Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mama, Does She Have A Ginormous Brain?

I think I just got played. Either by Jarrah or a Chinese toy magnate. Same thing, really.

As a rule, Jarrah doesn't covet stuff. Not in the sense of fervent, passionate longing. She has plenty of desires, niftily paired with matching sets of demands. But if you ask her in advance what she wants for her birthday, she blinks at you blankly. She only knows it when it's right in front of her.

Until the La-La Lucy doll. Turns out that's an alias, but clearly it has enough shockingly effective publicity without a boost from me. That's what Jarrah calls it, for the past two months. I guess their TV ads must have subliminal flashes of fruit leather every few seconds. She spotted one IRL in Target and got all high-pitched. 22 bucks. "Are you freakin' kidding me?" I said. Or something like that. I barely looked at the thing, and yanked her in the direction of Various and Sundry Cleaning Implements.

She kept mentioning it. And then she started bringing home the paper surrogates. Nearly every day she'd gift me with a crayon drawing of a giant noggin spinning on an impossibly skinny neck. She insisted on cutting them out, so by the time we got to the car, the head had always snapped off. I gently suggested she cut thicker necks, but she said I just didn't get it--La La Lucy dolls have skinny necks.

Eventually, we struck a deal. If she didn't throw tantrums, or make me crazy in general, I would get her a La La Lucy doll after my shows were done, when David was at NAB. That didn't happen, but not because I'm a welsher. It's because she continued to make me crazy, sometimes in new and improved ways.

Then Passover came, and Jarrah found the Afikomen. If you aren't already familiar with this delightfully heathen-sounding ritual, you don't need to know much more than: 1) during dinner someone hides some matzah. 2) The kids try to find it. 3) Whoever does gets a prize. The deck was rather stacked at our place that night with just the one kid, but it still took her a freakin' hour to find it and she kept yelling "Say hot or cold!" But find it she did. I know, chocolate eggs sound better, right?

And then David went away again, and she really was pretty cooperative in his absence. I barely had to yell at her in the mornings to get dressed, when my own head was about to crumble into dust from being up at dawn without coffee.

So today--I decided--was the day. I announced it when I picked her up from school. She was over the moon, crowing all the way to the car. When we got to Target, it was a bit of an anti-climax, because only two models (out of eight) were available. Collect them all! Still freakin' 22 dollars. What, is the thing hewn from beryl and topaz? I still didn't look at it, but she proudly carried it to the car.

At home, I began the 30-minute extraction process, sweating as I ripped tape, hacked through plastic wrap, unwound twist-ties and yanked on near-invisible plastic thread. I had to apply nail scissors to the hideous little plastic doo-dads embedded in her skull.

"It would have been nice if she had actual hair," Jarrah opined. Just then Crispy Crumb Sparklepants (I believe that's her official name) and her giant, ergonomically unfortunate head flopped over, exposing her white painted-on plastic underpants. Jarrah showed me that her booties come off, and her feet are like amputated nubbins. I shuddered and turned away as La La stared me down with her giant, black button eyes like the possessed mother from Coraline. The backstory on the box tells us that she loves sparkly clothes (Hooters-length, apparently) and is "very graceful, but bossy." You can just see a conference table full of suits twirling their pencils and going "Hmmm. How do we make her sound like a princess who can also get into Harvard Law, to placate those annoying feminist moms?"

A few minutes later I was relishing a piece of matzah with my coffee and saw Jarrah exiting the room with a colony of naked Barbies. She told me she was going to her room and was not to be disturbed; please hold all her calls. Left behind on the couch, upside down from the weight of her own bulbous head, was the La La Lucy.

So...special. I feel all warm and tingly about this transaction.


Jen said...

LOL!!!!! Oh, that is SO typical, isn't it?! What a hilarious account. Thanks for the good laugh. :-)

Stephanie said...

I most recently got robbed of $35 for an obnoxious Toy Story Woody doll.

Anonymous said...

Found this very funny.

Michelle said...

Where are the pictures?!

"I know, chocolate eggs sound better, right?" Pure awesomeness. :)

Nicole E. said...

Sam! I absolutely love your blog. It cracks me up! And makes my day! It brings back all the happy memories of being with you guys when Jarrah was so tiny! I miss you all!

Mrs. Chapman's 2nd Grade Class said...

LOL! I see into my future as I read this post. ha! Note to La-La Lucy doll for Ellie.

Anonymous said...

I have to confess to you, Sam, and your readers: *I* am the model for Lalaloopsy, specifically the one who's "graceful but bossy."

totally me. I'm living off the royalties.



Samantha said...

Uh-oh, T. I thought your head seemed a bit disproportionate. ;)