I took Emma the Brave Christmas shopping today so she could choose a gift for Mighty Mouse. This is a deceptively difficult task when one is almost seven and one's younger, same-sex sibling is almost five. It needs to be something good, but not too good.
Leading up to today's excursion, Emma was a fountain of benign gift ideas--marbles or a stuffed polar bear--anything she thought Mouse might appreciate without evoking undue sibling rivalry. To put it simply, she was content to give Mouse anything that she (MM) already had and that she, herself, didn't particularly want.
We were walking past Fust, the Swiss answer to Best Buy, when I reached the end of my persuasive rope. "We could buy her a toaster," I said.
Emma's response was wordless roll of the eyes.
I earned that.
A block and half later we entered Franz Karl Weber. (Think Toys-R-Us only three times smaller and more expensive.) Stacked chest-high to the right of the entrance were dozens of Hello Kitty toasters. Just pop in your bread, depress the lever and minutes later you're rewarded with toast sporting an untoasted silhouette of the adorable Asian kitty.
Thank goodness, Emma thought they were pretty ridiculous, too.