2015-01-21 / Loose Ends

Toying with me

Susan Nienow

Just when I think I am done with the agonizing selection-of-perfect-gifts season, I remember that most of my family has birthdays at the beginning of the year. So we have been tossing ideas around for birthday gifts for a 7-year-old granddaughter.

She has an iPad or whatever electronic thing is ageappropriate, so games and movies would be acceptable. But we just didn’t want to get a list of titles and pick one. There is no creativity in choosing that type of gift. So we went old-school. We bought a Monopoly Junior board game and Jenga with the colorful blocks.

I looked long and hard at the jewelry sets with 598 pieces and decided that the risk of my daughter-in-law never talking to me again was too great. If they lived in town I would get one to keep here.

I hope our granddaughter doesn’t think we are stodgy. It’s so difficult to do this when we don’t see her very often. We don’t always know what day she is going to decide she’s too old for Dora now.

What can I say? We toured the toy store – you know – that bricks-and-mortar place where we could actually pick up the boxes and read the contents. I can’t choose toys online. I don’t recognize most of them. They’re so … electronic.

I also wanted to wrap the gifts myself and couldn’t make myself order them so I could turn around and send them out West. Hopefully, we chose something she will play with at least once! I remember playing Monopoly in the basement with a neighbor girl for almost an entire summer before getting sick of that.

Of course, my mother still talks about playing jacks and paper dolls, two toys I never cared about. So we’ll see if buying our granddaughter things she didn’t ask for works.

Even if we did want to get the latest, greatest toy, it is doubtful that we could find it in January anyway. The most popular things sell out shortly after Thanksgiving and are not yet back in the stores.

We are still waiting for that new electronic wrist thing that keeps track of your steps to be in stock. My other half wanted the one that tells him how to play better golf – or maybe it was the one with the heart monitor or the connection to the Cloud. He wanted it for Christmas, but we haven’t been able to find it. It isn’t just kids who have to practice patience.

Next week we need to find a gift for our soon to be 4-year-old granddaughter. She is still a Dora fan, but we have no idea what Dora things she already has. Is there such a thing as Dora overload? So we will look for something traditional – not attached to any cartoon characters.

It would be easier if the toy store had an aisle labeled “Grandparents Gifts” or “Tried and True,” but instead we’re directed to electronic or character toys. What happened to Old Maid, Go Fish or Candy Land?

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