and throw it down. Of course when you do this to something that is plastic and made anywhere in Asia, it’s not going to survive. The wand was in pieces. This is when the cuteness kicked in, and she looked at my husband, and in her little toddler voice said, “I’m sorry I hurt you daddy, but whys you bees like that?” I quickly glued that wand back together, but I don’t think it’s healing capabilities were ever the same after that.

As she grows up, I find myself buying her less toys and more games and Pokemon cards. She knows more about Pokemon than I will ever be able to absorb. She also loves to draw them, well, she loves to draw in general. This has me buying her art supplies rather than toys too.

So what did we buy for her this year? I had a brief stay in the toy department. I was there just long enough to grab her a Beyblade and four packs of Pokemon cards. I spent most of the time in the office supply section. I know, weird, but I found her a cool dry erase board, a dry erase wall calendar, and a cork board. I figured, she loves to draw and to display her art, so those would be perfect. Amongst other things, I also bought her a candy corn knit cap. She is becoming a teenager, so I think accessories are “in”- who knows- she liked it. I would like to think that I will buy her many more toys for the birthdays to come, but sadly I know in the not so distant future she’ll be opting for boys instead. So I guess I’ll only be shopping in the toy section now when I’m buying presents for Byronic or Space.
Happy birthday Comet Jr.! :toot:

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