A couple of months ago, I took the kids to the store and told them to each pick out one toy for under ten dollars. I do this every once in a while, and each kid always chooses the exact same thing. The boy gets a Thomas train. And the girl gets a Littlest Pet Shop animal.
Except on this particular visit, the girl couldn't seem to make up her mind. She kept walking by the Littlest Pet Shop section and talking about what she'd like, but then she'd move on. Frankly, it was driving me batty.
Finally, I asked her, "What's going on with you? I know you love the Littlest Pet Shops. They're all you play with. Why can't you make up your mind?"
"I'm not allowed to get any more Littlest Pet Shops," she informed me. "Veruca only has nine pets and I have twelve so I'm not allowed to get anymore until she has more than me."
Veruca is AH's kid.
Now, if my kid were anywhere near typical, I would have probably laughed about it. Maybe even rolled my eyes at the crazy things kids say to each other. But this is my kid. My overly-sensitive, sweet, polite, appreciative, friendly, caring, bullied kid who let's other kids boss her around like no child I have ever met.
I lost it right there in Target.
"Don't you ever let her boss you around like that. Don't you ever let any kid boss you around like that. I brought you here today to buy a toy specifically because you are well-behaved and unspoiled and I am not going to let some little brat dictate what you can and cannot have!"
Okay. I may have lost her there a little at the end.
To make a long story short(er), she walked out of there that day with a Littlest Pet Shop toy tucked safely under her arm.
When Veruca moved away, AH gave all the kids in her class little packets of cards and envelopes so that the friends could keep in touch. We received our first letter from Veruca last week. It went something like this:
Hi. I have fourteen Littlest Pet Shop pets. How many do you have? I'm getting a Whirl Around Playground. Are you?
My daughter read the card to us and then went upstairs to count her pets so she could write back.
My husband turned to me and said, "If she has less than fourteen, I'm going right the fuck out to buy her another one." I had to laugh. Especially when she came running down the stairs and announced that she had eighteen. My husband put up his fist for me to bump.
And then Grandma came to visit (and take care of my kids while I run these fucking food booths) and the spoiling got serious. Between the pets she brought with her and the pets she and my son picked out to give to my daughter when they picked her up from school, my girl now has 24 of these things.
Somewhere it crossed from funny to excessive. But I swear, no matter how much of a bad mother it makes me, I'd buy my kid tons of these things. Just on principle.
Want to join my petty parade?
*Confidential to Santa and gay uncles: Topping her Christmas wish list this year are the Whirl Around Playground, Maltese puppy, and the Digital Pet. There are only 74 shopping days left 'til Christmas.