Elmo Live...uurrrgghhh! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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MIL informed me that DD is getting Elmo Live for Christmas (along with way too many other toys). I know nothing about this toy, except that 1) it's elmo, 2) it talks and probably does other gestures and sounds, and 3) I don't want it.

So I said, um, we really don't give DD that type of toy (which she already knows). FIL was right there and said you know they don't want that. DD does not watch tv. I was flustered and said well we can keep it at your house (8 hours away) to which she replied, no I'm getting one for B (my nephew) who lives near MIL. DH was not with us so I let it go. Later I made the comment (somewhat passively aggressively) that some toys live in the closet because I do not like DD playing with them.

I wouldn't be upset if this came from a distant relative who really didn't know what we like, but of course I take MIL's actions as a personal challenge to me and our parenting choices.

So, any specific resources on Elmo Live being toxic? That would be a good solid reason not to receive him. The other option is to just put him in the closet along with the other unwanted toys only to be brought out when the gift-giver comes to visit and eventually to donation.

Also, we will be at MIL's house for a few days after Christmas at which time DD will likely memorize his actions and behavior and become obsessed. She seems to be glued to all the toys that I really don't want despite all of our natural simple toys at home.

:::Frustrated!
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#2 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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How about that it's scary?

We saw one at Wal-Mart the other day and I pressed it's foot to activate it and show ds. It moves FAST and A LOT, and is quite loud. It startled him and he started to cry. I said "Mommy doesn't like it, either" and we moved away quickly. Just too obnoxious, in my opinion. Oh, and my friend's dd got a Tickle Me Elmo for her first birthday and reacted the same way -- the thing can stand up on it's own! It's kinda creepy. Is that a good enough reason?

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#3 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 12:55 AM
 
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(Posted at same time as PP )

Have you see it? It's scary honestly. It freaked me out bigtime when I saw it. His mouth is like some gaping maw that flaps violently up and down. My two year old saw it in the store. I warned her ahead of time it was a "freaky" Elmo. She was curious, and it did the demo thing and she JUMPED back.

"Fweaky Elmo! AH!"

Yep. I nodded. Freaky indeed.

She was brave and tried it again. Freaky Elmo freaked her out again.

She eventually said, "I don't want to see fweaky Elmo, Mama" and we walked off. "Mama doesn't want to either, honey." That was enough for me.

Now granted, my child is a little sensitive. But she's not hyper sensitive. She's just not into blaringly loud toys. She LOVES Elmo though and we're fine with that. We're not fine with obnoxious battery toys, and we're certainly not okay with toys that could scare her. Some toddlers may love Elmo Live, and ours might eventually get used to it, but it's not worth the initial freaking out/scare exposure, IMO. So we're not doing it.

I'd tell your MIL flat out that people are telling you NOT to get the doll because he scares the crap out of most kids (because from other parents I've talked to, he does), and it has actually turned some kids off Elmo completely. Which, in our home, would be really sad, because our daughter has a very sweet adoration for that little red monster. But for some kids, he's going from being this wonderful little friend to some kind of scary monster. Not good.

And the thing is, my experience of the freakiness is from just the demo. He does all kinds of other things too. It's just sensory overload honestly, and unless she wants to induce nightmares in your child, I'd tell her pointblank NO. Feel free to get a sweet whatever Elmo instead, but Elmo Live is just not worth it.

So stop focusing on how YOU don't like it. Focus instead on how it's going to scare the crap out of your sweet, sensitive toddler.

Here's a video of it, btw:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVUPTTkIBVI

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#4 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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Oh my. That video is terrifying, and I have the sound turned off. That thing creeps me out.

My DD got a hokey pokey elmo for Christmas last year from FIL and it terrified her. I can't imagine how she would react to this thing.
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#5 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 01:18 AM
 
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He looks like he's having some kind of seizure. Who wants an Epileptic Elmo doll?

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#6 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 01:47 AM
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a "friend" of ours got our little one a TME for her first birthday. She's still frightened of it. We took the batteries out, so she'll carry it around, but she screams if we put the batteries in it.

We did get the "friend" back with a drum set for his 2 year old's birthday...heheheh
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#7 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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DS watches TV and loves Elmo and I still asked my mother not to get him an Elmo Live because they creep me out. DS has a nice, quiet non-battery Elmo puppet and some nice, silent Elmo books and that's how we like it.
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#8 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 10:55 AM
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I don't know.... I guess I put a higher premium on MIL politics. If my MIL really wants to get my LO a gift, I'm not going to make her feel bad (and create bad blood btw us) over that. Let DD play w it at MIL's house, bring it home and say "Elmo went bye-bye!". Ditch the thing. Toddlers forget. IMHO, not a huge deal compared to friction w your MIL - now THAT lasts for years.
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#9 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 12:16 PM
 
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I would not let my child play with something like that. I am a bit more militant about it than a lot of mamas I know, but I can't stand the fact that the marketing for Elmo is so insideous. Elmo is absolutely everywhere that toddlers are it seems and after reading Consuming Kids and realizing that there are people out there who's job it is to make my child nag me to buy MORE MORE MORE of whatever product Elmo is selling, just makes me want to vomit and scream any time I see Elmo. He is definitely my number one No No in my house.

Plus, I don't think the screaming, gyrating toys are good for kids. At. All. They are supposed to just sit back and be entertained by him. He does not encourage any active or imaginative play in any way. I think that we have so much media shoved down our throats our entire lives that we don't need to be doing it to our toddlers at such an impressionable age. They need to be learning how to use their imagination and problem solving skills, rather than sitting on their bums watching something spout off at them.

Sorry to rant on Elmo, but he definitely makes me a little crazy. (ok, a lot)

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#10 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post

Sorry to rant on Elmo, but he definitely makes me a little crazy. (ok, a lot)
But Kevin Clash is pretty cute http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Kevin_Clash
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#11 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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I'm on the fence with the consumerism aspect of Elmo. But what we've decided is that we are still in charge here, and she will be exposed to the consumerism crap no matter what we do (simply because we don't live in a bubble, and there are times we have to go to Target, sorry).

So we've compromised. We're okay with Elmo (even though I could never have imagined myself saying that before she was born hehe). We're not okay with Dora, or Disney Princess, or the myriad of other consumerism, product-driven shows out there. We will never have Bratz, we will avoid Hanna Montana and HSM type shows like the plague, because of the consumerism (since I know nothing about these shows beyond they have their own bedding lines, et al).

But I totally agree that there has to be a line drawn in terms of how much consumerism is allowed/encouraged, regardless of the character.

So I'm okay with a stuffed Gund Elmo. I'm okay with a soft fleecey Elmo blanket. I'm fine with an Elmo halloween pumpkin. I'm not okay with Elmo clothing. (Because sorry, my child is not a walking billboard.) I'm not okay with obnoxious toys that IMO can scare a child or squelch imagination.

We have the original TME, that only giggles and shakes a little tiny bit. We do not have the new TMX Elmo, or the dancing one, etc. And we will not be getting Elmo Live. And if anyone bought it for her, we'd return it. But I also still censor her gifts. I look at them before she sees them. If something's inappropriate, I take it out. I think it would be mean to let her see it, tell her it's "hers" then not let her play with it.

And while it might work to approach this in a "the doll can stay at MIL's house" it sounds like from the OP's situation that won't work. I'm not a fan of giving a child a gift, then telling her there are restrictions beyond common sense (like here's your new XYZ, please don't put it in the potty is fine. Here's your new Elmo. Leave it at Nana's and it'll be months before you can play with it again -- that seems mean to me).

I would reiterate to the OP: stop focusing on your feelings here and focus on your child's, and the potential scare factor. Guilt your MIL if need be. But draw a line and stick to it. If you don't, then it becomes easier and easier for MIL to cross your lines and ignore your wishes as parent. This is a battle worth choosing to fight. Stand your ground, but do it from the perspective of protecting/looking out for your child. Don't base it on your own opinion.

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#12 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kbl View Post
Let DD play w it at MIL's house, bring it home and say "Elmo went bye-bye!". Ditch the thing. Toddlers forget.
Having a thing that belongs to one just suddenly go "bye-bye" creates an unpredictable and unstable world for a toddler. It leaves them with a sense that things may just diappear. It creates a feeling that they don't actually own their possesions. It leaves them feeling powerless and out of control.

Also just b/c a toddler does't ask for something, doesn't mean he/she has forgotten it. Toddler generally have some difficulty putting their thoughts into words. When I was very young a stuffed bear of mine got lost during a move, I never said anything about it at the time, but as an adult I asked my parents what happened to him (the entire box of stuff he was in never made it to the new house.)

I would prefer to honestly explain to my child why they can not have a certain toy than create confusion and instabilty for them. MILs are adults, they can learn to either follow your guidelines or deal with their own hurt feelings. However, your child is a toddler and relies on you to provide a safe, stable, predictable, nuturing environment.

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#13 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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I don't know if your MIL is anything like mine, but logic is completely lost on her as are the thoughts or feelings of anyone other than her. (Her own children would agree) I have learned to pick my battles...like "you need to let me nurse my crying baby now! I know you just got here but you can hold her later" Even then the response was "I just have to hold her, and I (and the baby!) had to wait. We have a 48" high def. TV I didn't want that was a birthday gift to my husband (guess who has the bad vision...not us)

In any case the point is not accepting a gift is very rude and would cause bad relations between the two of you even if your MIL is more considerate of others than mine. First and foremost, I want my children to grow up in a warm loving environment that is not blighted by petty bickering.

My take, Elmo's batteries will die before your daughter becomes obsessed with the toy. We have a TMX Elmo (gifted by someone else) and the batteries died within a day or two. After that it just became a red fuzzy paper weight (its really heavy and not so cuddly with all the robotic parts inside.)

So that's my opinion.

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#14 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Just say Thank You and put it away or donate it or re-gift it to someone who has no connection to the family. I've told family & friends over and over no battery operated toys and Tor gets plenty anyway. Not worth losing a relationship over!

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#15 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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the fact that the marketing for Elmo is so insideous. Elmo is absolutely everywhere that toddlers are it seems and after reading Consuming Kids and realizing that there are people out there who's job it is to make my child nag me to buy MORE MORE MORE of whatever product Elmo is selling, just makes me want to vomit and scream any time I see Elmo.
Sorry to say but this is a chicken/egg conversation. Sales of SS dvd's increase by 50% when Elmo is on the cover and or his name is in the title. Elmo sells, so Elmo gets marketed.

That being said, Elmo Live and Tickle Me Elmo are definitely geared more towards adults or older kids who would be entertained by his "jokes" and the fact that he moves, sits/stands, raises his arms, etc.

It makes sense that a LO would be freaked out by it. It is definitely a "watch me" toy which is completely uninteresting to young children.
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#16 of 36 Old 11-23-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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my 2.9yo loves elmo. but on sesame street videos or tshirts...if he were to see one move i think he`d freak out!
and although i don`t like to buy things with mickeys on them, for example, if he sees something with an elmo, or an elmo for that matter, i think i`d get it for him. he likes, it, it makes him happy, why not?
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#17 of 36 Old 11-25-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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we love elmo in this house, but the toy is just way too obnoxious! Tell her that your tot saw one in the store and started to cry
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#18 of 36 Old 11-25-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we love elmo in this house, but the toy is just way too obnoxious! Tell her that your tot saw one in the store and started to cry
I think this may be the simplest solution. She actually is afraid of talking moving toys, which being focused on my own objection to the toy, I didn't even think of! Duh!

DH is totally on board andd I think we will keep the peace my smiling, nodding, and saying thank you for all the other gifts.

Thanks for letting me vent!
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#19 of 36 Old 12-15-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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Had to revive this thread... unfortunately!

Background: I keep an ongoing wishlist for DD... which I started when she was little to avoid these types of issues. MIL has previously purchased books and toys from this list. We have absolutely no battery operated or plastic toys.

So during an early holiday celebration w/ MIL this weekend, during dinner, MIL says that she bought DD a talking elmo phone and the talking elmo doll. She says she called the manufacturer (lie) and talked to her niece (lie) about the toys and was assured they were "safe". She said she wanted to make sure it was okay w/ us (they were wrapped in her car at that point). I guess my face said it all... so DH explains that we don't have plastic or battery powered things, etc.

All *I* can think of is... you called the manufacturer? you called your niece? you didn't call ME?!?

Yeah, so we politely declined the gifts.

Grrrrr.
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#20 of 36 Old 12-16-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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Your MIL may feel totally resentful for it for a while. But I think your actions will make her get the message eventually and that's what you already tried to state with your 'wanted gifts list' anyway.

I hate that kind of toys too however we have some battery operated toys at home that we like and also quite some plastic stuff. My Ils kept on getting us cheap and 'fragile' made in china stuff or loud battery operated freaky stuff not even age-appropriate for our kids. I am not making a big deal about that with them because anyway the toys don't usually attract my children's attention, they brake within a few hours/days/weak, batteries die well my kids know we can recharge lol). They are just simplepeople who grew up in a village and toys ae just alien stuff for them they want to make their grandchildren happy and they have no idea, let not a clue of a certain toy concept here at our home.

I just make sure the toys are broken soon, and or I tell my children how I really don't like those and why) and that's its bad quality and that I would find it ok to donate those unlikeable toys and some of the ones they dont ğplay with anymore to children who don't have any. Yeah its a bit like indoctrinating the message, but it resonates with my older son (4,5) who really now distinguishes quality from non quality stuff, and that argument always helps in picking toys, and he feels for discarding his own non quality (presents) stuff by himself more often.

It was my DH who gave his parents the msg not to give the kind of toys they were giving (really, I couldn't do that myself since they really have no clue). Now they didn't get any more stuff but they do buy 'shoes' for them, often bad quality cheap plastic stuff and luckily often the wrong size. And our kids (and us) end up not liking those shoes any more than the toys they were getting. So when they ignore my dh's requests for just not wasting money on stuff that wont be used, we donate or discard it in a consensual matter with our kids.

I made the mistake myself to buy them an Elmo VCD once. They've watched it a few times it was so horribly irritating (to me). They liked it at first I am glad that they don't even interest in watching it ever again.

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#21 of 36 Old 12-16-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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So, any specific resources on Elmo Live being toxic? That would be a good solid reason not to receive him.
I sure hope not because we bought one for our three for Christmas.

My youngest is obsessed with Elmo. I have no idea where it came from, but she loves anything and everything Elmo

We saw an Elmo Live at the store and she went bonkers. Actually, all three of them loved it. They didn't find it scary at all, so I bought them one for Christmas and I can't wait to give it to them

Mom to, Cassi,, 25 yo daughter, 4 yo twins, Carson & Camryn 3 yo Caitlyn and my wonderful 14 yo neice, Carlie
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#22 of 36 Old 12-16-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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Truthfully, I would probably take it and then get rid of it when I got home so as not have a thing with my MIL, but I am not militantly anti-Elmo. We don't do Elmo, but we aren't agitated by it either.

You let your wishes be known. I would take it, say thank you and donate it. I am sure there is some little kid who loves Elmo whose p's can't afford one - I think they cost like $60.
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#23 of 36 Old 12-16-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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You are going to have to decide if this is the hill that you are prepared to die on, and you need your DH's support. If it were me, I'd jsut get rid of it once we were back home.

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#24 of 36 Old 12-16-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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Truthfully, I would probably take it and then get rid of it when I got home so as not have a thing with my MIL, but I am not militantly anti-Elmo. We don't do Elmo, but we aren't agitated by it either.

You let your wishes be known. I would take it, say thank you and donate it. I am sure there is some little kid who loves Elmo whose p's can't afford one - I think they cost like $60.
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You are going to have to decide if this is the hill that you are prepared to die on, and you need your DH's support. If it were me, I'd jsut get rid of it once we were back home.
Fortunately, MIL was understanding. She said, before I said anything, that she wouldn't be offended since she didn't ask us first. Otherwise, I would've probably let her have it and make it disappear. My DH pointed out that if we let her keep it, MIL would probably buying these type of gifts. Better to nip it in the bud. If DD liked Elmo, watched it on TV, or asked for the gifts, I would have let her have them. I just think that while she doesn't express an interest in these obnoxious toys, I'd avoid having them here for her to play with
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#25 of 36 Old 12-16-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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Cool! I am glad it worked out
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#26 of 36 Old 12-16-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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Oh my goodness... I just said to DH: "Hon, you have to see this video of a freaky E-L-M-O (spelling it so as not to attract DS's attention), and DS (who was looking away) said "ELMO!"

He learned Elmo from daycare sigh. But 19 months old and he knows I was spelling Elmo? DH and I are cracking up!
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#27 of 36 Old 12-16-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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It's an interesting and strange phenomenon: many toys end up "broken" at our house. Maybe we have some sort of weird electromagnetic field or something...as the only toys that break around here are plastic and battery operated.
































:
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#28 of 36 Old 12-17-2008, 03:25 AM
 
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I can so identify with where you are coming from! My (step)mom last year told me she was buying barbie for then 6yoDD. I absolutely ABHOR barbie and there will be no barbie dolls in our home. It's genuinely one of the few things that are totally a no way thing. That and bratz ! But anyways, she said well if I give it to her anyways what will you do about it? I was PISSED and I said well I'll tell her I'm sorry Grandma bought that, let's take it back and choose something else. She said that was 'hideous' of me to say and I said no, what is hideous is that you'd blatantly disregard my priorities as a parent and passive aggressively introduce things to my DD that I am extremely uncomfortable with. There are a KAJILLION other choices for gma to buy for her that I couldn't care LESS about, and even if they annoy me (electronic toys...ugh) then I just let the batteries die out and she loses interest, so who cares. But to intentionally choose something that goes against my principles and values so blatantly was just insidious!

Anywhoo she didn't get her the danged barbie but she did pout about it for quite a while and made it clear to DD that she had barbies when SHE was little and wow were they FUN! She can be sooooo toxic sometimes. Argh.

So glad it's working out w/the satanic elmo thing...I've never understood the hysteria behind these anyways. They aren't cuddly, they can't be dragged around easily, they are noisy and annoying. I don't get it.

Good luck!
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#29 of 36 Old 12-17-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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Yeah, I just can't see the $60 value in it! My DD loves to throw things, and pays no attention to stuffed animals... I just don't think it's a good mix. PP, yikes on your MIL!
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#30 of 36 Old 12-17-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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I don't do licensed/character clothes or toys at all, but I did get Elmo Live for DD for Christmas.

I have NO clue how she knows about Elmo, but she loves him. I think he's cute, even though I think the dolls are creepy. We were in a store and she saw Elmo Live and got SO excited. She was clapping and saying MAMA ELMO!!!

If I find that she's really really into him, I will likely make him disappear. I don't like her to get obsessive about any toy and toys tend to disappear around here. hehe.
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