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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 12/09/09


Hey. Did you hear that the adorable little hamster toy known as a Zhu Zhu Pet might be toxic? Did you also hear that it is the Cabbage Patch Doll of the 2009 Christmas Season? Did you ALSO hear that Julia desperately wants one for Christmas?

Oh the dilemma. I mean, Julia doesn’t ask for much. Ever. Her wish list has never been more than three items long. And they’re NEVER items like Wiis or X-Boxes or motorized scooters. Like this year she’s asking Santa for Hermione’s Time Turner Necklace (Noble Collection Price $49.95) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book (paperback, less than ten bucks). And finally, Mr. Squiggles the Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster ($9.99).  

Well, naturally I wasn’t going to deny her this little thing… likely as it is to end up in the bottom of her toy chest after about a week along with the creepy cat that “mews” and that LittleUgly doll that’s just, well, a little too darn ugly.

So, about two weeks ago, I went hamster hunting. I was STUNNED to learn they were out of stock everywhere except a few online places which were selling them at the “desperate parent’s price” of $61.00 a piece!

Uh, heck no. I wasn’t going to spend that for something that probably cost .99 cents to manufacture (granted as a result of slave labor in a country without labor laws). No way. Despite Randy the Perfekt husband’s insistence that we SHOULD indulge her this one thing. Besides, he had pulled the same toy in the Salvation Army’s Children’s Gift Charity Program at work. Seems an UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILD from a bad neighborhood asked for the same toy and Randy was going to get it for him at ANY COST.

Fortunately, on a visit to Toys R Us last weekend to buy the other two charity toys Randy pulled, we learned that a limited shipment of Zhu Zhu Pets was coming in that very afternoon! But only for Toys R Us Rewards Card holders and only if you stood in line for two hours to be among the lucky few. Only one per customer by the way.

So we signed up for the Rewards program AND another endless stream of unwanted daily emails, and were both prepared to come back that afternoon to stand in line so we could get two.

But then there was ANOTHER TWIST. Green consumer group The Good Guide came out and said that the Zhu Zhu pets were among the most toxic of the holiday season! Apparently, they were covered in high levels of antimony, which I had never heard of but which could, among other things, cause cancer, immune system disorders and the development of special spidey skills.

Uh, Uh. I announced. We CANNOT in good conscience give these toys to children.

RANDY: Are you kidding me? This underprivileged kid is statistically at risk to die in a driveby shooting by the time he’s 16. I’m not going to deny him the toy of his Christmas dreams on the possible chance that he’ll develop an immunilogical disorder at age 72. I’m getting him the hamster.

ME: Then you’re standing in line alone. I am NOT getting one for Julia.

RANDY: Fine.

ME: Fine.

So as Randy stood in line for 2 hours in the cold and got that Mr. Squiggles hamster in all its toxic glory for the 6 year-old underprivileged child from a bad neighborhood,  I (in the warmth of our home) explained to Julia that for her health and saftey she would NOT be getting a Mr. Squiggles and was not to bother to ask Santa for it in her letter as Santa ALWAYS defers to parents’ wishes and better judgment. It’s a Christmas rule.

She looked at me with those big chocolate eyes and said she understood, which she really didn’t. And when Randy brought Mr. Squiggles home she looked at it longingly (through the protection of packaging and plastic of course). She sighed. I felt all kinds of awful, but knew in my heart of hearts that, as a mom, I was doing the right thing. Despite the fact that probably half the toys she already owned were made in China and were probably covered in antimony and all other manner of rectal bleeding-inducing chemicals. But I wouldn’t let my mind go there. I felt right about my current parental decision.

And then, yesterday, after two days of feeling that righteous yet “sopped in guilt” feeling, the news came out.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission found Zhu Zhu pets to be “safe”. 

WHAT THE–????!!! NOW you’re telling me? NOW that the critter is SOLD OUT again and there isn’t a chance in hell I’ll be able to find it for my kid in time for Christmas for less than a bajillion dollars – or at least the cost of water and gas bill payments?

Of course by safe they probably mean “containing acceptable levels of carcinogens”. But isn’t that what we as parents aspire to? Acceptable levels? Because really, is anything TOTALLY safe? We WANT it to be, but let’s face it. It’s an unsafe world in which we live. Don’t believe me? You should see the bruise I’m sporting on my knee courtesy of the dangerous footboard at the end of my bed. See, danger lurks EVERYWHERE.

So, now I have denied my daughter the one favorite gift she wished for this Christmas. Well, unless I go online and buy it from those hamster scalpers… damn them.

You know I’m gonna do it. See what playing it safe got me? Overpaying for a hunk of junk from China that’s gonna end up in the bottom of the toy chest along with creepy cat and Ugly.

Sigh. At least Randy didn’t say “I told you so”. Out loud anyway.

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  1. Well, if you’re going to guilt it up on this one, at least you’ll have company. Me. I did it. I fell prey. Two months ago, a couple of my hipper,always-in-the-know, LA friends mentioned hunting down these little rodents of ill repute. Naturally, I jumped on that hamster wheel and started running. If it makes you feel even a teensy bit better, I forked over (and if you mention this to Darian, it’s coal in your stocking, babe)around $30 apiece for them plus some useless accessories. My kids don’t even have a clue what they are because thanks to my DVR, they watch TV without commercials. Next year, instead of a nativity, I’m putting up my own animatronic petting zoo. Thanks Fur Real friends!

    On the second day of Christmas, my mother gave to me…two carcinogens, one hamster ball and a partridge in a pear tree.

    Comment by mommymarchbanks — December 9, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

  2. mommymarchbansk, you are too funny. And no I won’t tell. Haven’t you heard of mommy code? Also, I still think you need to write a post for MAMMAKAZE.

    Comment by toni — December 9, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

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