Saturday, January 9, 2010

Buy It Now

Lord help us all, my youngest daughter has discovered E-Bay.

She got a new computer for Christmas and has played all sorts of on-line games I didn't even know were out there.  Of course, then again, I've never looked.

One of her favorites is "Girls Go".  It has about a million or so games that do everything from figuring out a maze to changing Brittany Spears wardrobe.  (I even found a game where I got to dress Coco Chanel in vintage Chanel.)

She also loves iCarly, from the TV show.  And she likes just about anything Disney.  She has discovered PaintBrush, where you can take a picture and alter it electronically through your computer paint pallet.  She enjoys making fish different colors.  Go figure.

The other day we were all on our respective computers when Amy yelled out, "Mom!  Look what I found."

I continued looking at my screen and mumbled, "Whatcha' got?"

"I found a Hello Kitty watch for $3.95 plus shipping!  Can I get it?"

I looked up at her, my brows knitted together in confusion.  "What are you looking at?" I asked, using my best English grammar.

"E-Bay," she said in a dreamy, far-away voice.

My first reaction was panic:  My daughter had found an on-line site where she could make multiple purchases without ever leaving her spot on the couch.  But then I remembered:  She didn't have an account.  Nor did she have a way to pay for any purchases.

I sighed in relief.  "A Hello Kitty watch?  That sounds fun.  Is it pink?" I asked.

"Yes!  Can I get it?" she replied excitedly.

"No, honey.  We just look.  We don't really buy," I said, smiling at my cleverness.

"You buy," she retorted.

I hate it when she's right when I'm splitting hairs!  "Well, yes, but...  Just write down the item number and you can show it to daddy," I said, proud of yet another evasive maneuver.

"Okay," she said.  She hopped up and grabbed pencil and paper and began scribbling furiously.

For several hours she was entranced by this unlimited world of shopping.  She clicked and ooohed and aaahed, and wrote down number after number.  I couldn't help but snicker as I thought of poor hubby being accosted by Amy as soon as he returned home.

Later that evening I was cleaning up after dinner.  Hubby sidled up next to me while I was washing dishes.

"So, Amy tells me you said she could buy a bunch of stuff off of E-Bay, and that I was going to pay for it," he said, scratching his head.

"What?" I asked, laughing.  "Um, no.  I told her to write down the numbers of the things she thought she wanted and that she could show you when you got home.  I never said anything about buying anything."

Hubby rapped his knuckles on the counter and chuckled, "Thought it might be something like that."

"So what did she want to buy?" I asked, returning to my dishes.

"Oh, um, a Hello Kitty watch, some Justin Beiber concert tickets for a concert in San Diego, and a diamond ring for you," he said.

"Oh, I did tell her you would buy me the diamond ring," I smiled.

"Yeah, she said that.  But I told her it wouldn't be fair to buy some of it, and not all of it," he retorted.

"Yeah, you're probably right," I pouted.

So, E-Bay has a new groupie, and somehow we haven't gone broke from it (yet).

I guess this is modern-day window shopping.  It's safer in the fact that there's no "bad guy" to grab them.  But there's no telling what she can fall into on-line, or what kind of stalkers are lurking on the web looking for little girls.

Like window shopping in a mall, parents still need to be with their kids, ensuring they are looking at good things and not making themselves vulnerable to people.  It's an adventure together, just like shopping together.  But it requires no gas.  And we can do it in our pajamas.

And it gives me an on-going list from which to choose for birthdays, Christmases and other holidays.  So, maybe E-Bay isn't all bad.  So long as she NEVER finds out my banking information...

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