Week 215: Reading, Smash Bros, and Shopping

Not much to report this week, except that I wonder if these pictures are future portents of how my two daughters’ reading preferences differ (click through to see the full images):

And, you know, I’m not really sure which reading selection I’m more proud of. I guess this is why you should have multiple kids: to cover all the bases.

While we’re on the topic, though, Samantha has really become intensely infatuated with the newly released Super Smash Brothers Brawl video game for the Nintendo Wii. I took her with me to the store to buy it (more on that in a second), and she asked to look at the box on the way home. She went through every one of the numerous characters shown on either side of the packaging, demanding that I name them and tell her what their “special power” is. I was mostly able to oblige her, and since then she has constantly wanted to pretend to be these characters and engage on a perpetual mission to rescue someone from Bowser, the maniacal dragon-slash-turtle who is a staple of Nintendo’s rogue gallery. I am most often called upon to be Mario or Link, while Geralyn is usually Princess Peach or the armor-clad heroine Samus. Sam is whoever she wants to be, often several characters in the span of a few seconds. Mandy, of course, is always Pikachu, the aggressively cute little yellow mouse who sneezes lightning.

But let’s back up half a step more. I wanted to get the Smash Brothers game on Sunday when it was released, and since I had a gift card for Toys R Us, I headed there to make my purchase. Sam wanted to come (naturally), and stated matter of factly that since we were going to the toy store that that meant I would be purchasing her a new toy. Rather than fight her on this, I thought I’d capitalize on it as a learning opportunity. I gave Sam a $5 bill, and told her that she could buy a toy as long as it cost five dollars or less. I’d help her learn to read the price tags. It would be educational!

Instead, once we set foot in the store it went something like this:

“Daddy! I want to buy this! Is this five dollars?”

I looked. “Sam,” I said, “No. Those are AA batteries. You’re not spending your money on batteries.”


“No. No batteries!” I slapped the batteries back onto the rack and headed for the videogame section. “Let’s buy my thing first and then you can have as much time as you want to look.”

I got to the game section, grabbed a copy of Super Smash Brothers (and also fell for their “50% off the strategy guide” pitch), and then stood in line. Sam stood next to me, eyeing the game I held.

“Daddy, how much does your toy cost?”

“Huh? Oh, fifty dollars.” Immediately I knew where this conversation was going.

“Is that more than five?”

“Yes, Sam, it’s ten times more than five.”

“Then you… Then you can’t buy that toy, Daddy. It costs too many money.”

“Sam, I can buy it. I get to spend more than you do.”

“Why?” The last syllable was drawn out into a near whine.

“Because I don’t buy many toys and I have even less time to play them, Sam. Because I’m the daddy.” Several other parents in the vicinity were giving me knowing half-smiles at this point.

Sam crossed her arms and looked at me like a miniature courtroom attorney who has caught her witness in a clever trap. “Then I get to spend fivety dollars on my toy. I can spend fivety dollars. I want the batteries.”

“No.” That flummoxed her. Eventually she settled on a plastic skillet full of plastic foods, which cost exactly five dollars, made no noise, and she promptly ignored them when we got home in favor of grilling me on the toy I had bought for myself.

As far as Mandy goes, not a whole lot to report. She’s content to walk around in regular circuits around the house, but I can tell that she does get jealous when her sister gets to go outside. Still, she has her great library to work through.

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3 thoughts on “Week 215: Reading, Smash Bros, and Shopping

  1. We bought Super Smash Brothers just so my nephews could play it when they come over. They love it!
    I see from your photos that you little girl was “coloring the snow.” I had my little boy do this over the winter as well, and he thought it was great! It was a lot of fun!

  2. Ah, I am envious of you and your “play time.” While you were at home enjoying Smash Bros I’ve been at work until 2 AM every night this week trying to make up for some client-side problems in the game that have been melting down the backend. Joy, oh, joy!
    Also: I would have let Sam buy the batteries and then made her play with them for a week.

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