“Moooommm? Can I have a WebKinz?” my nine year old asks me often when we are at random places. These places could be grocery stores or gas stations because I am seriously not paying attention.
“No” I answer automatically.
“Because I am not spending $15 dollars on a little stuffed animal that encourages you to spend more time on the web. Plus you don’t even play with stuffed animals.” It rolls off my tongue like an old song that plays automatically.
The conversation ends quickly because it’s the same every time.
“Can we buy a Webkinz for my friend Allie’s Birthday?” my daughter says when we are out shopping for presents.
“No, because I am not spending $15 dollars on a little stuffed animal that encourages kids to spend more time on the web. Let’s get her something she can do artistically, like rubber stamps.”
Now it’s my daughter’s Birthday and suddenly the tables turn.
My daughter want’s a WebKinz, Lil’Kinz “Google”.
Google? I think to myself. Boy that company is really getting their brand infiltrated into everything. Now they are branding toys!
“What’s Google look like?”
“It’s a little white duck with four legs” my daughter answers. “They have them at DoodleBug,” a nearby pottery painting and gifts store.
I assume I’ll skip into DoddleBug on the day of her party and have “Google” checked off my list of things to buy.
“Nope, we don’t have Google. Haven’t had Google in four months” the salesgirl says.
“Okay, where can I find it? Will ToysRUS have it?”
“No, only smaller boutique stores have Webkinz. They don’t sell to the chains”
Are you kidding me? Suddenly I am a crazed beast on a mission to find the exact right Lil’Kinz, my daughter has requested for her birthday. I ask the concierge at the Westfield Mall if there are any boutique kid’s stores in the building. No luck. I get on the Webkinz online store locator and start calling boutiques all over the county.
I’ve now been sucked into a cult unknowingly.
Wow, this company is genius. Why didn’t I think of WebKinz?
I decide to break the news to my daughter that I can’t find Google. I am out shopping for groceries only an hour before the party starts and I get a call from her.
“I also like the Lil’Kinz Cow, Mom. Are you going to get me the Cow?”
I stop by Doodlebug again. No Cow. Curses. I have to get her something. I choose a really cute Elephant and find out that it is “pet of the month”. Hopefully this will fly.
I run into a mother and daughter I know and tell them about my search for Google and the Cow.
“You know what?” my friend’s daughter tells me, “I saw one little cow left down the street at Vigazzi”.
“Where is that place?” I am now like junkie ready to go to the ends of the earth for the right stuff.
My daughter’s birthday is a huge success, mainly because she has an awesome group of friends and they are at that blissful age between pouty kids and hormonal teenagers. We have dinner, cake and open presents. All of the girls squeal with delight when they see the Elephant. “It’s the Pet of the Month!!!!!!”
Phew. I got out alive.
We turn on the disco ball in our living room when the sun sets; we dance like crazy on the fireplace hearth, set up an outdoor movie (surfer girl movie) on a giant canvas. Right before we all retire to tents set out on the lawn my daughter comes up to me, gives me a big long hug and says” I love you soooo much Mom! Thank you so much for my presents. Look at Elephant! Isn’t he cuuute? Thank you Mom!!!”
I am in heaven. The hug is all worth it.
You can only imagine what hero I looked like when I surprised her with the Cow at breakfast.