Monday, November 19, 2007

One Beanie too few… or too many?

Good grief… I have entered beanie Hell.

Back when Beanie babies were all the craze, I swore I wouldn't buy one. It drove me crazy that people would spend hundreds of dollars for a stuffed toy that a kid couldn't even think about playing with. Mind you, I have my collections of stuff that I don't let the kids play with, but most aren't kid things.

I understood the fascination with wanting to have the rare ones and make sure they stayed in mint condition. That's natural with any kind of collectable. I understood how people spent a lot of money on Cabbage Patch dolls back in the day and Tickle Me Elmo when he came along. Parents were spending big bucks so their kid could have the toy they really wanted; purchased with the knowledge that it was going to get played with. But beanie babies were stuffed toys that adults spent buku bucks on - that kids didn't get to play with. I just didn't get it or the madness surrounding it.

When I had children, I insisted we not purchase beanies for them. I insisted that other people not purchase beanies for them. I was dead set on never having them in our home. I just didn't like what they stood for.

Then my daughter had an appointment at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. It was their practice to give each child a welcome gift on their first visit. Yeah, bribe them into thinking they'll enjoy the visit. She was given a white beanie kitty cat. I'll admit it, it was nice to see how happy that cat made her. She loved it so much that it was difficult to smuggle it away long enough to wash it.

So one day, on a trip to Frank & Sons, when I saw another white kitten, I… I can't believe I'm admitting this… I told DH we had to get it. Frank & Sons is a warehouse in the City of Industry, CA that was used twice per week as a giant collector show and we went there fairly often while living in the LA area. By the time my daughter received her beanie cat, they were no longer a hot collectable and vendors were dumping them at whatever price they could get. I decided that the price justified purchasing a backup for her so I would not have to stress out to clean the original. DH says everyone has a price for which anything becomes an option – apparently dirt cheap is my breaking point with respect to beanies.

We picked up a few additional white kittens on subsequent trips to Frank & Sons. Later, we purchased an entire basket of beanies during the neighborhood yard sale. When DH found some mini ones for a dime each at a yard sale, I said "Go ahead and get them, it's only a dime." Our girls' eyes gleamed whenever we added to their stockpile. There were plenty to go around, duplicates of some and a ton of variety. Tags are missing from all of them now. They are well loved. They are toys and it's perfect.

Fast forward to naptime today. The girls were fighting over whose dog this one was; both crying when I tried to act as mediator. I finally had to say "Miss M, you had it at bedtime last night so Miss K gets it for nap. You can have it back at bedtime." Both were in agreement. Whew. Crisis averted for now.

Now I'm trying to figure out if we have one too few beanies or one too many. If only I hadn't caved and bought that backup kitten, we wouldn't be in this mess.