An open Letter to VTech Toys UK:
Dear VTech UK,
We have a situation and she really didn't mean to.
Having watched me spend hours on my laptop my 3yo daughter coveted one of her own from a very young age. And then she found out, through visiting friends' houses, that they make laptops for children. Even for little children like her. "When can I have a compooter?" became a daily question.
Living in Israel it's not so simple a task as just going to the local toyshop and buying one. Of course they have the pre-schoolers' laptops here, this is Israel remember, one of the hi-tech capitals of the world. Our problem was that here all the laptops are programmed in Hebrew and we work in English at home.
No worries however, we just put in a request to Grandma in London. That was last May (2011). Grandma went on a fact-finding tour of all the toy departments in Brent Cross, the Early Learning Centre, Toys R Us and online. Eventually she chose the Pink (of course) VTech Laptop suitable for ages 3-6. Even though DD was only 2 1/2 at the time we were going to grow into it and grow with it.
I knew of someone coming out who was willing to bring it for us but Grandma, understandably, wanted to give it to DD herself. She was coming out for a visit in August. AUGUST!? That was three months away! Every day DD asked me when her compooter was coming. "Grandma is coming," I told her, "soon."
Finally Grandma and the laptop arrived. There was much excitement and DD has spent many hours over the past year listening to the tunes and pressing the buttons. It is only now, however, just over a year later, that she was really beginning to play some of the letter and number games. You were right it is for 3-6yos.
Two days ago DD was cutting out pictures from a toy catalogue that had come through the door. I was amazed at her dexterity and quite intricate pictures were tackled with great success. I only turned round for a minute (as the old song goes) and suddenly a cry of anguish pierced the air. Followed by floods of tears whilst sobbing, "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to! I'm sorry! I was an accident! I didn't mean to..." etc. DD was beside herself. I thought she'd cut her finger off to be honest.
What she had done was just placed the scissors on the cable connecting the mouse to the laptop to see what it felt like. And then she squeezed ever so slightly. Pictures below.
Dearest people at VTech UK, even she knew that this couldn't be fixed with selotake (sic). She really really didn't mean to. We are bereaved and bereft. If you could help us out with a new laptop for a soon to be 4yo I would take lots of photos of it and write lovely things about it (and you) here. You could even just send it to Grandma in London who would arrange for it to get to us. We would love you forever as well. If you would like to contact me I'm on twitter @midlifesinglem.
Thank you for reading,
Very Sad in Jerusalem and her very sad DD.
PS. We're not fussy. It wouldn't have to be a new InnoTab2 or anything fancy, just an old (obsolete even) laptop that we could play letter and number games on. Tnx
Within a day VTech Toys UK contacted me and they've been absolutely lovely and very helpful. Thank you VTech.