Tag Archive: parenting


Pleygo No More

madLegoAbout 3 weeks ago we were referred by a friend and fellow parent to a site called #Pleygo. An interesting service hailed as Netflix meets Lego. You subscribe and get a stream of lego sets sent to you. Depending on the plan (low, medium, and high) you can pick from different sets. Medium for example would be about $30 a month and sets would be about $85 on the shelf to buy.

Of course, handing a child a lego set has inherent risk. Pleygo advertises that the sets come with a side bag of extra common pieces; sets are completely sterilized between uses; they allow up to a certain number of pieces to be lost when being returned; and of course have a procedure to buy the set if your child absolutely doesn’t want to part with it.

All of this and a one month 30 day free trial!

Except… It didn’t work. It was a complete fail for us.

About a month ago, we decided to hand them a credit card and see what 30 days would bring us. After one week of Aiden checking the mailbox to no avail I called them. They told us that our wish list (viewing queue) wasn’t full and that they fulfill from the list in order of availability. I explained that there was no mention of requiring a full queue and there was no way to know that everything that was on our mostly filled (80%) queue was all unavailable.

While on the phone, I padded the queue to fill it and noted that it would be a STRONG suggestion to let users know what sets are currently available and which aren’t. I was told that I should see a set within the first 7-10 business days but there was a strong back log.

From here I explained that I was on the free trial. I wanted to emphasize that my interest here was “Trial” not “Free” and that I was evaluating their service. That to this point I had to explain to my seven year old why there was no mail for him on a daily basis and no way to know if there was ever going to be any. The person noted she’s take the comments down (but really gave an attitude of ‘this is just the way we work.’

Last evening, two weeks later, I got a general “Aren’t we great, New Sets” email from Pleygo. It saddens me that at this point they’d all but slipped my mind. I made a note to myself to do a followup call this morning. going to the website I was (less than) surprised that the support phone number is no longer there. There is a limited support section that is primarily driven by community postings. There is also a blog that primarily is proudly talking about their tie in to the recent Lego Movie.

A long time ago I might have had more patience for this. But now money is tighter. The idea of having a wealth of (fairly expensive) Lego open up to my child for far less (even though it was a subscription) seems like a fantastic idea. That being said, NOTHING is worth trying to comfort a crest fallen child every day for two weeks for reasons other than, “I guess we just have to wait, I don’t know what’s going on.”

Obviously, I cancelled my “Free Trial” as I take solace in the fact that at least it didn’t cost me financially to know that the service failed the trial. Honestly, I hope in the long run the idea succeeds. But for now… There is far too much broken in the system for a person to join that ecosystem.

Big Edit: My boy is not on a breathing tube. I couldn’t come up with the term for an Inhaler Spacer. Sorry for the scare.

—-

All of my flow seems trapped at the pipe between the road and the house. It’s sort of cordoned off.

So I’m going to refer to this as Water-Gate.

Anyway…

Last evening we made a trip to “Red Bullseye Store” and got a case of 6 gallon containers of purified water. (I now know that it takes 2.5 gallons to flush a toilet.

This morning we ran to Top Market and got 2 5-gallon jugs of drinking water. I tried last evening boiling down some fresh fallen snow and then putting it through the Britta water filter. Even top layer snow was kind of scary looking and when I put the boiled down snow into the filter; I think I heard it whimper… or scream.

Planned dinner last night was Andrei’s famous Spaghetti and Sauce-Meat. With the discovery of water lacking yesterday.. that got pushed off. We decided to acquire food from the finest of France, “Les Arches d’Or.”

This evening however, I was hell bent on making the dinner come together.

I think I was able to do dinner on 1/2 gallon of water. And my conservation efforts worked miracles.

The pot the spaghetti cooked in was the lower pot of the steamer for the vegetables. The spaghetti pot drained into the sauce meat pot for cleaning purposes.

In general all of the dishes have been fairly well rinsed and can be cleaned completely with a damp wash cloth and some soap.

Dinner was appreciated by all.

So… tonight, H & a play with Bubble Wrap. “Buh-bool” is his newest word. He’s picking up a new word almost every other day. And they aren’t easy ones. This week’s have been “Puppy”, “Snow” and “Bubble”. Snow makes me very happy, because it is a consonant cluster. Hopefully, this wont mess up his eventual study of Japanese.

While on the topic of the little “a”… I showed them Madagascar last night. Amusingly; when the “Move It” song came on; Aiden started to dance. Real dancing. Bouncing up and down to the music, twisting his hips, and swinging his arms.

But the real story comes from Wednesday and Thursday night.

Many have scoffed at the fact that we put Aiden down ‘manually’ every night. This means we are in his bedroom with him from the time we intend him to go to sleep until he’s asleep. At one time this could be upwards of 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. We got an iPod speaker system and programmed up some sleepy music. This came as a result at marvelling how amazingly DayCare could get him down for noon time nap. AND!!! AND!!! have it stick for 2 hrs.

So… this has added to the effort which has been improving. I’d say over the last month we’ve gotten him down in 15-20 minutes. And truthfully… I really don’t mind spending bedtime with him :)

But.. the real struggle is getting him to stay down. Like clockwork he tended to wake up at 10pm and 1am. At 10 pm I’d work to get him down again. At 1am… I usually was in bed and just picked him up and put him back into bed with us.

Wednesday Aiden wandered out while I was in the bathroom after H had gone to sleep. C picked him up. I came out and took him. We went back in his room. I asked if he needed to be changed and he made a yes-ish noise. I turned to the closet; fetched what I needed, turned around and he was out again. Normally, getting him back down after he’s gotten out of bed is very difficult. This was an amazing change. He didn’t seem wet… so I let him sleep. At about 12:30 he woke again. He looked at me and made his sign for drink. (He makes the ASL sign for food and tips his head back as if he’s slamming a drink). I asked him to wait in bed while I refilled his cup. Again.. this is something we wish for that never happens. Well, until Wednesday. I brought him the cup, he took a sip and went back to sleep. I turned in assuming he’d not really gone back to sleep and I’d hear from him within 15 minutes or so. Or would I. When I heard him cry at the gate for our bedroom door I checked the clock and it was 3:15 am. A new Aiden record. Glee.

Until Thursday. Aiden slept in until 5:50 am. I get up at 6am typically. If I can get Aiden to stay in his bed until 6 am regularly. I consider that a complete win.

Last night was about 1:15am. About normal. But… I really think we’re making great progress. As for tonight… well.. it’s almost 8pm… So we’ll see how that went shortly.

No water… No real social life. Cancelled one of the few social events of the past 5 months that I have.

But things are going.

Fingers x’ed

Oh yes. One more thing…

Aiden is now fully capable to handle his inhaler. He can shake it, insert it in the breathing tube and knows where to press. He’s not quite strong enough on his own. He’s a marvellous growing person.

I want to know how this wiring works between father and son.

Since having “A” I have discovered that I am an absolute pawn to media over small children.

Commercials with them make me contemplate the product. Movies with them make me defensive.

And don’t get me started about Mufasa’s death scene in “Lion King”

Recently, I’ve been watching “The Guild” – this is the program that effectively inspired “Dr. Horrible” to be made.

The basic plot is a series of “Insert your favourite WoW like game” addicts trying to interact with the real world.

The irony is not without merit, but it was really hard for me to enjoy this over time due to a need for suspending not only disbelief but also resigning some core issues that have developed as a parent.

I suppose it just goes too far into the realm of “Look how disfunctional online game addiction can make you.”

To be honest I absolutely resent two of the characters, have no pity for the rest, and can not even laugh at the jokes about children. I don’t know if I can make it through more episodes after numbers 6 and 7.

Don’t get me wrong. I salute them for the work done on this guerilla project. It’s amazing and a great step for independent-made-for-internet entertainment. I’m just personally not entertained.

I used to have a very macabre sense of humour. Verging on warped, twisted, and actually broken in 3 places likely needing a permanent pin.

But each episode just makes me more an more uncomfortable.

What happened to my sense of humour?