Last week, my wife and I were out running some errands with our almost three year old daughter. One of our stops was at Target. While the missus was doing her thing, I did my best to occupy/wear out the little one by walking around the store with her.
On our journey, we wandered through several aisles in the toy department. Jamie would go up to certain toys, press the buttons and make them move, dance, or otherwise be loud and obnoxious. One of the toys she played with was some sort of robot / dump truck* hybrid (and no, it wasn’t a Transformer. I’m a child of the 80’s, I know what a Transformer is.)
*As our daughter’s speech is improving, “p” sounds less like “b” and “tr” doesn’t come out as “f” any more. (We’ll pause while you swap those letters into “dump truck” and see why that developmental milestone is good for her and sad for my juvenile mind).
Jamie is busy pushing the buttons on this toy, and every time he moves and says some random phrase that four year old boys would love – most of which I ignored. But then she pushed the button once more, and the toy said something that made my jaw hit the floor:
“It’s lonely here in the store. Take me home.”
That’s right, the toy was trying to guilt its way into my shopping cart, much like the poor scraggly puppy who shows up on your doorstep. I was shocked. With an almost 3 year old, I haven’t experienced a lot of the “Daddy, can I have this?” – yet – but I know it’s coming quick.
It will be tough enough to turn down a beautiful girl with big eyes and a fast developing puppy dog look. I don’t need any help from some battery hungry hunk of Chinese plastic that will be buried in the bottom of the toy chest within a month.