“I know just the toy I’m going to get you this year,” I said to Dan as we were preparing our Christmas gift lists for each other.
“I don’t want any toys,” he said flatly.
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“But this is the hottest toy of the year!” I protested. “It’s these little mechanical hamsters, see, and you can get all kinds of tunnels and cages and exercise wheels and stuff for them – even outfits! They’re so lifelike. They’re adorable!”
“I don’t want any toys,” he repeated.
I was saddened because I like to put quirky things in his stocking like Koosh balls and mini lava lamps, and I like getting him at least one toy for Christmas. Apparently he didn’t like the toy I gave him last year – the Fantastic Four’s Flame on a motorcycle that sped around the floor in circles. I ended up putting that toy in the Mother to Mother silent auction, hoping some other boy would appreciate it.
“I can’t believe this,” I said. “I remember one year you sent a fax to Grandpa and you wrote on it, ‘All I want for Christmas is toys, toys, toys.’” We both smiled at the memory, but I sighed, too. “I guess you’re growing up.”
“I’m going to be 23. I want big-boy toys,” Dan said. “Like a nice watch. Or an iTunes gift card. Or a nice UK pullover. No kiddie toys.”
“As you wish,” I conceded. But in the back of my mind I thought, “I relly like those little mechanical hamster thingys. They’re cute. I’ve always wanted a hamster. And I won’t have to clean up after these.” So somebody is going to end up with a Zhou Zhou Pet for Christmas this year – if I can find one.