Toy Trauma

Today while Leah and I were out and about I was hit with a huge realization about her recent behavior. If you are a regular reader of this blog (if not, subscribe please!) then you know that my little munchkin has been giving me a rather difficult time lately and throwing a lot of fits.

Today we were out, checking out the fabric store so that I can get working on her Easter dress when Leah announced that she needed to go potty. The fabric store doesn’t have a public restroom, but the toy store next-door to it does. Kicking myself all the while, because I knew it was a horrible idea, I brought Leah in there to use the facilities. As we were leaving the bathroom and Leah was saying that she just wanted to “look around a little”, I knew the inevitable fight was coming, and I stupidly thought that I could circumvent it. You see, every time we go anywhere lately, my daughter thinks she is going to get a new My Little Pony. They make these tiny plastic ponies that come with a trading card and they come in this packet so that you can’t see which pony it is until it’s opened. Some are, apparently, very hard to get. Others, we have multiples of.

Anyway, Leah expects to get one of these every time we go out. If she has been good, I don’t mind, seeing as they are only a couple of dollars. However, now she also wants the bigger ponies with the long manes you can comb, and these are not cheap. Well, today I thought I could prevent a melt-down by offering to get her a small trading card pony right away and that would be that. Until we got into the pony aisle and lo and behold, they have a huge Princess Celestia pony that talks! Leah has never seen one of these before and she is gaga over it. It costs $30. I grab a packet containing a trading card and mini pony and tell Leah that maybe the Easter Bunny will bring her Celestia. This mollified her… until we pay, head out, and I open up the packet to discover…Mosely Orange. He is Leah’s third Mosely.

That is when the whining started, and then eventually the whining turned into crying and when I told her knock it off, a tantrum ensued. As all of this was going on it was slowly dawning on me that my child has been sucked into the treacherous pit of consumerism. The ponies she has are never enough, and you know why? Well, there’s the show for one. So many beloved characters are on the show, and yet the toy versions of some of them seem to be obscure, so it becomes like a game; an addicting game. You must keep collecting ponies because you need THIS one! And then there are the pictures that come with the ponies. You know the ones, they are really ads. They show little pictures of all the other pony toys out right now so that my daughter can carry it around pining after each toy she doesn’t already possess. Pining turns quickly to obsession, and before I know it she is spending more time looking at the ad then playing with the new pony it came with.

Leah was such a sweet little girl before her pony obsession started (well, she still is most of the time!). Admittedly, I fanned the flames a bit by encouraging her to watch the show (I was SO sick of Yo Gabba Gabba and Dora). It was my idea to get her the Twilight Sparkle with the remote control car at Christmas, and I thought the trading card ponies were a great alternative to some of the lame dollar bin tokens we used to buy her for being good.

Now it seems that my child has become so obsessed with ponies that it has taken over her life. The more I think about it, the more I see that most of her recent tantrums and meltdowns have all begun over something pony related. I am not sure what to do, how to proceed. Will she need a pony detox? Do I take them away or simply stop buying new ones and wait for this phase to be over?

The one thing I know is that I must proceed with caution. These ponies have magic, and they are using it to make my daughter a slave to the over commercialization of what should be a good thing.

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