Batteries included

It happened. Katie's officially 2 and entitled to all the privileges and responsibilities of a 2-year-old (really it's only privileges, which she has many and she never fails to take advantage each one).

I should thank the people who brought gifts, but I'm still plotting revenge. Nearly every one of them makes noise.

I'm considering some not-so-nice correspondence with Energizer. I don't understand why the batteries in my emergency flashlight last about a day-and-a-half and the batteries in Katie's toys, including the singing/ringing phone and talking Elmo doll, are immortal.

It's batteries that made Elmo the demon doll.

Possessed from the top of his red, furry head to the tips of his round, blue shoes.

Long after he would no longer say "let's pretend," he would spout phrases and start swirling around with no stimulation at all.

His demise came after we heard that high-pitched voice say "Want to play?" at 3 o'clock in the morning.

Way too Chucky-like. I wouldn't even get out of bed. I cowered next to my husband with the blanket up to my chin, eying the door.

The first time could have been a fluke. The second time, again in the middle of the night, was the end of Elmo.

And as strange, there was no way to easily get to the battery case. We had to cut off Elmo's coveralls to remove the battery.

Needless to say, it was not replaced.

There's a conspiracy afoot led by the makers of batteries and it's well-designed. Unless you are very sneaky, you will be forced by that whine, the refusal to sleep and those puppy dog eyes to replace batteries in the toy you wanted to crush to dust the minute you heard it. That's the company's ploy, obviously a profitable one, too.

But back to the birthday party.

We did get one thing from a misguided gift giver that I can't mention and won't make a big issue of given that he asked that he and his gift remain anonymous (you know what you did Rick Rayl!). What I can say is he'll get his Thank you card in about 19 years and it probably won't be signed by me.

Though we tried, I have to say Katie's favorite gift did not come from us (In fact most of the gifts we chose are still in a pile. The best thing we did was get her a small bike that was packed in Styrofoam and formed in a way that fits her butt perfectly making a chair she was thrilled with).

So far her favorite gift, which may permanently damage ears and my eyes and drive me to a mental institution, is a Barney movie.

Katie LOVES Barney. The baby-sitter got her hooked, now the minute we walk in the door Katie says "want Barney." Then she says "WANT BARNEY!" (She's truly 2).

We knew her fondness for Barney when we went gift shopping, so we were on the hunt for Barney stuff. We found the singing hats Barney doll and when my husband said, after hearing it only once, that he wanted to drive over it with the truck, we knew Katie would love it.

She does, but not as much as the movie, which we now watch three times an evening, and still have to listen to her cry for more.

My co-workers, being the heartless group they are, said to tell Katie that Barney died. They even offered to give me a raisin to take home and say was Barney.

Sadists.

I told them Katie has strong arms and sharp teeth and if they wanted to play that game they were on their own.

I don't think they're brave enough because Barney is still alive and well in my house and flooding my brain with songs that make me want to beat my head against a wall to drive them out.

I guess singing hat Barney is better than little demon Elmo, but when his batteries run out, he's just going to be a stuffed doll.

Where can I get a VCR that runs on batteries?

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