When I’m out and about, I often find something to pick up for my niece or nephew. Just random, little things. A shiny round monkey purse for Molly, or a 1950s cub scout guide for Rowan (found in the “nostalgia” section at Half Price Books). There’s a table by my front door where I put these things so I remember to give them to the kids the next time I see them. I got that from my grandmother who always had a bag of stuff waiting for me every time I came for a visit. It’s how I ended up with so many of my grandparents’ old (made in America) kitchen implements, which I use on a regular basis.
I always make sure that if I have something for Rowan, there’s also something for Molly. And vice-versa. When my brothers and I were kids, it was all about being fair. If somebody got a (fill in the blank), everybody got a (fill in the blank). Mason and Tohner were closer in age, so they ended up sharing things more than I did (including splitting a bedroom until I left for college). They would try to find ways to keep it from being totally even. If one of them had a cinnamon roll and was told he had to share it, the brother doing the splitting might, say, lick the top of the thing in an attempt to make the other one lose interest. It never worked. Half a cinnamon roll that had been licked was better than no cinnamon roll at all.
This desire to keep things even for Rowan and Molly requires the occasional trip through the toy section at Target, something I don’t mind because I still like toys. On a, uh, purely intellectual level. James and I were walking down the baby doll aisle the other day when something caught my eye: a row of Baby Alive dolls. I was just starting to say to James, “I wonder if these things still pee and poop,” (something I always found gross, even as a kid) when one of the dolls moved and cooed at me. Holy shit! In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what I said in the middle of the toy section at Target. Holy shit! I’m easily startled.
This crappy video (shot with my phone) gives you a sense of the thing. The dolls are motion activated, though only one seemed to be “alive” in this section. I wondered if they still do the doodie, so I found this helpful FAQ. In case you don’t want to click, I’m including a highlight below. Needless to say, I got something else for Molly and will avoid the doll aisle for a while.
- Q. Can I play with my BABY ALIVE doll without having her speak? A. To play with your BABY ALIVE doll with her eyes open, but without having her speak, switch ON/OFF/TRY ME switch to the “OFF” position when the doll’s eyes are open. (yeah, it’s not creepy at all to have the thing eating and dancing and peeing and pooping while it stares, glassy eyed and silent, directly into your soul)
- Q: My BABY ALIVE doll is unresponsive and/or speaking slowly. What is wrong?
- A: If BABY ALIVE doll is unresponsive, speaking slowly or making unusual facial expressions, battery power may be low. Replace batteries with four (4) x 1.5V “AA” or LR6 size alkaline batteries. (alternately, your Baby Alive may be having a stroke and should be rushed to the emergency room – try to shove a baby aspirin down its throat on the way)