I knew what I wanted for him but just couldn’t find the right one. I went from one toy store to another, one toy to another. It had to be unique and special and it needed to be BIG! To a 5yr, old size did matter! Getting a toy RC for my son proved to more challenging than a 10th grade math sum. It was not that I could not afford the best but it was more of what was the best? The time was almost 8:00 pm and most of the stores are closing for the day.
I finally chose a Red RC sports car that seemed to almost, almost fit my requirement. I wanted to see how it functioned before buying it. The nice and patient person at the store put in the rechargeable batteries and switched it on. Unfortunately, for a sports car it did not have much juice in it. The storekeeper said that the batteries needed a bit more charge. I did not want to take any chances so I asked him to charge it for about 10 minutes; he agreed and plugged it in.
The 10 minutes seemed to take ages; I tried to make a conversation at the counter to kill time. I even had the person try out a RC helicopter, knowing that my 5-year-old son would not be able to handle it just yet. After the 10 minutes we put the batteries back in and placed the car on the floor. With the throttle lever pushed forward, expecting the car to shoot off but to go to every one’s surprise the car did not move at all. They said among themselves that this was the first. My heart sank, it was nearly closing time, and I still did not have a toy for my son. I have been looking for the perfect toy since last week and my time was almost up.
I walked out of the store with a heavy heart. Walking past another store I peered with much less expectations, – I had already been let down one too many times the same day. As I conveyed my requirements to the sales man, my eyes fell on a yellow off roader sitting up on the rack. I pointed to it. The man took it out of the box and started to put in the rechargeable batteries. This too had less power and the same story here too. I asked them to charge it for about 10 minutes. They agreed and I just browsed about the toy rack looking at other toys.
After 10 minutes the off roader was working fine, taking turns like a real car. They instructed me on the specs, the controller was like a steering wheel, which you could turn to control the direction of the car, like an actual steering wheel! My son would love it! , this just had to be the one!
Billed it, packed it, and done. I thought about the time and effort I had put in to getting this, I do not think there was one toy store in town where I had not been to, that night. Content and happy, picturing how my son’s face would light up, I headed home.
The next day, I put it out on the table for him and he had that wow stare. I did a quick demo in front of him, even asked him to try it but he would not, he simply stared at it helplessly and then two short smiles grew around his lips for two seconds and it disappeared. But I was thrilled!
Now, you see I have not seen my son smile much, well at least at me. I cannot expect much from a 5 year old at court visitations. My son was too afraid to accept the toy, a toy that I know he loved to have. There are many children subjected to PAS – Parental Alienation syndrome, and there many parents who go through this every time.
Why do we as parents put our children through this? As if being divorced or separated isn’t enough pressure on our children, why are we making them choose sides? We might not have been able to give them a family but why can’t we of give them the best of both worlds, of a mother and a father?
There are so many parents, mothers and fathers alike, who go through this probably every week. When will the so-called grownups realize- the true loss is for the children!
Today the toy sits among the many other toys and gifts that my son and my daughter never accepted or rather they were too afraid to accept.