I went to Toys'R'Us yesterday to get some presents for my daughter. It's not easy shopping for her, because her toys of preference are limited to electronic gadget games (that get expensive and monotonous after a while), board games and baby dolls. She thinks Barbies are okay, but loses interest after a while. (Did I mention, my daughter is the coolest girl in the world?)
So since she already has an orphanage full of baby dolls, I began my search for those toys which only I could be so ingenious to select. My originality in selecting these toys would surpass that of other parents who just walk in and buy the latest heavily marketed toys on the market. I wasn't going to be like them. My daughter was going to receive smart, unique toys which would challenger her creativity, and expand her mind. These toys would teach her the values every strong, virtuous woman should learn from childhood.
Basically, I was getting whatever toy I could grab that was still on the shelves. The truth is I'm a raging procrastinator when it comes to gift buying... and uh, anything else.
I first entered the board game section. Here you find a wide selection of games, like Sponge Bob Monopoly, or if you prefer, Micky Mouse Monopoly. There's Disney Princess Chess, Jimmy Neutron Trivial Pursuit, Pirates of the Carribean Dead Man's Chest Twister (because Pirates of the Carribean Curse of the Black Pearl Twister is so yesterday), and of course the one I'm sure you've heard of, the classic Fairly Odd Parents Backgammon game.
I bought Trouble. Not That's So Raven Trouble. Just Trouble. I played it as a kid, That's So Raven wasn't stamped all over it, and it was STILL a fun game.
I then proceeded to the educational section of the store. Here a parent could find a myriad of scientific and brain stimulating toys, that push the child to be creative. They had telescopes, microscopes, molding clay, dinosaurs skeletons and farm animals. It was really cool, and a great section to be in because I was the only parent interested in being that section. All the moms were in the Brat Doll section of the store (more on that later) and the dads were checking out the moms in the Brat Doll section of the store.
Moving on I passed the Dora The Explorer and Bob The Builder section, because my daughter is just too mature for them (those toys are so pre-k), and came to the Barbie and Ho dolls. This is the section where you realize that Barbies now appear to be the Amish doll collection, in comparison with the Brat Dolls and the all new low in the, what I like to call "slutification" of our pre-teen girls, My Scene Bling Dolls. The "Scene": your favorite bar, club, backseat or apartment where the guys outnumber the girls at least 2-to-1. The "Bling": all the flashy jewelry a girl can get in exchange for... well, I guess whatever she's willing to give up. To put this in perspective, these dolls are being sold to girls between the ages of about 5-10 years of age, and they are selling like... well, like Brat Dolls.
I tried walking briskly through this section to get to the baby dolls section, just to look at them and rekindle the flame of hope that not everybody in America is buying these dolls for their daughters. Unfortunately, I couldn't get through the near-empty Ho dolls shelves before I heard a grandmother say, "oh, look how cute these dolls are!"
That's what I always say when I turn on the TV and see Paris Hilton, or Britney Spears flashing while wearing skirts much like these Bling dolls... "Oh they're so cute!"
I wonder if the Bling Dolls come wearing thongs? At least they'd have on more clothes than Paris and Britney.
I then continued on and my hope was renewed when I saw that girls still love their doll houses, horse, and stuffed animals. Thinking about it a bit more, I reminded myself that 99.9% of how your daughter grows up depends on the values you teach her at home. It is disturbing however, that these dolls are even marketable. It means someone out there is buying them.
Ah, Christmas shopping. You gotta love it.