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frogautumn 03-10-2010 11:12 AM

My son's 3rd birthday is coming up next week When asked if there was anything special he wanted, he replied "a red race car with eyes."

I'm pretty sure he's talking about that Disney Cars character that's on the kiddie placemat at grandma's house (and just about anywhere else you go).

I'm struggling here...I want to honor his is HIS birthday, but I almost feel like I'm opening Pandora's box by bringing a Disney toy into the house (I would probably see if they have a simple matchbox style car at the dreaded TRU store, nothing remote controlled or anything).

I'm sure that this is something most Waldorf parents have dealt with before. Thoughts? Advice? Thanks!

teamsalem 03-10-2010 12:45 PM

Personally, I would just let it slide. My son asked for a blue train (Thomas) like the one he had seen everywhere. He didn't know it was Thomas for a long time, we gave it along with "The Little Engine that Could" storybook and so he basically played out that character with it. Eventually, he did find out about Thomas, etc, but I think that would have happened anyway. A lot of his peers play with those toys and it is almost impossible not to run into them somewhere. It is kind of hard, though, I know. I felt a bit defeated to let it into my house, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't think it is a big issue.

honeybunmom 03-10-2010 02:25 PM

Alternatively, I'd probably get my hands on some red, white and black roving and needle felt a little car and put eyes on it.

MamaInCA 03-10-2010 02:56 PM

At age 3, I find their interests fleeting from minute to minute. Does he ask for it repeatedly or was that a one time comment? I'd hang on to your influence while he's still so young and pass on the toy. Also, it seems once it's in your house friends and relatives think it's a green light to flood them with whatever character it is... yuck. My kids are 5 and 2 and it's taken this long for relatives (most, anyway) to pick up on the fact that our house isn't cluttered with Disney princesses, etc. Now, my daughter often comments that she doesn't like characters (yay). Someone gave her a Dora hat for her bday and she wrinkled up her face and said I don't like Dora! I don't like characters! lol Of course it was rude, and thankfully the gift giver wasn't present, but you know deep down I was smiling as I was correcting her manners. Stay strong, the pay off is coming!

elus0814 03-10-2010 03:18 PM

My son has been so into that movie and all it's stuff for the past two years now. We have to keep asking people not to give him the toys and clothes that go with it. We try to keep our toys basic and more natural so we just have the matchbox style cars for him in those characters. They are just little metal cars so not too bad. Just watch out about telling people it's a Cars themed party because they will bring all kinds of plastic junk.

Brownie~ 03-10-2010 04:54 PM

i just had to LOL, cos my almost three year old calls them "cars with eyes." We're not Waldorf, but I feel your agony at the situation. So far, we've been able to keep Cars out of the house, with the exception of some underpants DH bought for DS. (which are so cheaply made, i'll be surprised if the elastic holds up through a month more of washing) Good luck!

frogautumn 03-10-2010 05:48 PM

Originally Posted by honeybunmom View Post
Alternatively, I'd probably get my hands on some red, white and black roving and needle felt a little car and put eyes on it.
Love this idea! I was also thinking of painting a wooden car...

dharmama 03-10-2010 07:14 PM

when my daughter was two she was really into clifford and really, really wanted a stuffed one.

i talked it over with my mom and she made one up using a pattern that she had...just using red fabric. it really doesn't look that much like the character but it is a dog and it is red and my daughter who is almost six still adores it.

that being said...there is quite a lot that we have let slide (like for example my three year old son was spiderman for halloween last year) and i can honestly say that i feel really good about the balance that we have been able to strike.

for me holding on so tightly to the idea that i had to keep *everything* plastic, battery-operated, containing characters etc. out of our house became absolutely exhausting and really had me in a very negative me-against-the-world place.

i kind of look at it the way i look at food....90% healthy stuff...10% the "other stuff".

good luck with your decision!!

Bird Girl 03-10-2010 11:01 PM

Plan toys makes some darling cars that are wooden (and colored! so you can get the red one!) but they do have plastic wheels. I wonder if that would be a compromise that you could live with.

dogretro 03-11-2010 01:27 AM

I was thinking, besides painting a plain wooden car, that, yes, you can get the Cars in Matchbox style, like pp said. I do not think that one or two character items opens the door for everyone to get your lo stuff. At least, that has not happened for us. We do have some Sesame Street stuff b/c dd LOVES LOVES LOVES Sesame Street. No one but us has bought it, tho, b/c everyone knows how we feel about that junk. Except for her uncle and aunt b/c they are butts like that and already got her that effing Elmo doll that tells you stories and whatnot for her birthday in two months. Found that out at Christmas & have been irritated since, lol! She is perfectly happy w/ her plain stuffed Elmo, Big Bird, and mastadon that she thinks is Snuffy, thankyouverymuch. We were at the thrift store today & I bought her water shoes w/ Disney Pooh Bear on them b/c they were only 95 cents. Would have greatly preferred plain ones, but that is all they had. She saw Clifford slippers & had they been bigger, I would have bought them for next winter. She has no idea who Pooh is (she pointed and said, "Bear"), nor Clifford. To her, they are just a bear and a dog w/ names, so not that big a deal. She also thinks Barney is the best thing ever ONLY b/c she has a cute Barney book that she reads every day. Has not seen the show, has none of the toys, loves Barney anyway.

We did go from no tv to dd watching at least some Sesame Street every day. Sometimes I feel like I have lost something, but she mostly watches clips of the different songs & she is learning the words. It brings her so much joy & it makes me smile to see her singing the same songs that I knew as a kid. She still listens to plenty of songs & stories on the stereo & we read to her constantly. I'm honestly not 100% sure how I feel about her even watching Sesame Street. That sounds goofy, even to me, & I hate tv for little kids! We are probably even going to take a trip to Sesame Place this summer, lol!!! (I do have family there, so it wouldn't be ONLY amusement park time.) Well, if all she watches is SS, I have been living w/ that okay so far

welsh_mummy 03-12-2010 05:11 PM

my son who is 3 also loves Cars and at his grandmothers house has a 'Car with eyes' lol, but i have found that any red car that he plays with at home or kindergarden becomes his favourite car. so i think personally getting him a red wooden car would be just as good to him. and like someone else said their interests flitter so much at this age he will be into something else in a few weeks time.

Brownie~ 03-12-2010 05:53 PM

welsh mummy, you can appreciate this, i'm sure--my son has been into Fireman Sam for about 10 months now (we are in USA). We have a bunch of the storybooks and he's seen some of the episodes on Youtube. Mostly he loves to pretend to rescue Mommy and Daddy and the cat over and over again! So, yes, they do flit around in their interests, but sometimes there are things that "stick," like Sam Tan! LOL!

honey-lilac 03-12-2010 10:48 PM

My daughter loves Tinkerbell. I feel your pain. I even made the mistake of telling her the name so she screeches out TINKERBELL whenever she sees a likeness. Just this week we were getting her spring clothes at the thrift store and she spied a Tink jacket that she fell in love with. It was brand new and only like $1 and fit her perfectly so we got it but I felt so weird about it. But, the joy on her face was worth it.

dogretro 03-14-2010 12:35 AM

OP, I was down at Target today & they had unpainted wooden vehicles in their One Spot. IDK if there were race cars b/c I didn't look at the whole bin, just one truck. The wheels were screwed on, pretty secure. If they have race cars, you could also paint a truck brown w/ eyes like Mater

Well, lol, dd is getting a mini Sesame Street Easter basket! They had a lot of cute SS stuff at the One Spot & I couldn't resist! I got a big pack of stickers that I am going to give her some of now, two plastic (yeah..) SS figurines (all they had was Big Bird & Cookie, but I will look for more at the Target by my mom's house), and I got her a small plush Ernie doll in the toy section. He will go nicely w/ her plush Elmo and Big Bird. She adores Ernie & also happens to have a collection of rubber ducks (I think that is part of why she likes him so much, they have an interest in common). I kept thinking about how much she will just LOVE these gifts & they don't "do" anything, so I felt fine purchasing them.

34me 03-14-2010 12:46 AM

Have you seen the Automoblox cars? My ds loves them.

Bird Girl 03-14-2010 01:21 AM

Remember that children at certain ages have certain needs that should be met; in my experience, boys do love vehicles and heroes/superheroes and girls do love princesses/fairies especially from 3-6. And it's adults who imbue Tinkerbelle and Superman and Lightening McQueen with corporate overlays--to the kids, these are archetypes, pure and simple. So it is possible to add a few Tinkerbelle or Lightening McQueen items without bowing to every plastic trinket and worthless TV show in existence.

And while my daughter was deep in the Disney Princess mania when she was four, she is now happily crafting wool and wooden fairy dolls and reading D'Aulaire's Troll Stories. So it's easier to be relaxed about my son's obsession with Pixar's Cars. But we're definitely Waldorf-lite, so take it with a grain of salt.

welsh_mummy 03-15-2010 04:35 PM

cant believe you know about sam!! didnt realise it was popular out of wales.

bird girl couldnt agree more

Carhootel 03-18-2010 09:12 PM

Lots of great suggestions but I was also going to suggest using alchemy on etsy for stuff like this, I've had good luck finding stuff there or having customs made from my favorite vendors on etsy

Tigerle 03-23-2010 06:56 AM

Originally Posted by welsh_mummy View Post
cant believe you know about sam!! didnt realise it was popular out of wales.

bird girl couldnt agree more
Sorry for crashing this forum, but the Sam reference caught my eye! Have had to read the Sam book one of my husband's friends (a fireman!) gave to DS three times this morning already. Have to check out the youtube clips!

mama2honu 03-28-2010 07:44 PM

I am laughing, because I am a Waldorf mama and my DS1 asked about cars with eyes when he was 3. He liked that they had eyes, and always asked about them. Well, I didn't want to buy them - ever. Why wouldn't he play with his charming wooden car? One day, he came home from a trip to the park with Dad with three "Cars" cars in his hands. He found them at the park, and the park was deserted. (please no lectures on taking them, I wasn't there ) But I'll be darned if he didn't manifest his own Cars toys. Anyway, since then we have caved on a few Cars cars and a few Thomas trains and now legos. He loves them. He plays imaginatively with them. Creates his own stories and towns and battles. The difference is, he is being creative with these media toys - not copying the movie or tv show.

Moderation in everything. Lesson learned. Sometimes the disney machine makes me cringe in my house, but then again, sometimes I get time to read or craft or cook as he plops into his make-believe land with Lightening and Thomas.

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