December 5, 2013

From the 7-year-old girl's Christmas list: "A little thing that can turn into anything at anytime."

From "My Kid's Insane Christmas Wish List, Annotated." (Via Metafilter.)

Also on the list: and "A pet puppy. Border collie with a peacesign coller, and a leash" and "1,000 bucks."

The dad's annotations are not as enjoyable as they'd be if he'd resisted appealing to Deadspin readers by using the f-word repeatedly. Not that I don't use that word. Just that he's interacting with the innocent expression of his young daughter, and — even though she's not reading this (not yet, anyway) — it doesn't work to say things like "The fuck is this?" and "Great. Fucking great."

Too bad, because otherwise this is seems to be great material. And maybe I want to take a stronger position on appropriating the sweetness of children for cheap, adult yucks. I know that when I was a young girl, it hurt me to hear adults finding great amusement in what I only understood years later to be how adorable I had been long ago when the concept was quite unknown to me.

IN THE COMMENTS: MadisonMan said...
American Girl Dolls are the perfect Grandmother-to-Granddaughter gift, if you can afford it.

File this information away, Althouse, just in case :) Not sure if you can get them through the althouse portal.
Well, you sure can! Here's Saige, the American Girl Doll of 2013, and here's her border collie, Rembrandt, who comes with a leash. Don't know if it's a peace sign "coller." Seems to me that if the father did a little more poking around in Amazon, he'd have figured out that the child wasn't requesting a real border collie, just an accessory for the Saige doll she wants.

And thanks, again, to all who've been doing your shopping through The Althouse Amazon Portal.

32 comments:

MadisonMan said...

American Girl Dolls are the perfect Grandmother-to-Granddaughter gift, if you can afford it.

File this information away, Althouse, just in case :) Not sure if you can get them through the althouse portal.

My daughter got 3 or 4 dolls from her Mom's mom, and each one was loved to death.

MadisonMan said...

I found that girl's list charming. I liked the phrasing in it (the razor scooter that is the color blue -- not the blue razor scooter) that seemed so childlike to me.

I miss having kids that age, when Christmas was a wonder. Now my son will just sleep in, and the daughter is out of the country. Why even get a tree?

By the way: DON'T GET BEAD KITS. Seriously. They end up all over the place (so easy to drop!!!), and you just vacuum them up and they're gone or you step on them forever.

William said...

I have always found that children love the gift of a Shetland pony. I like to anonymously leave a Shetland pony on the doorstep of special friends in order to strengthen their parental bonds with their children.

Henry said...

My kids have long had a verbal play concept of "an everything machine." Finally they upgraded it to "an everything factory." They're going to build it when they grow up.

Youngblood said...

Althouse,

Reading the linked article, I was reminded of the profanity and breathless tone of that "Boring As Heck" piece you linked a little while back. Yet I don't think that the two articles share a single tag.

I hate the internet style. A half-assed cynicism and Babbitt-baiting have become the new Babbittry.

tim maguire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim maguire said...

The problem is not profanity, per se. Profanity, properly used, is fine, sometimes even great. It's just so often improperly used.

Profanity is not a substitute for wit, its a poor cover for lack of it. Profanity's power comes from its taboo status; overuse robs it of that power.

EDH said...

What makes Althouse think she's no longer adorable?

Oh, it's that cruel neutrality thing, isn't it?

Fuck that, she's still adorable.

Ann Althouse said...

"I have always found that children love the gift of a Shetland pony."

Just get an official American Girl doll's pony: Saige's horse Picasso.

Freeman Hunt said...

My sons, ages four and six, asked for "wood, metal, nails, and tools." They say they are going to build a hideout for their super gang.

Ann Althouse said...

"Reading the linked article, I was reminded of the profanity and breathless tone of that "Boring As Heck" piece you linked a little while back. Yet I don't think that the two articles share a single tag."

Yeah, well, the Boring as Heck item was lampooning that style of writing. This Deadspin piece is more of an example of the thing lampooned.

Big difference.

Also, the element of children makes a huge difference.

Ann Althouse said...

"My sons, ages four and six, asked for "wood, metal, nails, and tools." They say they are going to build a hideout for their super gang."

Made me think of the old wooden workbench toy where you pound in the "nails" (pegs) then turn it over and pound them in again.

lemondog said...

The $1000 bucks made me laugh.

Freeman Hunt said...

They also say they are going to build a "jail cage" to house us when we "boss" them. "You'd put your mother and father into a cage?!" No, no, they assured, "It will be very nice. The whole house will be in it." "Why don't you just lock us in the house then?" "No, we want to build a jail cage. The house will be in it." "Won't you be in it then sometimes?" "Of course!"

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Good Conservatives should be boycotting American Girl products, no?

For when one has scruples, and one's opponent does not, one's scruples become weapons in the opponents hands.

Freeman Hunt said...

They're also going to build a spaceship to visit Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri, but I've advised against wood and nails for that.

lemondog said...

Question, is a mini-iPad a typical or at least not unusual gift for a 7 year old?

My niece is contemplating this for her 7 year old.

Of course if she was gifted $1000 bucks she could afford to buy her own.

Mark said...

My kindergartener is also preparing a fairly substantial list of her wishes. I don't see why a kid wouldn't dream big - whether that's a Christmas list or building a spaceship out of wood like Freeman's boys.

The ages when they have magical thinking are so much fun to be around. I cannot believe how many times I've already sung the Christmas songs this year - when I've got a five year old as a duet partner I find myself singing an hour a day.

This author sounds so jaded towards his kids excitement, which is sad.

Henry said...

Question, is a mini-iPad a typical or at least not unusual gift for a 7 year old?

Recommend to them a Kindle Fire or Asus Memo. Just as shiny and a fraction of the price.

St. George said...

A thing that can turn into anything at any time?

Give her Obamacare.

Edward Lunny said...

" Seems to me that if the father did a little more poking around..." Seems to me he should pay a bit of attention to his daughter. Were he to, she'd likely divulge were she saw the items that she's asking for. Kids are funny that way. Well, until they become teenagers, then it's like pulling teeth to get anything out of them. Still, parenthood is ,by far, the most amazing thing that I've ever done and the absolute coolest thing I've ever been involved in.

" I like to anonymously leave a Shetland pony..." You, sir, are a dastardly villain ! Who cleans up after all of those ponies ?

" My sons, ages four and six, asked for ......" Ahh, imaginations unfettered and free from the realities of the adult world. So, how much wood, metal, nails and such will they find under the Christmas tree ? Oh, and tools too, preferably power tools ! Healthy imaginations must be fed and nurtured, jail house or no.

Edward Lunny said...

" Give her Obamacare. " what did that little girl do to deserve being terrorized ! Geez, you'd ruin her forever.

Freeman Hunt said...

"So, how much wood, metal, nails and such will they find under the Christmas tree?"

A lot, of course! The requests are cheap, so they will be filled in abundance. I found real tools sized for children. (No power tools.) Wood and nails are easy. We'll see about the metal.

Henry said...

We've found a fair amount of junk in the woods behind our barn, secretively left to us by previous owners. An old garden cart; a wreck of fencing; a sink in the weeds; a pile of gutter elbows; a full-sized snow plow. My son and his friends have been happily hammering scrap metal into swords for months.

Bob Loblaw said...

Don't forget Saige's hot air balloon, too.

(I know this because my daughter is a big fan, has Saige and her dog, but we couldn't afford the horse or the hot air balloon, which is huge. We got the doll and her dog on a trip to the American Girl store in NYC. What a great place.)

David said...

And remember, every American Girl doll sold pumps a little more money into the Madison economy. And not just via Althouse.

Rusty said...

MadisonMan said...
American Girl Dolls are the perfect Grandmother-to-Granddaughter gift, if you can afford it.

File this information away, Althouse, just in case :) Not sure if you can get them through the althouse portal.

My daughter got 3 or 4 dolls from her Mom's mom, and each one was loved to death.

In detest those things.

paminwi said...

May I suggest you get the American Girl backpack accessory that has a Common Core science book in it?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/12/01/amazing-product-placement-american-girl-backpack-comes-with-mini-pearson-math-book/

Joe said...

The article made me laugh. The comments made me laugh even more.

Last year my then three-year-old granddaughter marked almost everything in the Walmart Christmas Catalog, including the jewelry. Taking her shopping is a trip, to say the least.

(My daughter was in a store with her daughter one day. Granddaughter ran off and then returned minutes later with the most expensive boots in the store and said "Mom, we HAVE to buy these!" Funny thing is that they fit her perfectly. Needless to say, they weren't bought.)

Edward Lunny said...

" (No power tools.) Wood and nails are easy. We'll see about the metal. " Ahhh, geez. You have no sense of adventure. Wait until they discover how to make things explode ! Better living through chemistry......well....more exciting at least.

Clyde said...

Holy crap! They want $175 for a doll?! And pace Althouse, but anyone who buys it from Amazon is a sucker, because the American Girl website is selling the same package for $110! Just sayin'...

Henry said...

American Girl doll is a really well-done franchise. Even most of the book and movie spin-offs are decent quality.