"Is there literally NO piece of janky-ass Taiwanese crap that you won't buy for these kids?" I asked incredulously when they returned home from New York's Museum of Natural History with this:
"Whaaaat? It's fuuuuun!," my mom protested. "Yeah, MOM! We're going to have a real live dinosaur walking around our house!" Isaac chimed in. Since I'm a realistic curmudgeon who deeply relishes quashing the innocence and frivolity of childhood, I dispensed with that idea as quickly as I had the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.
"It's still going to be supes coooooool, FYI!" Paige offered. Supes?! FYI?! Oy. I made a mental note to try and use less stupid slang and lingo around the kids.
"Amusing! Funny! Novel!," the package assured consumers. These are subjective characterizations that I was unwilling to accept blindly. But once we got the dinosaur eggs home to Juneau, I must admit that they delivered on "amusing" and "funny," albeit not for the reasons the manufacturer likely intended.
The toy turned out to require a certain degree of patience, and came with three simple instructions: (1) fill container with lukewarm water; (2) submerge egg; (3) wait 24-72 hours for egg to hatch, and then 3-5 more days for "your pet" to reach its full size.
With steps (1) and (2) completed in under ten seconds, the children set about enthusiastically building "habitats" for their incubating prehistoric "pets" using cardboard, aluminum foil, little pieces of yet more plastic crap my mother had bought them previously, and plant detritus from the back deck.
It's been three days, and the "pets" are beginning to "hatch" as promised. The "funny" and "amusing" part has been watching the kids coax these plastic and foam dinosaurs out of their eggs. Each night for the past two nights, I've found them huddled over the hatchery, singing Katy Perry songs to the dinosaur eggs; softly cooing assurances to the "pets" that they will be well cared for once they emerge; comparing the hatching progress of their respective eggs; and generally attempting to exert control over a process that's a completely foregone conclusion.
I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I plan to give that delusion the exact same treatment I visited upon the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the real stegosaurus in our living room.