Monday, February 08, 2010

Xmas 2008: The Thought Didn't Count For Much

I have been digging around in my own archives a bit lately and was surprised to discover a number of half-finished posts. I thought I'd work on finishing them up and share them with you, just for fun. This particular one tells the story of our Christmas last year, involving a well-meaning gift that totally missed the mark. Piper was about 18 months old, and this was our first Christmas with her that didn't involve hordes of family trying to get a piece of the baby action.

It looks like an idyllic Christmas scene, right? Stockings, presents, everything waiting for our eager little cherub come Christmas morn. Little did we know the terror that was about to ensue.

We told the grandparents not to get Piper anything for Christmas, because she already has enough crap to outfit a daycare. They asked if they could send small things, stuff she actually needs. I requested plain white socks, solid-color yoga pants, and board books. I got some of those, but of course it didn't stop there. My in-laws sent a multi-piece music ensemble that includes a drum, rattles of various sorts, a recorder and a kazoo; my mom sent some really awesome play food she crocheted herself. It's totally amazing - an entire hamburger assemblage: Bun, meat patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and onions; a hot dog with ketchup and mustard on it and its own accompanying bun; an apple, a pear, and corn in a husk. She even made sushi! I think we were more excited over the play food than Piper was.

We saved our gift for last, since we have been looking forward to giving it to her for months. She was so into Halloween this year, when we saw this Fisher-Price playset online, it seemed like the perfect gift. It has a doorbell sound and when you move the bat, a ghost pops up with an "Oooooo!" Since she runs around the house with a blanket on her head going "Scary ghost? Oooo!" we figured she would love it. I ordered it in November and it had been sitting in the closet for weeks, while we congratulated ourselves on being awesome parents.

Once she had opened evvvverything else (not least of all this monster shirt, which she insisted on wearing immediately, over her pajamas - which also had monsters on them), we brought the carefully-wrapped box out from its position behind our tiny tree. She opened it and was excited to play with the "ghoss" and "punkin" and "weetch." Everything seemed to be going well, so we decided to put the batteries in.
We showed her how to push the buttons and make all the noises - spooky music, kids saying "trick or treat!", a doorbell, and the ghost that said "oooooh!" She played with it and asked us to make the noises "More? More? Ghoss more?"
Then this happened.

She would cry, play with it, cry, play with it, and cry again. Finally, after another round of the pop-up ghost, she started to scream in earnest. We tried to get her to play with it sans batteries again, but it freaked her out so much we had to put it back in its box and stuff it under our bed, because she could not even look at the plain brown shipping box without sobbing. Our totally awesome present, the thing we were most excited to give her, was a total FAIL.

*Ed. Note: We left it in its box under the bed for many months. I tried a few times to get her interested in it again, but each time the mere appearance of the its plain square box was cause for shrieking. Eventually she realized that there were little figurines and a trike to play with, and then she warmed to it. I think it took a good solid six months before she would even let me take it out of the box. Now it lives - without batteries - on a shelf in the playroom. She plays with it, but it is by no means a cherished object. C'est la vie, I guess.


Antoinette said...

I remember that my son had a similar love-hate toy... can't recall for the life of me what is was, though! How funny, I didn't know this might be another universal parenting experience!

Trish said...

Such a funny story! We had a little telephone that didn't freak the kids out, but that was totally haunted and creeped ME out. Of course, they loved the toy. In the middle of the night it would call out, for no reason in a Chuckie voice, "Help me call my friends." When the kids finally outgrew it, Chuckie-phone called to me one last time as it sailed through the air into the dumpster.

BTW...thanks for the nice comments on my blog!

Beth Lemon said...

Similar story here. Thanks for sharing. It really made my day.