Its eyes popped open from sleep mode like the creepy clown in the episode of the “Twilight Zone.” It was now in sassy mode.
I’m describing a little furry gadget that is one of the hottest toys of 2012 – a Furby. My older daughter received one as a gift this last Christmas.
It dances, speaks both English and Furbish, laughs, makes vomiting sounds, sucks your finger, taunts, grunts, farts…You can even set its personality: evil, nice, sassy and social.
My daughter is enamored with her new electronic toy. Me? Well, not so much.
THERE IS NO OFF BUTTON. Let me repeat that again: NO OFF BUTTON.
I admit to
placing locking “Lilly” in the garage and the guest bathroom after a few hours of her it verbally harassing, farting and puking. Can I go to jail for that?
The Mack Daddy of Toy Manuals
A few days ago, my enthused eight-year-old designed and created this 11-page pamphlet/manual all on her own:
I was in awe with the structure and content of the manual for an eight-year-old. Not only did she design a jazzy, creative cover, here’s a breakdown of the different sections in proper chronological sequence:
-Table of Contents
-Getting to Know Your Furby
-Taking Care of Your Furby
-What to Do With Your Furby
-Shaping His/Her Personality
-About the Person Who Made This
The Priceless Bathroom Cleaning Document
As we flipped through the entire manual together, I flashed back to my childhood and all the little organizational and instructional documents I would create and distribute to family members – often posting them on the refrigerator.
I grew up in a home that was unstructured, messy – and to put it gently – dirty. Needing a sense of control in a rather chaotic environment, I strived for neatness and cleanliness in my room and common surroundings.
I’ve spoken about my first childhood bedroom in a previous post – Bedroom Evolution, which gives you a better idea of the importance of my control and space issues. To elaborate, you could white glove my room to a “Mommy Dearest” level of approval. I loved (still do) Mr. Clean (not just for his sexy bald head and bicep muscles; even though I think he’s been gay for quite a while).
Every Saturday morning around age 11, I began cleaning our family bathroom – without being asked by my parents, or even being paid.
When I was ready to transition to a different household responsibility at age 13, I passed the job down to my younger sister. Hence, I had created a detailed instructional sheet entitled “How to Clean the Bathroom,” which I happily performed a demo cleaning for her to observe.
My mother thought this was priceless and recently mentioned she had the “bathroom cleaning document” tucked away.
The Greatest Glossary, Ever
I teasingly call my older daughter my “mini me.” Yes, I know she is her own unique individual, but I am so very proud of the girl she has grown into over the past eight years. She really is fun, entertaining and smart like her mommy (wink, wink).
In addition to the impressive “Furby Manual,” one section stood out to me on page 10 – the Glossary (or as she spells it Glossory).
She crafted definitions for key words, which she selected as: imeadently (immediately), personality, responsibility, dislikes, communicate and Furby (of course!):
This is an eight-year-old’s interpretation of important words that we use not only in our everyday vernacular, but definitions we forget as grown ups…
We sometimes forget the simplistic, raw meaning and impact behind our words. As adults we’ve built up walls and judgements. Children have the magical, uncanny and unintentional ability to bring us as grown ups back to reality – even if it’s via a small electronic toy.
Looking at the words in this glossary I thought of how I often demand things immediately. How my personality is often representative of my attitude. That responsibility done well is often completed with diligence. My dislikes are usually very evident – even though I may not want to admit it out loud. And I communicate by talking and sometimes yelling – especially when nobody is listening.
I’m taking note of the lessons. My eyes are wide open (much like Lilly).
My “mini me.”
The final page entitled “About the person who made this” reads:
“When I first got a Furby (from Hasbro) I was so excited the Furbys go threw this cool thing (explode) when they first come to your home and I hope you enjoy your Furby as much as I enjoy mine.”
Priceless. Give me a call, Hasbro. My daughter can teach you a lesson or two. I learn from her each and every day.
What “priceless” lessons do you learn from your children? Do you recall any fond memories as a child that your parents still cherish or reminisce about today? What are the raw meanings behind your words? I’d love to hear!