Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Charlie Wants A Dress

My kids love Webkinz. If I tell you how many they have, you will think I am lying. So I won't. Also, it is embarrassing that the value of these stuffed animals with a rainbow 'W' on their paw is now roughly the same as the bill for our plane tickets to Los Angeles. The only thing that comforts me is that the girls are learning that technology is important (I really had to dig for that one) and that we didn't buy at least half of them.

Moira loves all of her Webkinz. Despite the fact that she has enough to open a fake zoo, she loves them all. She has different 'favorites' on any given day, and they all vie for the honor of being the Chosen One to sleep in her bed at nighttime. She feeds them food from her fake kitchen, clothes them, and creates family trees for them. The Gorilla, Bubbles, has recently been very sad because his father passed away. This only slightly overshadows the scandal involving Kisses the Horse and Daisy the Golden Retriever no longer being friends with Mr Ducky the Googles because he stole their Zingoz bat. (A Googles looks kind of like a Duck-Billed Platypus. I appreciate the name change. Anything with the ending 'pus' is just not kid friendly. Then we would have Pus-Pus the Platypus).

Moira is a good big sister most of the time, and has no problem freely sharing her Webkinz with Sabra. Even her new ones, favorite ones, it doesn't matter. They play for hours together, Moira concocting strange stories and desperately wanting Sabra to act them out. Sabra mostly just likes to put them all in a line and then throw them off the couch.

Gram (my mom) buys her granddaughters a Webkinz when she goes out of town or feels as if their parents are not indulging them enough. Gram and Abba went out of town in January, and returned with furry friends for the kids. Moira was happy to adopt Leap the Leopard, and Sabra received a Chihuahua.

She was just shy of two at the time, and naming things didn't really make sense. I asked her what she wanted to name the dog, and she said, 'doggy woof woof puppy.' That didn't really have a ring to it, so I thought about things she likes to watch and read and I thought of the YouTube video that the girls loved to watch. It is called 'Charlie Bit Me...Again' or something like that. A little boy bites his big brother, who cries in a cute little British accent that "Charlie bit me, and it really hurts! It's still hurting..." It makes my kids laugh really hard.

So, on a cold day in January, Charlie the Chihuahua was welcomed into our home. Since that day, he and Sabra have been inseparable. She sleeps with him, hugs him, feeds him chocolate ice cream (he is starting to look rough) and takes him to school every day. The teachers and classmates know Charlie by name, as does almost anyone else who knows Sabra.

Recently I took the girls to a Webkinz Extravaganza Party at Hallmark. I'm not sure why I did this. I feel like I'm teaching my kids how to be addicted. Just one...more....Webkinz...

Moira had a few dollars she brought along, no doubt scored by kissing her Daddy. (Note to self: kiss Moira's Daddy)
She decided that she didn't need another animal, but she would really like to buy a shirt or pajamas or something else for her Webkinz to wear. She stood by the turny rack and picked out a! football,hmm.....wait! Mom!.....I want the wedding dress! this point I realize that Moira does indeed have some of my characteristics, one of them being indecisiveness)

I assured her that we had plenty of time, and she could walk around and think about it.

Meanwhile, Sabra is throwing her shoes into the floor and running towards the large selection of Crocks. Her love for Crocks is second only to Charlie.

I reined her in and asked her if she wanted to look at the Webkinz stuff. She did. She happily rearranged the display, putting them all into a line. And then, well...yes, we are that family.

I tried to 'redirect' her attention.

"Look, Sabra! Sissy is picking out a shirt for Ciao Bella! Would Charlie like something to wear?"

She nodded in the affirmative and ran (she never walks) to the turny rack. (I don't know what they are really called.)

I was looking through khaki pants, though Charlie never really struck me as the Dockers type. Football jersey? He's not really sporty. He's small, you know. Hmmm. I guess he could wear a tuxedo, but I think the hat will be too big for him.

Sabra looked for three seconds at the clothing, stuck her hand out, and handed me a cardboard box.

"Sweetheart, that is very nice, but.."

"Charlie want it!"

"Sabra, it is a dress. A very pretty dress, but Charlie is a boy."

"Charlie wanna dress!"

I'm not one of those parents who won't let her girls play with trucks, so I bought Charlie, the male Chihuahua, a lilac satin party dress.

Meanwhile, Moira was still agonizing over outfits. I had to pick out two options for her, and she chose from those. Hermione the Cat now has a cupcake t-shirt and skirt.

I thought the whole experience was pretty funny. Even without the cross-dressing Mexidog, I saw some huge differences in my kids. It can't be attributed to age, because Moira has always found choices to be very difficult. She gets overwhelmed by options, and becomes almost incapable of making any time of declaration in regards to what she wants to wear to bed. Let's not even talk about Build-A-Bear.

In college (sigh) my professors would inevitably start the semester out by instructing the class to give their name, age, class rank/major/favorite color/life's ambition/most prized possession/random fun fact.

And I would begin to sweat. I know my name, and my age, and my class rank, though somewhat depressing, is pretty easy to figure out. As for the others...WHY DID MY TEACHERS WANT TO TORMENT ME?!?!?!

Definitive decisions are not my friend. In fact, they might hate me. I hate them.

I just haven't ever been able to commit to a favorite color. Sometimes I like red, but blue is nice too. Green makes me feel more like myself, but black! I love black!

A random fun fact? Of all the things in my life you want me to choose one thing to tell a room full of strangers? I only have three minutes to prepare! Inevitably I would give my middle name, because this is another 'factoid' that people find interesting (weird) when they first hear it.

And after my turn had passed, it always took me the better part of ten minutes to get my heart rate back down and have the courage to look up at the teacher again.

I am going to admit that all these years I have claimed peppermint ice cream as my favorite when really I only got the idea from Samantha, the American Girl. One of her books I read during library time at Lipscomb Elementary gave me this life-altering information. She was cool, had nice clothes, why not follow her advice on frozen deserts?

I chose peppermint in an instant, just 'because'. It is so unlike me, it is almost unthinkable that I chose it without consulting my thoughts, my sister's advice, a perusal and maybe tasting of some of Baskin-Robbins' finest. For some reason, I just stood, fist in the air, and said, 'NO MORE! Peppermint will henceforth be my favorite ice cream!"

I've recently started trying this approach in different areas of my life. I guess I'm finally starting to realize that NOBODY cares what my favorite color is, unless they are buying me a shirt. And if they are buying me a shirt, there are many colors I love. So why not just pick one and go with it? Red! Raspberries! Tea! Boho-chic! Haha!

I want to pick out what we are having for dinner as easily as Sabra picked out an evening gown for a dog. Without any obsessive thought, because small decisions just do not require that much dedication.

I'll have to blaze the way for Moira, who still is uneasy about a purchase she made LAST YEAR in Disneyland. She couldn't decide between the Alice dress or Sleeping Beauty. (Alice? Seriously?) She eventually didn't make the choice. She couldn't take the stress.

I sent her outside with Kendall to fret about what decision I was making in regards to her costuming needs.

She was delighted when I emerged with Aurora's gown. Partly because she loves Sleeping Beauty, partly because the worst part was over.

It would be nice if I could find a happy medium between Team Moira and Team Sabra. Maybe Sabra could just start making all the decisions.

I wonder if Austin will look good in a party dress?

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