My three-year-old daughter is obsessed with Paw Patrol. It’s a Canadian show about a boy named Ryder who directs about ten pups. Whenever there is a problem in town, the citizens call Ryder and his dogs to save them. They do this in lieu of funding a fire or police department.
Paw Patrol was invented by a toy company, which is pure genius. Who needs commercials? The show itself is one long commercial.
Accordingly, Annabelle is not that into the show, but she loves the stuffed dogs, so much so that she can’t imagine anyone not liking them. The construction dog is named Rubble, but her grandma once called him Bubble. (In Grandma’s defense, Rubble is a bit big boned.) “Grandma called him Bubble!” Annabelle said, then threw back her head and laughed for five minutes at Grandma’s ignorance.
We got Annabelle Paw Patrol socks for her birthday, but the laundry cycle works out so that she has two days when she has to (gasp!) pick a different pair of socks. Annabelle’s answer to this is to go sockless for two days in protest. “Why don’t we just get her more Paw Patrol socks?” Andy asked. Of course that makes sense. But seriously?! There are so many socks in that drawer that you have to arrange them just so to get it to close. Some of them are the My Little Pony socks that I bought her that she was in love a few months ago, but now all of a sudden her feet are too good for them. When I suggested she wear them, she had about the same reaction as when Grandma called her dog Bubble.
In addition to liking the dogs, Annabelle likes Ryder—the boy! She likes the way he combs his hair straight up and has noted that she wishes there was a page of her book with a picture of Ryder styling his hair. I think his hair looks stupid—I mean, he combs it straight up. I guess this is where our disagreements on boys begin.
Annabelle is not the only Paw Patrol fan. When trying to buy paper plates for her birthday party, we visited three Party Cities and still could not come up with enough plates. Apparently there’s a run on Paw Patrol plates. They probably go for hundreds on the black market.
One of my criticisms of Paw Patrol is that there are only two girl dogs out of about ten. Even Ryder’s a boy. I’ve read a lot about how it’s good for girls’ self-esteem to see strong female characters in shows and books. I tried to get Annabelle into Skye, one of the female dogs, but no luck.
OK, confession time: I have another reason for selling Skye. When I was wrapping Annabelle’s birthday presents, I saw we’d gone a little nuts, so I put some away to save them for Christmas, and stuffed Skye was among them. Now I’m trying to brainwash Annabelle into wanting Skye for Christmas. I’m very subtle. “Don’t you like Skye?” I ask. “She’s so cute! Probably you want Santa to bring you Skye for Christmas.” But Annabelle won’t budge.
If I could get Colin on board with the brainwashing, success would be mine. But if I tell Colin, he’ll question the whole Santa Claus story. It seems a shame to destroy the magic of Christmas for a six-year-old boy. I could never put a price tag on his belief and innocence. Except that if I can’t get Annabelle on board with Skye I’m going to be out like eight bucks.
“I want Ryder for Christmas,” Annabelle says.
“I don’t know if they make him,” I say.
“I hope they make him with his hair combed straight up. He’s cute.”