For those not familiar, the Tamagotchi is a small egg-shaped toy that children can raise as a virtual pet.
My daughter recently bought one for herself as well as a diary. If her diary is following the raising of her Tamagotchi, it would read as follows:
July 1: Dear Diary, I bought a new toy today. It is a Tamagotchi. I named her Eloise and she is so cute!
July 2: Dear Diary, Eloise died last night. I reset my Tamagotchi and now have a new pet named Jack. He is so cute!
July 3: Dear Diary, My new Tamagotchi’s name is…….
Apparently, like a real pet, the Tamagotchi cannot be neglected for a day. It will get angry if ignored, or misplaced, and will starve if not fed. The toy has indicators allowing its owner to know that the virtual pet needs to have its poop cleaned up, wants to play, feels sad, or is hungry.
As my daughter is perhaps on her 9th virtual pet, she has essentially lowered the price-to-pet ratio to mere cents, but another value she has learned is that it can be hard work taking care of something.
This morning, for instance, we were getting ready for the day when her Tamagotchi began to beep.
“Oh,” she groaned, “he needs me, like, every five minutes.”
“Welcome to the world of parenting, kid,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, when you’re a parent, your babies need you all the time. Then when they grow up, they think you’re an idiot.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
So I explained it again and she said,
“I don’t think you know what you’re talking about, Dad.”