What Did We Just Buy?

Fact: Diapers are expensive. (No duh, right?) So I only buy them when they are on sale. And when they are, I go all crazy Asian lady on it and buy at least 4 boxes in varying sizes so that we never run out. And then the Hubbs has to figure out how to make my purchases fit into the garage until we need them.

I like to buy my diapers from Babies R Us for several reasons:

  1. I have a rewards card, so for every 9 value size boxes I buy, I get one free;
  2. I have a credit card, so every couple of months when I go on a diaper-buying binge, I get $25 off coupons, which I then use to buy more diapers;
  3. They have $5 off value size box coupons on a regular basis that I can mix with manufacturer coupons.

See — there’s a method to my madness. There’s also a method to a major shopping excursion with a toddler: Divide and conquer. As in, Hubbs holds Sean’s hand and patiently walks up and down the aisles on the Toys R Us side (while playing with said toys), while I get business done. We generally meet up on the toy side when I’m done, and look through a few things together before high-tailing it out of there.

We had discussed getting Sean a couple of new books for the bedtime routine, so those were already on the list. But Sean had other ideas. He had his eyes and hands on a new Tickle Me Elmo.

Actually, to be fair, he was playing with ALL the Elmos on display, making Hubbs turn each of them on until the end cap of the aisle was ready to jiggle off the floor and run away. I’m sure the employees just LOVED that symphony of high-pitched giggles and “ha-ha-ha-ha!” paired with the mechanical whirring of making the doll vibrate.

Sean loves Sesame Street, and after Cookie Monster, Elmo is his favorite. But in terms of toys? He already HAS 4 Elmo toys. They usually lay alone in different toy boxes, never being pulled out to be played with. Even Super Grover gets more action. And we knew from past experience, that we would get Elmo home and out of the box and Sean would play with him for 10 minutes, and then he would be forgotten.

We weren’t willing to fork out $24.99 for that.

So we went down the stuffed toy aisle trying to distract him. I vetoed the crazy, insanely scary chattering monkey doll that Hubbs chose. The puppy that barks and wags its tail when you pet its back was apparently only fun enough to repeatedly pick up and drop. And the barking was annoying as all get-out.

So I reached up to the top shelf and pulled down a small, fuzzy hamster. It was white with big eyes and a pink nose and makes a soft chattering sound when you squeeze its tummy. It was the perfect size for small hands. No moving parts. Nothing to lose or choke on. As a bonus, it was only $7.99. Sean immediately dropped the dog and wrapped it in his arms. He wouldn’t give it up so I could pay for it either, so I had to rip the tag off its ear while Sean pretended to sleep in one of the display cribs while the Hubbs watched him. (Don’t ask.)

I took the tags up to the front of the store to pay for it, and happened to look at the name. Zhu Zhu Pets. I mentioned the name to Hubbs as we loaded up the car and put Sean in his car seat. We’ve been calling the hamster Zhu Zhu ever since. No clue why.

Ever since that night, Sean has slept with Zhu Zhu. This from the boy who has previously either thrown every other stuffed animal out of his crib during the night or kicked it to the bottom edge of the crib. When we put him down after story time, he gets an extra binky in one hand and Zhu Zhu. He tucks that small white hamster into the crook of one arm and falls asleep. He’ll reach out for it in the night too. We’ve been tempted to sneak in and take pictures of him, but won’t risk the flash waking him up.

Fast forward to this morning: Sean didn’t want to get out of his crib, he wanted to lay there and cuddle with Zhu Zhu, squeezing its belly to make it chirp. Since my belly is in the way, Hubbs had to come in and lift him out of the bed and put him on the changing table for me. I had to pry Zhu Zhu out of his hands to change his clothes and give it back right away — my ears ringing from Sean’s unhappy howls the entire time.

Once Sean was dressed and on the floor, he tucked Zhu Zhu against his body and they ran for the car for a few spins around the house before leaving for day care. When it was time to leave, Sean refused to leave Zhu Zhu at home. So they both got loaded into the car. And apparently, Zhu Zhu went to day care as well — since Sean threw a conniption fit when Hubbs tried to leave it in the car.

I just hope they remember to bring the hamster home, since I don’t want to drive back over there at 7:30 with a screaming toddler just so someone can go to sleep.

Also — while looking for pictures of this thing, I found out some interesting facts: there are apparently 128 Zhu Zhu pet items at Toys R Us alone. As in dolls, ramps, clothes, outfits … its rather ridiculous.

And apparently the white hamster’s “real” name is Chunk. How sad for its self-esteem.

We’re sticking with Zhu Zhu.


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