Every parent eventually gets caught up in one of the latest holiday toy fads. Whether Zhu Zhu Pets, Tickle Me Elmo, or something else, we've all been there.

I’m so ashamed. I have officially become *that* parent. The kind of parent I used to laugh at and deride as a shmoe. I’m a Tickle Me Elmo mom!

Except it’s not Tickle Me Elmo. It’s those &%#@ed Zhu Zhu Pets!

Have you heard of them? They’re these little animatronic hamsters that run through a maze of little tubes, ride in mini-cars and basically act like glorified wind-up toys. For some reason they are THE HOT THING for Christmas this year.

And I just let my mother spend $50 on Amazon for one.

$50 – for a toy that normally would retail for $10. This after I realized people were lining up outside of Toys R Us and Target every morning hoping to snag one of the little buggers. I even drove to one of the stores the other morning, hoping to get lucky. I did not, however, wait in line, and for this I am proud.

In my defense, I wouldn’t normally go all gaga over the latest “must have” holiday toy fads. I still feel the same way I did when parents were climbing all over each other for Tickle Me Elmo. But here’s what happened.

My daughter saw commercials for these things over the summer and wanted one, so I told her I’d treat her if she did a good job her first week of kindergarten. She was so excited when we went to the store, only to find that nobody carried Zhu Zhu Pets. No problem, I thought, I’ll go online and order. Which I did. From Target. AND THE STUPID THINGS STILL HAVE NOT ARRIVED! (I just checked my order, and it says they haven’t shipped yet, but the estimated arrival date is November 18. OK…)

So, for the past three months, every time the UPS guy comes (or simply drives by our house), my daughter gets insanely happy. “My Zhu Zhu Pets are here! My Zhu Zhu Pets are here!”

Only no, it’s not the Zhu Zhu Pets, it’s a CPA study book for Daddy or clothes for her little sister. The other day, when the Zhu Zhu Pets commercial came on TV, she started crying. And normally that wouldn’t phase me, but I’d offered them to her as a treat for starting school and the child doesn’t understand the whole “people are knifing each other to get these things and apparently Target is lining its shelves with any they can get instead of fulfilling their online orders first, so sorry, Sweetie, that’s the law of supply and demand, and Mama will camp out to get you into a good school but she’s not going to camp out for a stupid wind-up hampster” thing.

I finally called my mom to see if she could keep her eye out for Zhu Zhu Pets in Manhattan, Kansas, because maybe people there are not as crazy as people here in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, though, Zhu Zhu mania has hit the entire freaking Midwest because Mom couldn’t find one in the Little Apple. Finally, she decided to just order a hamster at Amazon.

For $50.

So help me, God, my daughter better love and cherish and sleep with that thing until it falls apart. Because I know by February the stores won’t be able to give them away. Meanwhile, I feel like Veruca Salt’s dad from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Not because my daughter has behaved like a spoiled brat, but because I’m so ashamed of what I’ve become.

What about you, WMAGs? Have there ever been holiday toy fads for which you were willing to sacrifice your dignity?

(Oh, and Target, WTH?!?! You can send shipments of Zhu Zhu Pets to your stores for all of the people who are willing to line up for them, but you can’t fulfill an online order that was placed BACK IN AUGUST? I haven’t canceled that order, btw. If one of your little elves happens to read this, perhaps they can check and see what’s taking so freaking long, kthxbai.)

Every parent eventually gets caught up in one of the latest holiday toy fads. Whether Zhu Zhu Pets, Tickle Me Elmo, or something else, we've all been there.

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