Parenting

My kids want a Furby for Christmas

Ian thinks Furbys are the most annoying must-have toy of the holiday season.

Elissa's Christmas list is dominated by all things Furby.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how our daughters really want to bring a cat into our family.

I was coming around to the idea of buying one for Christmas, when things took a significant turn for the worse inside our household.

While the kids would still like a cat, they’ve now zeroed in on a new item for their Christmas wish list: a Furby.

To any parent at this time of year, Furby is the worst F-word you could hear coming out of your child’s mouth. If you’re not familiar with a Furby, just picture a small furry animal that makes noises which could only be emulated by the lovechild of Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher.

In reality, however, Furby is the lovechild of a hamster and an owl. It’s an androgynous hybrid between a robot and an animal. And it will annoy you to no end. (This paragraph should actually be written as the description on the back of Furby’s box).

How annoying is Furby? It was actually banned from the National Security Agency in the United States because the government was concerned that Furby could record and repeat classified information. I don’t know about you, but if the US government would rather send Furby to Guantanamo Bay, then I’m not sure I want it in my house.

Now I should point out that annoying toys have been an issue for generations. I’m pretty sure the slogan for Fisher Price’s Corn Popper is “Irritating Parents Since 1950”. Parents in the 1970s had to deal with an array of poorly-made electronic toys such as Speak and Spell which featured a creepy, demonic voice. And the end of western civilization may have been precipitated by the release of
Chicken Dance Elmo.

But Furbys might be the worst of the lot because this is its second incarnation.

Back in 1998, Furby was the “must-have” toy at Christmas. That version of Furby didn’t bother me because I was still in university and annoying children’s toys were on my radar about as much as mortgage rates and retirement planning.

However, this latest version of Furby is threatening to disrupt the delicate balance of peace and quiet that exists in our household. Furbys speak their own language of Furbish — which to my knowledge has yet to be made available on Google Translate. But here is just a brief sampling of what these creatures say:

Wee-tee-kah-wah-tee (That means “Sing me a song”)

U-nye-way-loh-nee-way (This means “Go to sleep now”)

And of course, my personal favorite:

Yoo? (This means “Why will you not play with me today?” I would love to answer the stupid doll by saying nobody is playing with you because now it is late January and your act has worn thin. Please hang out next to our elliptical machine in the pile of Christmas gifts that nobody will ever use again.)

While I would love to outright reject the kids’ demands for a Furby, I am having a hard time figuring out how to successfully shoot down the idea. As you can see in the picture, Elissa has listed the Furby as items one through 10 on her Christmas wish list. And the bigger issue we have is that Lily is asking Santa to bring a Furby on Christmas Eve. Since she is only five years old, she firmly believes that Santa will deliver the present she requests.

I’ve toyed with the idea of leaving Lily the following note from Santa on Christmas morning:

“Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas Lily!

The elves were really tired in my workshop this year and we didn’t have time to process your request for a Furby. Instead, we’ve ordered you a shipment of Junie B. Jones books from Amazon.com.

They will arrive at some point in the next 10 business days.

P.S. — Remember to stay in your bed at night during the upcoming calendar year.

Love Santa (Ho Ho Ho)”

I’m not sure if this approach will work, but dealing with a heartbroken child seems a lot more appealing than dealing with a Furby.

Are there any annoying toy requests on your kids’ holiday wish lists?