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If you buy the expensive toy, they'll play with the box

A soft, plush rocking horse that sings, talks to you, and neighs.  The mouth even moves.  It has two modes: it can rock gently back and forth for younger children or it can spring up and down as if galloping through the forest.  It even has a safety harness for younger children who may not yet know how to sit upright on it.  It is amazing!  At least that's what I thought when I purchased it for my daughter's first birthday present.  The entire time I was trying to determine an appropriate gift, I knew I wanted it to be spectacular.  After all, how many first birthdays does a person have?

Infants and toddlers are imaginative creatures.  They build stories and worlds inside their tiny heads.  They look at the world around them and see nothing but possibilities where we might see something boring, bland, or meek.  They see a toy and don't understand price tags.  No, they understand possibilities...just not the same way as us parents.  They don't see the numbers of gizmos, gadgets and features that a toy has.  They see the box and think, "I can fit in that; it's just my size!"  They see the wrapping paper and think, "I can rip that and it makes a funny noise!" 

The amazing rocking horse that I bought my daughter has, thankfully, been used.  In fact, it's been used so much that I can perfectly recite the lyrics to its songs and tell you the correct order of phrases and when it's going to neigh.  However, if given the option, my daughter probably would have preferred I kept the box and thrown out the horse.  Mama Law learned: If you buy the expensive toy or the toy that has the most gadgets, gizmos, and functions, they will either play with the box or the features will end up annoying you so much that you'll never buy replacement batteries (until you give it to your sister or best friend whose child is just the right age to receive said toy).

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