This past weekend we all went on a shopping trip to a store.
An ordinary task for most people.
But for us, it is an unusual venture. Ever since Ryan's diagnosis we have kept him pretty sheltered. We do not take him to the stores with us very often. We took him out to a store probably less than half a dozen times last year. Shopping carts have so many germs and shoppers can be quite disgusting sneezing all over my precious boy. Well, maybe not directly on him, but near enough that it invades his air space. Now that he is suffering an upper respiratory infection just days after swimming in the cesspool of consumerism and bad hygiene, confirming my fears, I believe we may never leave the house again.
So we took him to Target this past weekend. Something we probably should've done before Christmas if we wanted to spare ourselves the embarrassment of failing the most important parental seasonal duty. <<see Santa Fail for details>>
We had a bunch of stuff to return (duplicates of gifts) so we were pretty excited about having a gift card to spend! We walked to the back of the store towards the toy section. To be honest, we had our doubts that we would find anything to fit the bill.
"Okay buddy here we are! Now we are going to look at some toys and we need you to tell us if you see the Super Duper Lightning McQueen Thingy." I explained.
"What does it look like again?" Robert tried to get him to divulge more info.
"It's super duper and has strings on it." He had just mentioned this small detail to me last week when I prodded him once again for info. I dismissed it at first but now I am not so sure. Now I am even more confused.
Great. Strings on a toy car? A car puppet? Doesn't make sense.
We slowly proceeded down each aisle and pointed out each Cars toy we thought might be the elusive prize. He dismissed them all. We even tried to play up the coolness of some of them, desperate to fill the void of his crushed Christmas dream, hoping he would be somehow convinced that this particular toy within our budget was super duper. But alas, he was not easily impressed.
We were coming to the end of the toy section. The aisles were now filled with clearance merchandise of rejected overstocked misfit toys. Our hopes were dim but we trudged forth.
Then we spied an entire shelf of large boxes with the Cars 2 logo. We studied the box and discovered it was a slot car race track, much like the ones we remembered having as kids. We reminisced for a moment then focused on our task.
This was not cool enough to be it. Could it be?
Then we saw it. There in the picture on the box, a child holding a remote that had a wire leading back to the box attached to the race track. As if it both occurred to us at the same time, Robert and I said "Strings!"
"Is this the super duper thingy?" I cautiously asked.
"He looked up from his giant Icee cup which was now half gone and nonchalantly said, "Yep, that's it." No thrill, no excitement, no jumping gleefully, no hugging and kissing everyone as he ran through the aisles crying with joy. Nope, nothing. Not the reaction we were expecting.
"Are you sure this is it?" Robert prodded.
"Yep, that's the one. The one with strings." Again, clinical, dry. As if we should've known this from the start. But this time he perked up slightly as he reached for the box to get a better look.
I could see a glimmer in his eyes. The look on his face - truly super duper! This was it! We had finally found it! The holy grail of Lightning McQueen toys - and at an incredibly discounted price! Who knew it would be a slot car track!
I must've been displaying that concerned look on my face that revealed my doubts of it's value as a toy worthy of our household. Robert looked at me then searched the box for battery information.
You see I have an unwritten checklist of toy ownership feasibility. He knew what I was thinking. This toy failed miserably. Being a Libra I like to weigh the pros and cons of EVERYTHING. I am quite proud of the skills I have to make decisions, the only problem is it sometimes takes forever to reach that decision. This one did not take long. My thought process went something like this: (and yes, there are 3 colorful voices in my head arguing at all times, a la 3 Stooges - the classic one, not the one with that modern day reality TV stooge - I can't even bring myself to post a link)
Does it require batteries? YES
Does it look like something we will have to change the batteries on often? of course
Ugh! Let me guess, probably a size we do not have.What size? D's
As I guessed, we do not have any - in fact we just gave some away for Christmas
Does it make noise? Yes.
Typical, though not a deal breaker
Does it have parts small enough for Rowan to eat? Yes.
Uh, she'll try to eat anything
Does it look like they can get hurt playing with it? Huh!
I can almost envision the blood.
Could they use the parts as weapons? Yep
more blood. not looking good.
Are there many pieces? Yes
about a zillion
Does it look like it's going to break? Uh,
Do you have to put it together? ...
Once together does it stay that way? :(
Is this the toy he wanted? Yes! Will he love it? Yes!! Will it relieve my guilt if I buy it? YES!!!
This year I'll be stocking up on batteries and taking him to the store in November, in a bubble, with plenty of Purell and antibiotics on hand. In the meantime, I need to brush up on my kid-speak deciphering skills. As Lightning McQueen says, "Wish me luck!"