We did not buy into the whole Zhu Zhu pet insanity known as Christmas 2009, when otherwise perfectly sane and rational adults ran all over town like lunatics while screaming OH MY GOD, IF MY KID DOESN’T GET A STUPID WIND UP TOY THAT LOOKS LIKE A HAMSTER STRUNG OUT ON METH AND IS PROBABLY MADE WITH TOXIC CRAP BY CHILD LABOR CAMPS SOMEWHERE IN CHINA, MY LIFE WILL SUCK FOREVER. By not buying into it, I mean that when all the stores started selling out of them and crazed people started hocking their own plasma to buy them off Ebay, I became proactive and by proactive, I mean that I took precautionary measures by hogtying Nate and throwing him down in the basement where, even if he McGyver’d himself a laptop out of our sump pump and some patio furniture, he still wouldn’t have any Internet access if and when his brain decided that Zhu Zhu pets were a distant relative of the Chia pet and hey, if he once paid $80 online for a Chia pet, he could most certainly do it for its kin.
Our house remained a Zhu Zhu free zone until last week when out of the blue, Helena asked Nate to take her shopping for one because she had $20 to spend and watching it get saved inside her piggy bank for her college education was boring boring OH MY GOSH, CAN WE PAINT SOMETHING AND WATCH IT DRY BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE A LOT MORE FUN THAN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE, MOM boring. This would be the same $20 she won from her father a couple of weeks ago when he bet her that she couldn’t eat an entire lemon wedge … rind, pith, pulp, seeds and all. I’m just grateful the bet wasn’t $100 over curried lamb brains or something equally as expensive and repulsive because quite honestly, they haven’t invented a bet yet that can be turned down by either Nate or his shorter, bespectacled, nine year old DNA imprint.
You are probably wondering why she didn’t ask me to take her shopping, right? Because I am the mom, after all, and shopping with my little girl is supposed to be one of the things that makes that wicked scar above my lady garden and the stretch marks on my boobs and ass all worth it, right? But if you were a nine year old and wanted to waste your hard-earned money on an ugly wind-up toy rodent that is not only too young for you, but that will only keep you entertained for all of 3.9 seconds before it winds up as the concubine of horny dust bunnies under the couch, who do you think would be most persuaded to drive you to the store and make it happen? The anal-retentive parent whose tongue swells up with hives at the mere thought of impractical spending and who recently complained about a $20 karate shirt and who refuses to pay $40 for ugly ass karate shorts because her kid can suck it up in ghee pants and an air conditioned dojo? Or the parent who can’t walk by The Sharper Image in the mall without coming home with a deluxe shiatsu massage chair, talking meat thermometer and miniature flying helicopter in his wallet?
The Zhu Zhu pet came home and, as predicted, Helena played with it for all of two minutes before abandoning it in favor of picking a scab off her leg and I slathered Benedryl all over my swollen tongue and stapled my lips together so as not to holler I TOLD YOU SO at the top of my lungs to anyone who will listen, which is no one.
Luckily for us, however, someone in this house has found value in the Zhu Zhu: