I resisted as long as possible, but finally gave in and got my kids Webkinz about a month ago. Webkinz are a lot like Beanie Babies, but these little critters come with a tag that has a special code which gives you access to their site where you can play with your animal online. The kids earn Kinz Cash by playing arcade games, and buy their animals furniture for their rooms, or food (because you have to play with your animal and feed it to keep it healthy), or toys, or clothes. You get the picture.
I like the Webkinz because they are a great bargaining tool. If the girls spend so much time reading they can have so much time on Webkinz World. Or if chores need to be done, there's no Webkinz until the job is complete. It's a great motivator.
I also confess to being hooked on some of the games (Solitaire and Tile Towers specifically). After the girls go to bed I'll log on and play games with the Webkinz. I'm earning them Kinz Cash, so it's time well spent, right?
Well, Nat was thrilled because she got 4 new Webkinz for her birthday. She got one at her party on Thursday, then 3 more on her birthday day. She was so excited about them that she cut all the tags off at the same time, and then later when we went to go register her pets, we didn't know who's tag went with whom. Now you would think that the brilliant minds at Webkinz would've thought about this, but they didn't. There is no way of finding out which animal belongs with which code until you plug it into the computer.
And even better, the first thing you enter is the name that you want for your pet and the second thing is your secret code. After that the picture of your pet pops up with it's own little profile. Oh and the best part is, that once you name your pet there is no way to change it. It's etched in virtual stone.
Thankfully the pony she got had already been entered the previous day, but we were now faced with three animals with three codes and no way to know which one was which.
We took our best guess, and entered the first name: Snakey. Nat was sure that this tag went with her snake. After the secret code was entered...drum roll please...up popped the picture of her Siamese cat. Nat was not happy. This is where I was losing my patience and lectured her about being so hasty with the darned tag removal. Of course that really wasn't helpful at this point.
Well then we entered the second tag. We had a 50/50 chance of getting this one right. Ok, name: Pandy because it's a panda of course. Secret code entered ...up pops the picture...and it's her snake. Ooops!
At least the last one we knew would be the panda and since the name Pandy had already been assigned to the reptile, she chose Oreo instead.
Nat can be very picky and particular, so the situation was becoming quite stressful for her. Thinking quickly, I told her that just as she has to have a different name to log on to Webkinz and can't use her real name, her pets have their own special "user names" now too, and she could name her actual stuffed animal whatever she wanted. For some reason she was quite satisfied with this explanation and disaster was averted!
I think the tag removal lesson was well learned if nothing else, and I gave myself points for coming up with a solution that she actually embraced. Whew! That was a close one though!