By Diane Ako
I'm finally of the stage of parenting where I have to buy specific gifts for children. My daughter's five; old enough to have her brain finally penetrated by toy company marketers.
For Christmas, I found myself in the aisles of Target. (I've also never been to Target in Hawaii!) I was standing there with all the other hapless parents looking for something that our little darlings explicitly asked for.
Previous years were easier as Olivia was younger and didn't care as much about the brand or the exact model. This year, she said she liked Princess Celestia from My Little Pony. My good friend and houseguest Mari Fran brought it out when she came last month, but the pony was pink, and Olivia was slightly disappointed. That was a shock to me that she could be picky about a toy pony.
Olivia claims the true Princess Celestia is white, or at least, turns pink and white in the cartoons. White is her preferred color choice.
Mari Fran had also said finding Princess Celestia at her Texas toy store was difficult, so I can't say I wasn't forewarned about this kind of experience. Now it was me standing in the aisle in Salt Lake and unable to find help in the store, and scanning the aisles feeling lost.
I had gone in thinking it would be a quick in-n-out trip, but early on I realized I was wrong. I struck up a conversation with another mother in the same predicament. We laughed about it and told each other what we were looking for.
"My Little Pony: That's two aisles over near the Legos," she directed. Helpful!
I went over and saw rows and rows of colored ponies. Like Mari Fran discovered, Princess Celestia was only in pink. The only white unicorn, winged horse was Rarity, so I took a chance and bought that. I should mention that Olivia is wrong sometimes about names and such. Like, for a long time she thought the name was Princess Alestia, and argued with me when I tried to correct her.
Also, she coveted our neighbor's Fashion Barbie and requested that, too. When I tried to clarify which fashionable Barbie it is, she insisted there was only one. Now in Target, I find half a dozen. Accuracy: not a strong point yet.
I bought Rarity, and for good measure, I bought three more colors of ponies in the interest of recreating the kingom of Equestria. I'll give that to her on behalf of her grandparents and Santa.
In reviewing this little jaunt, I had no idea a buying trip for children is more like a scavenger hunt. I like shopping enough that I expected it would be fun to look around. It took so long and it was not really enjoyable.
Do you have stories about buying gifts for your kids?