What to do about impractical gift requests?

The other day, I sat down with a cup of tea and my laptop, ready to take advantage of all three kids resting, but needed a light topic for the few minutes that I had. I asked Dave if he had any ideas and he promptly answered, “What to do about impractical gift requests from kids – like when your six-year-old wants a pogo stick for her birthday even though it will likely be snowy and she won’t be able to use it for several months.”

Ah, yes. This is a dilemma for us. Katherine has been asking for a pogo stick for months. Not too long ago she even said, “When I get a pogo stick, stilts, and a booster seat, I'll be perfectly happy because I'll have everything I want.” Well, she got a booster seat and she seemed to forget about the stilts, but we still hear about the pogo stick regularly.

The problem is that it’s just not practical. First of all, it’s a one-trick pony, which pretty much violates our golden rule of purchasing: No one-trick pony purchases. Especially when it comes to toys. Of course, exceptions can be made – like the milk frother for my latte – but rarely for toys. One-trick ponies lead to clutter (see kitchen counter). Second, her class will soon begin pogo-ing at recess, so she’ll get her chance then, no need to have it at home, too. In fact, she already gets to pogo at school. Third, her birthday is in winter, so she won’t even be able to use it until April or May (and there is no way we’re going to have her pogo-ing around the living room). Finally, we have other ideas in mind for her, things she’ll really like and that she can enjoy all winter.

But, she really wants a pogo stick. So here we are trying to find that balance between keeping things practical and giving in to a plain, old six-year-old wish.