We're celebrating my daughter's birthday on Saturday. She'll be five. Last night, April and I went shopping for clothes and toys. I don't know what it was, but I couldn't find anything. I went back today during my conference period and had the same problem. I know she likes High School Musical, Hannah Montana, and Jonas Brothers. I don't think she's outgrown Dora or Disney Princesses yet, so those might still be options. From my adult perspective, all the toys seemed boring. She might play with any of them for a few minutes and move on to something else.

Does she want a Hannah Montana doll, or does a Barbie suffice? How many Barbies does she need? She doesn't seem to be a "collector" in that she must have the whole set. Would she want a Hello Kitty walkie-talkie, or would it be a constant reminder that her friend Mikayla isn't hanging out at our house? (Our houses are close enough; they could be within range...) She already has five purses. Does she need a High School Musical purse? And Jonas Brothers. I'm not ready for Jonas Brothers. I thought maybe a Hannah Montana poster. However, Toys'R'Us didn't have one. They did have a Twilight poster, but those two kids look drugged out and depressed. The exact opposite of forever chipper Miss Hannah.

And what is iCarly?

I was looking for a toy that seemingly did not exist: Something age appropriate that would creatively engage her. Something different from what she already has piled in her room. Something I could afford. (I'm already buying her a bicycle. The gift I was looking for is an extra something. I know I'm spoiling her. Shut up. The rest of the year is me telling her again and again: "No, you can't have that. Wait until your birthday.") Then I saw an Etch-A-Sketch, invented in the late 1950s. Everyone needs an Etch-A-Sketch. Classic. Now here's hoping the weather holds out tomorrow, so we can have the party outside at the park.