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The Upside of Deprivation (or, Emily's Creations)

Have you heard of Zhu Zhu Pets?

If you have a kid under 10 - or maybe even if you have a kid older than 10 - you have. Unless you’ve been living under a rock.

Zhu Zhu Pets are the Cabbage Patch Dolls of today. They’re this year’s Tickle Me Elmo. They’re the thing that every kid thinks they have to have, just because they hear everyone SAYING that they have to have it.

They’re also the kind of toy that a kid gets and is excited about for a little while, only to have it sit on the shelf ignored after a month, at the most. They also seem incredibly annoying. So, naturally, I have refused to get one for my kids.

In case there are any rock dwellers (or non parents of young kids) out there reading this, let me explain what a Zhu Zhu Pet is. It’s a motorized hamster that goes around on wheels. You buy this enormous elaborate house made out of tubes for it to run around in. (My immediate thought: Where on earth would we put that thing!?) You can also get a little “car” for it to push and look like it’s driving. The commercials make this all look really cute, and make kids everywhere say, “AWWW! Mom, can I have one? Please? I have to have one! It’s so cute!”

Fortunately, my kids watch very few shows that have commercials, so they weren’t brainwashed by them. They heard their friends talking about them, and so they felt like they “should” be wanting them, though, and so today Emily said to me, “Mom, have you heard of Zhu Zhu Pets? Can I have one?” And I told her all my reasons for not wanting to get one. She was mildly disappointed, but then shrugged and went off somewhere.

A little while later, she came back with this:

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This is her version of a Zhu Zhu Pet. It’s made out of paper stuffed tissues, and feathers. She’s in the process of making more little tubes for it, and she built a “cage” in the front so that it doesn’t “escape.”
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She LOVES it.

See, this is why you deprive your children. So that they have to go off and be creative and make something for themselves that they end up loving more than the real thing, because THEY thought of it and THEY made it.

This was not her only burst of creativity this Christmas. The day before we were getting together with Tim’s family, she decided she wanted to make a butterfly for her cousin Rebekah. She asked if she could use my sewing machine (which I had already taught her to use.) And she made this:

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Oh, I love my daughter! I know I’m her Mom and everything - but I really think she’s pretty cool.




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