There is a Flaw in our Plans to Teach our Kids to Read

A little reading is a dangerous thing. My daughter reads JUST well enough to get her through the following steps:

  1. Open the eBay app on my phone.
  2. Use the search function, which is so helpfully marked with the universal symbol for ‘search’, and type in the word ‘shopkin’. For those of you not in the know, a Shopkin is a tiny plastic figurine that, when sold in their natural groupings of five, cost more than a decent bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Shopkins toys
  3. Find a box of 30 blind baskets of Shopkins for sale. A blind basket is a tiny plastic shopping basket that you buy for the price of a grande caramel macchiato where you don’t know which figurines you are getting. Hence the term ‘blind’.
  4. Click Buy It Now

So she did.

It was $199 USD + $45 shipping.

It’s possible that I had a SMALL fit of pique when I saw that I had ‘won’ this $300 box of tiny plastic piece of crap toys. But once that initial feeling passed, I couldn’t decide if I was more proud of her ingenuity and improved reading skills, or more afraid.

I honestly and mistakenly, perhaps wildly optimistically, thought that something like the ‘buy it now’ transaction would be beyond her capabilities. How wrong I was. It could have been an expensive lesson for me. Thankfully, the seller was willing to let me out of the deal.

With no real understanding of the magnitude of what she had done, I couldn’t freak out the way I desperately wanted to so, instead, we had a long conversation about what’s okay to do on mommy’s phone and what will get a guaranteed cancellation of the next three to ten play dates, depending on the severity of the breach. I also changed the password for the phone and required that all apps with shopping go through a password, a retinal scan and three layers of Kevlar before anyone could use them. Because one expensive scare a month is more than enough.


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