Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lose the Battle, Win the War: Sometimes You Have to Give In

Yes, if you saw a disheveled Asian American woman giftwrapping a DS cartridge in the middle of Game Stop late Christmas Eve, that was me.   I can recommend toys to all but my own kids?  Ha! I am the worst mom ever!

If any of you are depressed because you are looking at your kids clutching their new tablets and ignoring the "smart" toysgames you gave them, I have something to say. You are not alone. I am just as sad as you and probably, because of my job, a little embarrassed too.

This year, I decided to do something different.  I let my kids open some of their presents on Christmas Eve.  I know that is unheard of to most but I had to do it.  For many kids, getting their amazing gifts, all at once can turn them into mini-monsters.   And don't even talk about not getting what's on their list.

My son made a list of things he wanted and then after opening some presents on Christmas Eve, he became concerned that he wouldn't get what he really wanted and so he made a new list for Santa. I felt bad.  I thought I knew what was good for him and so I ignored some of his other ideas.  There were some that were okay to ignore but I could tell that he was disappointed and what made it feel worse was that he didn't even complain.  He just said, "I really hope Santa gets me the Ben 10 DS and Omnatrix watch on Christmas day."

This is why parents really need to be more involved in toy choosing, even teenagers have told Toys are Tools that after testing some of our toys.  They've literally told us that they wish their parents had not listened to their demands.  Look at my kid's list.  The top three most wanted? Two video games and a toy watch over an iPad?  

But I wasn't smart enough and towards the evening, after I saw him WRITE a list to Santa (he hates writing).  I figured that I needed to get something ASAP.  Thank goodness GameStop was open!  An actual person answered the phone and told me that there was one Ben 10 Omnatrix DS game still left.  I put on my coat on left the house immediately.  It was 630 PM, Christmas Eve.  You would this toy reviewer would not be making runs on Christmas Eve to get her own child a gift, not when I've been watching Amazon like a hawk for the past 30 days!

But I am so very flawed.  Additionally, since I read that many of you had purchased these educational toys that were reviewed here and were saving it to give today, I thought... hmmmm.... maybe the same thing is going on in other homes...

If so, I just want to tell you that I was standing at the counter of Game Stop having brought my own scissor, scotch tape and some of the wrapping paper that we wrapped for the toys from "Santa" and wrapped the Ben 10 DS Cartridge right there.  Sure I looked like a total fool but for my kid, who WROTE a list and was sad instead of tantrumming... I couldn't bear it.  I had to do this.

But I am not giving up on these brain builders that I have been hunting around for us.  I still believe they are useful and these toys must learn to co-exist in our children's toy boxes alongside the toys that parents may think less desirable.   Looking back, I feel like some of the toys we've used have really expanded growth opportunities for all of the testers.  Number 5's mom thanks the Rockboard Scooter for getting her daughter on a bike with no training wheels.  I finally got my youngest one to really start building thanks to the easier toys like Tegu, Magformers, SmartMax, and Candy Constructions that have graced his toy box.  It's hard to make the connections but parents seem to have faith that their investments in quality and challenging toys will reap rewards in ways we can't predict but know it will happen.

Happy Holidays Everyone!   Stay tuned.... Very soon..  We'll have a rockin' review and giveaway of something really really spectacular.


  1. Awww, what a great mom!

  2. if my mom was as cool as you, maybe i wouldn't be so messed up.

  3. going to Game Stop on Christmas Eve with Santa Claus' wrapping paper and scotch tape AND.... pretending that the doorbell rang (when it didn't) after I came home ten minutes ago so that he could find the present at the doorstep is definitely not cool. but thanks anyway. merry xmas

  4. wow, this was not a response I was expecting to hear. not at all.... but thank you.