Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Well after 8 years and 2 kids I think I might have finally started to figure out this toy buying thing.

Over the years I have bought more toys that felt flat than toys that have been consistently played with. There are the toys that I bought because Sugar just HAD to have it because it looked so good on TV. That was before I finally wised up and stopped letting her watch commercial television. There are the toys I bought because I thought they were educational or inspired creativity or some other such thing - I don't have to tell you how little those were played with, do I? Sadly, there are the toys that I bought because I wanted to play with them. There are a few too many of those. I've even bought toys because it seemed like they were what children that age should, usually, are supposed to have.

Today I used another approach to buying toys. It's an approach I'm not completely unfamiliar with, but it may be one of my less regular purchasing tactics. Today I bought Spice a toy that matched her interest.

For the last two weeks, Spice has been obsessed with driving the car. Whenever we go anywhere in the car, she spends the whole time asking to drive - OK, yes, Spice doesn't ask for anything - she spends the whole time demanding to drive. When we get to our destination, as soon as she is freed from her car seat, she clambers up front to the driver's seat. If I haven't vacated it, she basically pushes me out and says, "Close the the door, Mommy." Then I'm expected to stand out on the street until she tires of sitting at the wheel.

So, a few days ago, it finally clicked in my head that maybe what she needs is a steering wheel of her own. I did a search online and found a few things that looked OK, but nothing that was exactly what I wanted. Most of them were too big. Panels with lots of buttons and levers and a small wheel in the middle.

So today, when we couldn't find a place to double park during alternate side of the street parking, I decided to go looking for a steering wheel.

We went to ToysRUs first. It is no wonder to me that these stores are struggling. They represent the most ridiculous waste of space. Do these stores have storerooms? I'm guessing they must be small or empty because everywhere I looked it seemed like the entire stock of each toy was on the shelves. Each section only had about five toys in it - but there were 40 copies of each toy. Humongous shelves packed with dozens of copies of the same few toys. Even in the bike section - row after row of exactly the same bicycle, over and over. You expect variety in a store this big - but there really is none.

And no steering wheels. Well, OK there was one - one of the ones I'd seen online and didn't like. And it cost $14 more in TRU than I saw it for online. Needless to say, I left it there.

The only other store in immediate area that might have what I was looking for was KMart. Not, I really hesitated about going there because so much of their stuff is SO junky. But I was desperate. By now, Spice knew what I was looking for and SHE WANTED IT!!!

I thought I searched the entire toy department - which wasn't easy, because, as I suspected, this Kmart was one of the junkiest I've ever scene.

Still, in the corner, in the dark, almost out of view, what THE STEERINGWHEEL.

I can't find a picture of the exact one we bought

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