Friday, January 15, 2016

Violet & the Furby


Furbies

Santa brought Paxton a Furby Boom, Eisley a Furbacca, and Violet a Furby from 2012 which apparently Amazon still sells while not sharing the fact that it's an older version. The Furby Boom is the newest version. How are Furbies even still around? They're popular! On December 22nd, all Denver area toy stores were completely sold out of Furbies.

Why did Santa bring three obnoxious fur-covered animatronic toys for our kids this year? It may have something to do with the fact that their mother had a black and white original Furby. She bought it during her YVC choir tour to Wales & England when she was 14. A little old for a Furby, true, but I was at that age where childhood lingers and young adulthood reluctantly begins and I wanted one last silly toy. I suppose. So Christmas morning in our house fired up light sabers and Furbies.

Furbacca quickly won our hearts over by humming the Darth Vader theme. Paxton's Furby Boom had stars in its eyes and giggled adorably. Then there was Violet's Furby.

It was evil. From the very start.

No Violet related jokes here, please. While she's earned herself a reputation as a bruiser, a joker, a midnight toker...and I've allowed that because she cracks me up, she actually is my sweetest child. She is the first to notice a sad friend and offer a hug. She is first to share a toy with the neighbor kid, even if she doesn't really want to. She is first to offer to help with the dishes or make my bed. She's been known to hurl compliments at strangers like free candy. She's got a sweet side.

She does not deserve a mean, nasty, evil Furby. But that is what Santa brought her.

It taunted us, it teased, and it hummed mocking little tunes at us. It looked just as cute, but when its eyes lit up and its mouth opened...there was nothing endearing about the thing. Violet couldn't understand why her Furby was being so salty to all of us. I didn't want her to think it was because of her. I have a soft spot for this child. She always seems to be the one to get the short end of the stick. Every time. She is also the first to call herself a loser. Breaks my heart, even though I do realize it's partly manipulation and attention seeking, I'm not stupid. She does have lower self-esteem than my other children, which is probably why she is so sweet and eager to please others.

Sander and I did what any Millennial parent would do: we turned to The Google. That's right, we found ourselves smart phone searching "how do we make Furby nice" on Christmas morning.

"Hug it for 10 minutes straight or play music to it," said The Google. Eh. Okay, so we sat it up next to the Sonos and told Violet to wait and see. Because I don't even hug my husband for that long. Sure enough, 10 minutes later, Furby had changed into Valley Girl mode. Instead of taunting us it was now interrupting our conversations--"Uh huh! Uh-huh! OKAY!"--and instead of mean, angry, flaming eyes that would occasionally "OOGA BOOGA!" at us, it now had accentuated eyelashes {falsies, I suspect} and said, "like" a lot. Not much of an improvement, but Violet was satisfied.

For about five minutes.

No matter how many times we changed the Furby into a nicer personality, it would always quickly revert back to its MEAN side. Basically, it was mean 95% of the time.

Justin thinks there was some sort of sensor being triggered, because the Furby's personalities are supposed to depend on how you treated it. Like, feeding Paxton's Furby Boom a lot turns it into a jolly, goofy Furby that farts and makes lots of jokes. Being rough or loud with it is supposed to turn it mean. But Violet's came out of the box mean...and stayed mean no matter how nice we were trying to be to it. Reminds me of people I know. Ha!

Watch this video I took for proof, if you like. The brown is Eisley's Furbacca {a Star Wars Furby based on Chewbacca}, the blue one is Paxton's Furby Boom, and you'll know the evil one as soon as he opens his beak. Go to the end when he starts humming his nasty little tune!

I finally read a tip online that said I could turn him upside-down, pull his tail and stick my finger in his mouth and it would RESET. That did work--even though I felt a bit guilty like I was violating the stinking thing--but only for a few minutes before we started to hear "OOOGA BOOGA!" again. So Violet watched her sister and brother play with sweet, adorable cheerful Furbies...

It turned into a perverted sort of childhood psychology lesson!

Violet would approach us with her mean Furby, asking us to reset it, and saying she was scared of upsetting him again.

So we found ourselves saying things like,

"It's not you, Violet, it's him."

"You're not responsible for your Furby's poor life choices, honey."

"He has problems, maybe we should send him back to Santa so he can get the help he really needs."

It was ridiculous. The thing was clearly defective.

A Christmas morning toy should be exciting and fun, not giving your child a complex. But Violet, feeling responsible for the little pink punk, refused to entertain the idea of giving him away. Is THIS how the robot apocalypse is going to go down?! They're going to mess with our emotions!

Over the next week or so, between Furby bottom battery changes {because they devour batteries, but especially when they're mean}, Sander and I plotted to order a new Furby Boom for Violet to replace her angry little animated ball of rage. Turns out, the newer Furby Booms have fewer personality disorders and the demonic side in its programming was replaced with a more tolerable "feisty" personality.
Furbies
When the package arrived from Amazon, we found a letter.

Furbies
She loved it. Then she broke down in tears when she turned it on and it was nice to her. I'm not making this up. If she ends up needing counseling, I'm sending the bill to Hasbro.
FurbiesFurbies
Unfortunately, when it came time for Justin and I to ship the wicked thing back to Amazon, ahem, North Pole, Violet had a meltdown. To be honest, it had already started to show some wear too {probably from the number of times I had to reset it and the hours it spent in music therapy}. I pleaded with my husband, I begged him, I begged, "We're keeping the darn Furby." I meant it to sound like a plea, is what's important. Because I had already seen my daughter cry over the little wretch enough in the last couple weeks. When I was a kid, I had a hard time giving up toys because I worried about their feelings. The Toy Story series has not helped, by the way. So here Violet & the Furby had developed a sort of twisted co-dependent, unhealthy relationship. Violet and the mean, verbally abusive Furby! It honestly happens to most of us. There's always that one member of the family or close friend who you shouldn't tolerate the abuse from... but you do.

Somehow you keep them in your life, you love them as well as they'll let you, you might go a little longer between battery changes...but family is family. Even the ones of us who have...personality disorders. The important thing is that Violet got to see--through her new sweet Furby--that it isn't her fault if someone chooses a bad attitude in life. We need healthy relationships too!

Plus it's way cuter with its polka dots. And it hasn't turned angry evil, yet, not once!
Furbies
Oh, and writing this blog post made me curious and I headed to Amazon.com to read reviews on this specfic pink 2012 Furby. Check out these comments by others!!

"I purchased this Furby for my 4 year old daughter for Christmas, and now it is currently sitting in my car muttering to itself. Why do you ask? Unfortunately this little guy also has an angry personality that surfaces because why not. So now it's in angry mode speaking in a scary tone of voice and belching."

and another:

"The stupid thing was angry all the time, we had to put it in the breezeway because it was scarring both my kids. It would take forever to get the thing happy and then within a minute it was angry again. Wish it came without getting angry"

and also:


"I think I got a bad furry this furry turned evil even though it was getting loving care and it's pretty scary"



So it's not just ours! And it's certainly not Violet's fault! Amazon should stop selling these angry creatures. I'm going to go write my own review.


But that is the story of how our family ended up with more Furbies than we have children to play with them.

Furbies

Happy New Year!!!
Heather


{FWIW, and changing tone here: I know my audience--and stalkers, love you guys!--well enough to know that some might wonder why I didn't mention our church activities this Christmas. My blog has looked unusually secular this year! The truth is that we've been in a place of flux, between churches during this time. A rough, sometimes painful, place to be during Advent and Christmastime. Our church decided to sell their property and possibly merge with another congregation. Among many other private details not related to the property and merger, we've been compelled to move on--or back to--our previous church where Eisley was baptized and the future of the congregation is currently more stable (important to us as we have young children). All's well that ends well! We're okay, and did manage to attend some wonderful services this season, despite all the up in the air. God will always be the most important part of our lives.}

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