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Dora? Bah, Get them a flashlight.

Posted on | September 25, 2007 | No Comments

Tonight, I had the noble (but horrible) duty of putting my two year old into a one minute time-out. I’m not sure how I drew the ‘bad cop’ straw, I’ll have to examine that later.

60 seconds, I counted every one out-loud, she was not a happy camper. To find herself in such a predicament, she slapped and kicked me, pinched and punched her mother, then answered every verbal request with a most emphatic “NOOOO!”.

Dare I even need to explain, I felt guilty. Taking away my kid’s free will is never fun. So, I did what any self respecting father would do, dove out to a convenience store and looked for a bribe to get back in good graces. I found a flashlight, but a really NEAT flashlight. The flashlight has a blue plastic tip, krypton bulb (really bright) and operates on two AA batteries (perfect kid sized toy). I came back in, turned out all of the lights in the room, turned on the flashlight and handed it to her. Thankfully, it was dark outside or I would have really been screwed.

My child played with that flashlight like it was the neatest toy she ever had. She shined it around the room, on her, up my nose, in my mouth and ears, under the bed and every other nook in our bedroom that light can reach (light never reaches my nooks, I’m a geek .. we don’t bathe as a matter of principle).

I could not help but wonder how much money other fathers pay to ‘suck up’. Many would go spend 20, even 50 bucks on a Dora or Diego doll. I spent less than $1 (and it came with batteries). I really think that we should be examining non-TV toys. Imagination and entertainment are two different things, Dora entertains, yes, but no matter what, adults are doing the imagining that my child should be developing. Any Dora (or friends) toy is “Dora” or “Diego” and comes with a script and plot built in from the cartoons. My kid loves Dora, however, she needs her own imagination, not just entertainment.

After the great China toy recall, we had to ‘swipe’ most of her Dora stuff. I’m actually glad now, despite her protests. Those toys were inhibiting her to a degree due to their exlusivity in her collection. Maybe I’ll get her a light saber next week, she seemed to hold that flashlight like a Jedi.. must be DNA :)

I’ll stick with Flashlights, thanks Everready :)


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