Brandon just called from the mall to see if I had gotten Charlie a grabbernabber yet. I think it's official toy name is "robot claw," but in our house, we call it a "grabbernabber."
Charlie has an extensive wish list. Age four seems to be a very special crossroads where one is still a devout believer in Santa, but has also been around the block enough times to be pretty greedy in the toy department. I can't complain, though because Charlie is so fun to buy for. His list is like a scavenger hunt where all the items can be found at Toys 'R' Us or at the "As Seen on TV" store that only seems to pop up at Christmas time at the mall. I actually let out a little scream at Toys 'R' Us today when I found the Rock 'em Sock 'em Robot game that Charlie has had his eye on for forever. The lady next to me must've thought I was either crazy or really into boxing robots. I think actually I'm a little bit of both. Charlie's passion for robots is contagious.
I bought my first Transformer today. A Transformer has been at the top of Charlie's list for some time. I bought the least violent looking one I could find. Apparently all Transformers are packing heat. They don't just come with guns either. Some of them have like these huge blades that are much larger than necessary. Why do these robots, who turn into cars/planes/tanks, need such long, sharp objects to fight each other with? If one of them came at another one with a huge sword, wouldn't he just turn into an SUV and run him over? Or better yet, drive away pacifically, taking the high road and all that? What good is a knife to a robot?
Tonight Charlie asked me what would happen if he kicked someone's head off. Would they have to stay in the hospital for a million years? Would the doctor just tape it back on? These are questions I am not prepared to answer. I decided to just be straight with Charlie. "If you kicked someone's head off, they would die," I said. Night night! Sweet dreams!
I fretted over the Transformer purchase. Brandon thought I was being silly. He had Transformers growing up and he's not out there kicking people's heads off or lunging at them with sabers. Why can't they make a Transformer who transforms from, say, a tandem bicycle into an ATM machine? I could get behind that kind of transforming. Or maybe a Prius that transforms into a robot whose specialty is gardening. He could come with his own little shovel and tomato plants.
One thing I noticed from my time spent in the boys' aisle at the toy stores is how violent and dark all of the toys are once you get to the 4 and up section. It goes from Handy Manny and Bob the Builder to GI Joe, Transformers, Star Wars, etc. really fast. What's up with that? Those aisles are scary places. Why are the toy companies making such violent toys for our little boys? Are little boys demanding it? Or are they taught to want it because that's what's available for them to want? Inquiring minds want to know.
Maybe I will take back the Transformer. I already bought Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots. Maybe that's enough robot violence for one Christmas?