Ever get the feeling that some people just don't listen to you, or go out of their way unnecessarily to wind you up? You do? I'm glad it's not just me.
I've given you a little history on the lineage in my family before, but to recap... My children are my husband's step-children.
Ever since Missy was small, her time with her father has been sporadic, due to his job in the British Navy. With him being away on deployment a lot, I have often received presents for me to wrap on his behalf. Last year I told him what I had bought her for both Christmas and her birthday, so he didn't duplicate anything. I had got her a Doc McStuffins and Lambie doll, and what did he get her? Yup. Doc McStuffins. Mine talked, so I won. He got Stuffy (the blue dragon), too, but in the year since, it's barely been played with.
The year before, we had duplicated on Peppa pig toys, which led to me telling him what I had bought in the first place. With some help from Amazon, and to solve the duplication, I had a new idea for this year. I made a Wishlist for her. The list helps with others who have no idea what she would like for gifts. I included different price brackets so all areas were covered - but , most importantly the toys were ones she was interested in, and hadn't already been bought. I read the reviews, deeming these toys appropriate. Then I made the list - and sent it.
Three weeks ago, a box turned up - addressed to her. I opened it to see two toys priced at £60 each; one an interactive talking doll, and the other a weird interactive monster thing called Xeno Ultra. Neither were on the list.
Both toys are designed to work with an app on iOS or android, so I can see his thinking - she can use them with the ipad he got her last Christmas. Very good thinking. It's not like I'm trying to limit her screen time or anything.
So I got on and read the reviews. The doll, "My Friend Cayla" had mixed reviews on Amazon. The main complaint was the doll doesn't understand what is being said to her, and so replies 'I don't know' a lot. With allegedly access to google to be able to tell Missy whatever she wants to know - that's a little limited. Also concerning is that the doll, and the monster connect to the internet. Yes, there are alleged safeguards included, and you can ban certain words being used but this toy is going to take some serious parental monitoring.
We chose to let her have that one for her birthday, and it eats batteries for sustenance. Missy was talking to Cayla about her shoes, and the doll just kept blibbering on about how her mum is a good cook? Right. Definitely not worth the money. Additionally, we have to pay for the American app.
For the same money £60.00 - or $95.00), she could have had a really nice kitchenette, which was on the list. Something that she could share with others on play dates, and something she could have got proper play skills and socialisation skills from.
The monster monstrosity is waiting for Christmas, but I can tell it is going to be lurking in a toy box for months, post mid-January.
Apparently, these toys are the "must-haves" for 2014. The thing is; shortly after Christmas it will be 2015 and they won't be the must have items any more. They will become the must have toy box fillers of 2015. I'm not ungrateful that she has been remembered, but it's me that's with her all the time , and me who knows what she likes. She's never even seen these toys on a commercial! I have really thought out my Christmas gift for her this year and I spent a fraction of what he did.
She adores My Little Pony. A lot of the toys aren't available any more but some hunting on ebay means she will be rebuilding Ponyville on New Years Day, when we are back from England.
Hmmm. Ponies? Or battery operated toys that don't hold attention or imagination. Which will be played with more?
I just wish he would trust that I know what I'm doing, and when I suggest something, it's probably because I know what she is interested in, and what is likely to be played with.
Parents, what's your child's favourite toy? Non-parents, what was your favourite toy growing up?
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Filed under: Family Life