I resolve to learn “Furbish” in 2013

Every year Christmas morning brings a parade of strange and annoying toys into our home. There are the skinny-creepy Monster High dolls (strange), whose hands and arms come off, and who have fins growing out of their legs; a Mouse Trap board game that evokes memories of childhood and will require my constant help in setting it up (it’s truly complicated = annoying); and a new book for Bennett, The Best Nest, that he will ask me to read to him 1,000 times in a row (annoying).

Meet the Furby.

Meet the Furby.

But the one gift that encompasses both these qualities — strange and annoying — has got to be Avery’s new Furby. What is a Furby, you ask? Let me acquaint you with our new unwelcome houseguest. Our purple Furby is a sort of interactive toy straight from the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Gremlin; that is to say it talks, moves a bit (not too much, thankfully), looks oddly like a gremlin-owl love child, and makes all manner of really loud squeaks and squawks that send Avery running to us to report on.

Meet the Furby's dad.

Meet the Furby’s dad.

Avery: “My Furby just said, ‘Ee-tay!’ Guess what that means.”

Me: “Hmmm … I don’t know. Maybe, ‘I’m all done playing, please put me in the closet for a week?'”

Avery: “Silly Mommy! ‘Ee-tay’ is Furbish for ‘No way!'”

Yes, I know. It's all kinda weird. There's even a Furby app.

Yes, I know. It’s all kinda weird. There’s even a Furby app.

Yes, of course her Furby speaks “Furbish,” a made-up language that sounds like what the Star Wars aliens in the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine spoke before the bounty hunter blew them away: “O0-nye toh-loo wee-tee! Hahaha!” The grating noises make a tired mommy wish she had a phaser she could switch from ‘stun’ to ‘permanently silence,’ though that would make Avery bawl like Chewbacca.

Not long after Avery opened her Furby I received an e-mail from a friend whose daughter Zoe is one of Avery’s besties. The e-mail contained a picture attachment of one of Zoe’s Christmas gifts: a black Furby. By now you’ve guessed where this is going. Yes, Furby playdates will be a reality in 2013. “Ee-tay!” Yes way! Obviously the joke is on me.

Playdates with Zoe's Furby will be a reality in 2013.

Playdates with Zoe’s Furby will be a reality in 2013.

What all this has illustrated rather glaringly is that not only do I not speak Furbish, I no longer speak kid (and also, after four hours, Avery speaks better Furbish than Spanish, the second language she’s been taking for the past four months). I don’t get the appeal of the Furby, the enchanting power it has over seven-year-old girls. The Furby box sums it up nicely: “Who your Furby becomes might surprise you!” it reads. The same can be said about your children.


One response to “I resolve to learn “Furbish” in 2013

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