Q. What does any good non-observant Jew with 5 year-old daughter who is not feeling 100% well do on the highest of holy days that also happens to be a dreary Saturday?
A. Troll the aisles of Target of course!
Upon setting out for Target with Zoe, I knew that I would not return without some toy or other. My guess was that it would be Halloween related since the retail world is in full swing for the occasion already. We did spend a good 20 minutes perusing the Halloween merchandise aisles, Zoe playing with each and every screaming or singing skeleton, skull or monster they had available. The only request that came out of that area was for some pink candy corn which I refused.
As we headed toward the toy section, Zoe had her heart set on a new ball to be chosen from the giant hopper that lives at the top of one of the aisles. My backyard already has so many of these balls it sometimes looks like they grow there spontaneously, but at $2.50 a pop it is an easy Mom win.
However, on the way to the true toys section we passed through the sporting goods and then a sort of transition aisle that included fishing gear and various Playhut tents for kids. Zoe stopped in her tracks to look over the tents as a large Dora the Explorer Tree House tent caught her eye. A quick look down at the price tag on the shelf and red flags were flying. $49.99! Not my idea of an impulse buy. I wanted to hurry us to the $2.50 balls and I was halfway into my "put it on your list for Christmas and remember that Santa only brings one special present" speech when a little orange sticker on the tent box caught my eye. I leaned in for closer inspection to see that the sticker read $12.12. Hmmm...I could see some mega Mom points headed my way.
A deal was struck immediately. No ball, no Cookie Crisp cereal, and no other toys or goodies this trip to Target if we got the tent. Lots of hugs and thank yous later I wrangled it into my red cart and made quick strides for the register. I had the cashier confirm the discounted price and was pleased when there was no error.
We were barely in the door at home when Zoe was clawing at the box to the tent. We took it out and set it up in our family room. Turns out there was nothing deceiving in the name "Mega Tree House." This thing is literally 5' x 5'. It took up all the open floor space in the family room. Zoe piled in her favorite blankets and pillows and settled in for a long afternoon of watching movies. It was true love from the start.
I have to say, of all the Playhut tents I've seen (and this makes Zoe's third) this is by far the coolest one. I am sure I would have enjoyed this little hideaway when I was a kid as I was forever making tents with the blankets and pillows in our den or setting up and sleeping in our pup tent in my room. There is something so cozy and yet adventurous about being in a tent -- even if it is planted on the middle of your carpet.
Tonight I even managed to wrestle the Mega Tree House back into its 2' x 2' flat nylon bag with relative ease, but I suspect that tent will be re-erected first thing tomorrow morning.