A bright pink pop-up fairy tent, or as I like to call itL Kid Jail. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

A bright pink pop-up fairy tent, or as I like to call itL Kid Jail. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sarah Simpson Column: Kids’ Christmas is going to the dogs

I enjoy long weekends because of the extra family time they offer, but for a family that thrives on routine, let’s just say my family’s long weekends don’t often go as planned. Well, because there is no plan. Parents and caregivers, have you ever had a day with your child(ren) that felt like it not only got off on the wrong foot in the morning but then you spent the rest of the day hopping around on that same bad foot? That’s us on long weekends.

We had a day last weekend when I swear my kids took their ears off and put them in the drawer for the day. Then, from that same drawer, they pulled out every pen, pencil, piece of paper, pair of scissors, knick knack, and snack they could find and went to town. So I did what any parent would do and pulled out a large bright pink pop-up fairy castle and set it up in the middle of my living room. I figured it was kind of like kid jail if they played inside and at least the mess would be contained.

It backfired. As it happens, siblings can’t be trusted to play nicely inside a bright pink pop-up fairy tent and moms can’t help but constantly worry about the kids breaking the tent poles and their kid jail, I mean play tent, being ruined forever.

Anyway, it was a day.

So, naturally, after we got our monster kids to sleep we sat down, exhausted from our day, and used our kid-free time to online shop for their Christmas presents.

For the last couple years, finding things my daughter would really enjoy has been hard. She hasn’t been into dolls or princesses, any of the mass-marketed “girl” toys and she only really plays with her brother’s toys because he does, not because she likes them. But this year, now that she’s a little bit older, her interests are really starting to appear. Shopping for her has been a breeze.

But my son… my emergency vehicle and lego-loving, Transformer-a-holic, space-nerd, bookworm son, is impossible this year. Not because he doesn’t have a million interests, but because he has opinions.

The best part of our day had been playing outside with the chalk and frisbee. My kid so far has refused to play team sports but he really enjoys being active and his hand-eye coordination is great. Frisbees are a way to keep him sharp. And he’s really good at it. I had the idea to maybe get him an LED frisbee because who doesn’t like throwing things at each other in the dark? My Amazon.ca research showed something strange.

Why would I spend $42 (!!) on a light-up frisbee for humans when I can spend half that on a “light-up flying disc” for dogs? Honestly, which do you think would be more durable?

My husband wasn’t convinced dog toys were the way to go. His solution?

Buy a stack of plain dollar store frisbees and just be OK with losing them in the dark. Likely cheaper, and less embarrassing than the dog toy packaging I guess is the logic. (He was joking, that’s super wasteful. Please don’t email me about it.)

Then I got to thinking, dog toys might be the way to go. What kid wouldn’t like to lick peanut butter out of a Kong or chew on a cute brightly coloured pretend stick. No doubt they can go in the dishwasher and won’t break if dropped or thrown. I really think I’m on to something here.

Back to frisbees: I found one that’s called the Disc Jock-E. Nice little play on words there because it actually is a Bluetooth enabled speaker so you could listen to your music while you play catch (or at least every other verse if you’re not a very accurate player). That could be cool, but I bet we’d find a way to break it.

I haven’t bought anything yet but I’ve vowed not to pay big bucks for a human light-up frisbee that is likely going to end up in a tree. So, if you see me at the pet store, just know that I don’t have any pets.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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A bright pink pop-up fairy tent, or as I like to call itL Kid Jail. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

A bright pink pop-up fairy tent, or as I like to call itL Kid Jail. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)