Family Friday: Star Wars Darth Vader Game

It feels like I first heard about this Darth Vader Simon Says game years ago — but I haven’t been able to get one. I recently found it at Amazon, though (just in time for my older son’s sixth birthday), where it’s currently the #1 new release in kids’ handheld games. When I last checked, there were only four left in stock, but today the page doesn’t have that message, so Amazon must have gotten more. Still, if your Star Wars fan would love this game, I wouldn’t wait too long to grab it. Simon Star Wars Darth Vader Game

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  1. CPA Lady says:

    …. Darth Vader Simon Says?

    “Darth Vader says, lift your enemy by his throat and hold him above the floor as he chokes”
    “Darth Vader says, blow up an entire planet”
    “Darth Vader says, capture your daughter and imprison her”

    I’m sure that’s not what it is, but that’s immediately what came to my mind!

  2. My son loves dolls. His older sister is getting an American Girl Bitty Baby doll for Christmas, and I really want to get him a similar doll. They have one older boy, but I don’t see any babies.

    Does anyone have a Bitty Baby? Is it anatomically correct? Could I pass it off as a boy doll for him? Any suggestions for dolls similar to Bitty Babys, but that are boy baby dolls? I’m not worried about the clothes, it looks like there are plenty of options on Etsy (and I’ve also heard premie clothes fit too).

    • We ended up just getting the girl doll, and my son eventually declared it was a boy. But we went with the Corelle brand (not anatomically correct). So I get that this would be an issue if the Bitty Babies are anatomically correct.

      I know Bitty Baby used to make a boy (the twins if I am not mistaken) Maybe you could find one on e-bay?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      My daughter has the Bitty Baby. It doesn’t have any anatomy.

    • shortperson says:

      bitty baby is gender neutral. comes in a pink onesie but you can also pick out a sleeper and they have a green option. the accessories are all pink but they are hideous anyway so yes etsy is a better bet for everyone. we bought diapers from lilsmunchiedolls on etsy and she has boy pattern options.

      • Thanks everyone! Good to know they don’t have anatomy so I can say it’s a boy. And thanks for the specific Etsy shop rec – my plan was to dress both in gender-neutral options but I like the boy/girl diaper idea to help them tell their dolls apart.

  3. November birthdays says:

    Oh my gosh, this is awesome. I have ordered it for my little Star Wars fan. The question is, can I hold onto this until his November birthday, or will I cave it and give it to him sooner? :) We don’t buy toys very often so that would an An Event in our household.

    • Give it to him earlier! I have so much fun doing this kind of thing once in a blue moon. We did ice cream for dinner a few months ago and my stepdaughter could not believe it. It was hilarious and a lot of fun. Why have stickler rules if you can’t break them once in a while?

  4. My 3 year old has declared he wants some strawberry PJs, when I asked him this morning what kind he wanted (his current size is getting too small). He has really sensitive skin, so I’ve always purchased Hanna Andersson PJs, but have been really unimpressed with their quality since they changed ownership (holes in every pair we’ve purchased since then).

    Any other brand that you have experience with that have 100% cotton? Bonus if you’ve seen a strawberry pair. I’m not used to looking in the girl section, so i’m not sure if this is going to be an impossible hunting mission or not.

    • Trying going on ShopStyle and searching for strawberry clothes for kids :)

    • Have you tried the Gap outlet? I found some 100% cotton PJs for my daughter and they’re holding up beautifully. No fading whatsoever, even after 4 months of heavy wear. I had low expectations, but I’ve been impressed. No idea if strawberries are an option, though. I can tell you that lemons were. :)

    • Anonymous says:

      This is such an adorable request. My son’s skin is pretty sensitive, and we have good luck with Old Navy. We just make sure we always use the extra rinse setting on the washing machine. You also need to size up on the Old Navy PJs in my experience, my son is a 3T, but wears 5T pajamas.

      I’ve heard good things about H&M kids clothing also, but have no personal experience.

    • If you have a Costco membership, they have Kirkland 100% organic cotton ones we love. I like the Hanna’s and we have a mix, but haven’t noticed any quality changes.

    • Carters, Old Navy, Gymboree, etc. all have 100% cotton PJs. We have a lot of carter’s ones, most of them second hand, that hold up fine.

      • Anonymous says:

        Also Gap (they have strawberry/fruit ones in 100% cotton right now, too) and Target (specifically, Cat & Jack).

    • Anonymous says:

      Fruit pjs (100% polyester):

      Fruit pjs (100% cotton):

      Keep an eye out for Target’s new line of clothes for sensory-sensitive kids. They’re coming out with Cat & Jack seamless clothes, I think this fall.

    • EB0220 says:

      I have no recommendation, but this request reminded me of my beloved Strawberry Shortcake nightgown from 1986.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I am not sure about sensitive skin, but my daughter had footie jammies with a strawberry on the tush (and the feet were strawberries too) from Carters and I looooved them.

    • octagon says:

      Tea collection might. Also check Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack — I forget the brand, but we have some really cute thick cotton PJs that came from there.

  5. What to do when your kid doesn't like you... says:

    Following up on Monday’s discussion about your kid acting as if s/he doesn’t like you. My son is almost 4. I’ve been the non-preferred parent for months and it’s getting worse rather than better. He won’t let me hug or kiss him (but loves getting hugs and kisses from my husband and baby brother), never says “I love you” to me (again, he says this to my husband and baby bro), won’t let me participate in play with him, keeps saying that he doesn’t want to have a mama and that only he, my husband and the baby should live in our house, is not excited to see me at pickup, etc. I understand that it’s commonplace for a kid not to like you one minute and to be fine the next, but this is constant.

    Thoughts on how you would handle the situation? Just keep trying? Being rejected by your kid makes romantic rejection look like a walk in the park.

    • That sounds really, really tough. Would you feel comfortable bringing up with your ped just to check in if that level/duration is common?

    • CPA Lady says:

      Old Navy had some this spring. The pants had a strawberry print and the t shirt had a giant strawberry on it that said “locally grown”. It also came with striped shorts. 100% cotton. Good quality for the price. I really like their pajamas even though I bought them just because it was convenient.

    • mascot says:

      How is he during one on one time with you? Can you start super fun activities that are just the 2 of you where he doesn’t have the option to seek out dad? This was my husband’s approach since I was the preferred parent. Ultimately our son outgrew this phase, but my husband was really sad when it was going on. Having some special dad/son time and memories made this more tolerable, I think.

    • This sounds heartbreaking. I second checking w the ped. Big hugs to you mama.

      How old is baby brother? Could this be a prolonged reaction to you spending time taking care of the baby instead of being as focused on him as you used to be? If so, maybe passing off the baby to your husband for a day and having a special outing w the just you and 4yo, doing things that he loves that aren’t possible w the baby around, might help.

    • Sarabeth says:

      My daughter is almost 4. I’ve been the non-preferred parent since before her first birthday. The intensity varies – it’s worse after I travel (I have to take 2-3 week work trips a few times a year) and during other stressful times. It definitely got worse when her younger brother was born, but it was around well before that. This morning she was literally hyperventilating because I came into her room to help her get ready instead of her dad.

      How we handle it: I try very hard to carve out special time just for the two of us. It’s bad right now, and I think that’s partly because we’ve had a really hectic month and hadn’t been able to do this, so I took her to the park across the street for 15 minutes this morning before taking the kids to daycare. She is MUCH more willing to play with me when dad is not around. We rotate bedtime and morning routine strictly; she doesn’t love it, but she knows that mom and dad swap off, so there’s no reward in pitching a fit because mom is putting her to bed. She always has the option to get ready or go to bed by herself, but dad will not do it if it’s mom’s turn. We also try to have my husband be the “bad cop” and me be the “good cop” as much as possible. If we bought her a treat, I give it to her; if she’s hit her brother and has to go to her room to cool off, my husband enforces that. This runs against our natural dispositions – I’m sure that part of the reason she prefers her dad is that he is naturally the looser, more fun parent. But doing this consciously helps to even both of us out. We also talk a lot about how it’s ok that you don’t want to be with mama right now, but you still have to be polite. No requirement to hug/kiss/say I love you, but she does need to speak to me nicely when we are together, or she has to be by herself. Sometimes she chooses to be by herself, which is ok – we don’t cast that as punishment – but if she wants a grown-up to be with her, she has to be reasonably polite (within the bounds of normal 3/4 year-old behavior).

      Sorry that you are going through this. It can really, really suck. We haven’t actually gone to a family therapist about it, but we’ve considered it, and we may yet do it if things stay as bad as they are right now. What helps me the most is to remember that everyone has unique challenges in parenting, and this is mine right now. Being a good mom means that I keep showing up for her and showing her that I love her, even when she doesn’t reciprocate. I do think that she knows that I love her tremendously, and I think that knowledge will help her grow up to be emotionally healthy, even if she doesn’t always like me.

      • I am really amazed at how well you have approached this. You and your husband sound like a great team.

      • Anonymous says:

        This made me cry. You are such an incredible mother and woman for being able to do this for your daughter.

      • Sarabeth says:

        Thanks, y’all. Not going to lie, it can be very very hard, but she’s worth it, you know?

      • AwayEmily says:

        Agreed with the above — this is so wonderful, and also very useful advice!

    • Spirograph says:

      ooof, that is really difficult, and I’m sorry you’re dealing with it.

      I do think this is likely a weird phase and not cause and effect, but it’s worth thinking about how you and your husband divide parenting duties. For example, are you the one who’s always herding the kids to get out of the house, reminding them to pick up their toys, enforcing bedtime etc, while your husband is more often the one who supervises/participates in playtime? There’s a Daniel Tiger episode about ways to show you love someone, and it’s things like giving them a gift, making a cake, helping, giving hugs, etc. My kids are 2 and 4, and after they watched that, every time we gave them something, even if it was just setting their plate on the table at dinner, they sang the little jingle about ways to show love. It was really sweet, and I liked the show’s message that simple everyday ways a family takes care of eachother = love.

      But yes, you have to just keep trying. Offer hugs, tell him you love him, and wait for him to come back to you. I’m sure it will happen!

    • POSITA says:

      How old is your baby? We went through something similar when my second was born and are just now starting to feel like we might have moved past it.

      Our oldest was just over 2.5 when I had my second, but is almost 4 now. My oldest had always loved me and I had been her preferred parent (though she also loved my husband). She was uber excited about having a new sister. We read her all of the books to prepare her and did lots of talking. When the baby arrived she was thrilled. She was head over heels for her sister. At the same time, she was absolutely furious with me. It’s like I was the cheating spouse. I wasn’t allowed to touch her, speak to her, or do anything for her. She viewed my absence for the birth as an absolute betrayal and my need to care for the baby as an ongoing affront. She was a little mad at my husband, but I got the vast quantity of her furry. It took us months to work through her anger. Just this morning (the baby is 15 months) she initiated cuddling with me for the first time since her sister arrived. I totally welled up. I’ve missed her.

      Going into the birth, I was absolutely unprepared for her to be mad at me; I thought that anger was usually directed towards the sibling. We haven’t done anything special to try to ‘fix’ the problem. I found early on that trying to force her to spend time with me just made her more angry and resentful. Since then I’ve tried to respect her feelings while loving her the best that I can. It’s been a process. The first 5 months or so were especially hard.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh wow, this gets me in the gut… Son is 25 months and I am expecting baby brother any day now. He seems to be excited for the baby and “understands” that baby is coming to live with us and be part of our family. I really hope he doesn’t see it as a betrayal, but I guess you never know. I’m also a stay at home parent, so we spend a lot of time together and he’s used to having me to himself; I don’t know if that will make things better or worse! Luckily my husband has a generous paternity leave, so we can make the transition as easy as possible and make time for me to spend 1:1 with him in the early weeks.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think I’m still mad at the ongoing affront that is my younger sibling…

    • Sabba says:

      Could you look for a play therapist in your area?

  6. anne-on says:

    Just a vent – I’m off on vacation next week, so of course I had a deadline moved on me to right smack dab in the middle of my trip. I’ve got a few calls to deal with on top of that deadline, and my dog apparently has a bladder infection which resulted in her ruining a (cheap at least) rug in my kiddos play room. Thank god the vet could see the dog today since she’s going to be boarded this afternoon. Sigh. At least I’ll have earned this break!

    • EB0220 says:

      The universe must pack the same amount of crazy into fewer days when you are getting ready for vacation!

      • Anon for this says:

        This is my experience this week. I am on vacation next week, and so far this week I’ve had sick kid, sick me, and a major HR issue with a direct report. I didn’t handle the HR issue as well as I could have (because sick kid, sick me), so now my boss is displeased with me, too. Tomorrow, though, I’ll be on the beach. Tomorrow, tomorrow…

  7. Help me with my 13 months. she’s a great sleeper but has been waking up crying at 5AM every morning. She goes to bed around 7:30PM and she’s super tired at that point. Pushing bedtime any later turns into tears and screaming. When I finally give up on her falling back to sleep the only thing that will calm her down is cuddles. Is this separation anxiety? She recently switched daycare to be with toddlers and cries most morning when I drop her off. Will this pass on it’s own? All I want is an extra hour of sleep so I’m not already exhausted when I get to work :(

    • She’s tired. Counterintuitive, but I think 7:30 is a pretty late bedtime for 13 months. Sleep begets sleep, so it’s a cycle of overtired kids. If she’s super tired at 7:30, I’d try moving bedtime back to 7:00 or even 6:30. I think we did 6:30 until around 16 months, and it’s gradually moved back to around 7:30 now (22 months). She generally doesn’t wake up until after 6, but if she does she plays on her own until I go get her around 6:30.

    • With any sleep issue I try to consider the total hours of sleep the child is getting in a day. How long are naps? Is she dropping a nap? Sometimes little kids wake up early because they don’t need more nighttime sleep, but you may not be able to push bedtime later (and wake time later) without moving naps, and ultimately you may just have to ride it out.

      Also I think there are a number of developmental leaps going on around this age – learning to talk and walk – which, combined with the transition to one nap made this age kind of a mess for us, sleep-wise.

      Separation anxiety after switching daycares sounds totally normal.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I would also suggest an earlier bedtime…maybe 6:45 or 7? And I know I have broken-recorded on this before, but the OK to Wake clock is amazing (and yes, it even works for babies once they learn to make the association between “green light” and “parent coming to get me”). We successfully started with it at around 7 months. Now at 17 months she sleeps from 7pm to 5:45am, and then hangs out quietly in her room (sometimes chatting a little, sometimes fussing a little, but rarely crying) until 6:30am when her clock turns green. That’s the other thing– you may just have an early riser. We have tried *everything* to get her to sleep past 6am (earlier bedtimes, later bedtimes, lighting changes, time zone changes) and it just won’t happen. The magic clock at least means that we can sleep or get stuff done until 6:30.

    • octagon says:

      +1 to an earlier bedtime.

      Also, we went through almost the exact same thing around the time of the transition to the toddler room. It’s like the day was so overwhelming it affected sleep as well. Got easier sleepwise after a few (really hard) weeks. The separation anxiety finally eased after about 3 months. Hang in there!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Any recommendations for clothes for a very tall but also very skinny newborn boy?

    My six week old is too long for newborn clothes (already?!?! slow down baby boy!!!) but 0-3/3 month clothing is huge on him. It fits him lengthwise but he’s otherwise swimming in it because he’s such a string bean. My daughter was a peanut who wore newborn clothes until she was four months old. This insanely tall baby is new territory for me.

    • EB0220 says:

      I found that Gap Baby was good for long and skinny babies.

      • interesting, I found the opposite (but this was 3.5 years ago). Tea collection has always been my go-to for long and skinny.

        • EB0220 says:

          Interesting! My items were more like 5 years ago, but I remember having some footed PJs that were super long and skinny. I do agree, Tea is my current go-to for long and skinny 3 & 5 year olds.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Same – Gap didn’t work well for my long and skinny kid. Hanna Andersson works best for us.

          • Yeah, I also found Gap to be short and wide. Carter’s and H&M fit best on our long baby.

    • EB0220 says:

      This is hilarious. Definitely ignore my recommendation OP!!

  9. anonnnn says:

    Recommendations for iphone videos or games to distract a 8 month old? Kiddo has an echocardiogram this afternoon. For various reasons, we want it to be done today, which means doing it without sedation. I know this is young but any ideas for things I can use to distract and keep kiddo calm during the procedure?

    • SharkMommy says:

      Perhaps an fish aquarium (real or cartoon)? Or a simple balloon popping app? At such a young age, kiddo will probably just watch the balloons/fish rather than touch.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Try videos and pictures of family members, and animal videos on YouTube Kids.

    • Marilla says:

      Dave and Ava videos on YouTube work well for our daughter. She kind of goes into a mesmerized trance. Good luck! I think an ECG or anything similar is a totally valid reason to use screen time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just went through this with a 5 month old! We fed him a bottle during the procedure as well which kept him still for a bit.

  10. for what to do... says:

    Sorry. In-thread response isn’t working for me.

    Are you me? For us, this tracks with how well-rested my son is. When he has a streak of going to bed too late or not napping enough, it’s awful. When he’s well-rested and we get some extra time together, things are pretty good.

  11. Can people share how they handle tv time with their toddlers? I know the guidelines say that there should be no screen time for babies under 18 months, but is 30 minutes of Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger that bad if we are watching it with our toddler? I understand why we should not park our child in front of the tv for long periods of time but the hard and fast “no tv” rule seems so unrealistic to me…

    • Anon in NYC says:

      For my two cents, there’s nothing wrong with that approach. And I think they’ve actually changed that recommendation now so it’s no longer “absolutely not.”

      For us (2 years old), we strategically use screen time when we need it. Some of those times are: when one of us is solo parenting and needs to take a shower; when we’ve gotten home from daycare and she’s having a meltdown because she’s tired and hungry and I need to make dinner; post-bath for 10 minutes as a treat; when it’s 6 am on a Saturday and she’s awake 1.5 hours earlier than normal and we’d really like to continue dozing; when she’s sick. All in all, my daughter probably watches no more than an hour of tv a week. Some weeks a little bit more, but other weeks almost none. She asks for it all the time though (blerg).

    • CPA Lady says:

      Yall are going to think I’m such an awful parent. But … I let my kid watch a lot of TV. She’s about to turn 3 and my husband travels extensively for work. I park her in front of it (yes. I’m that mom) for probably an hour a day, split up between 20 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the evening so I can get myself ready in the morning and get dinner ready and have a few minutes to myself in the evening. She watches about half that amount when my husband is in town and can do some of the parenting. If she turns out dumb I’ll hire a tutor.

      • CPA Lady says:

        (I like to think I’m here to make everyone feel better about themselves, which is a valuable service, when you think about it)

        • I rarely comment here (mostly a longtime lurker), but wanted to say your comment made me smile. We all do the best that we can with the time and information we’ve got, right? :) And PS – my almost 3-year-old watches a decent amount of TV too, especially on the weekend. What can you do?

      • Spirograph says:

        lol at your last sentence!

        We often let the kids watch TV for an hour or so on weekend mornings, and probably a couple nights a week when we just need a break. Especially if the weather’s bad and we can’t keep the kids outside while we’re getting dinner ready. No TV in the mornings because they don’t get ready for school fast enough.

        They only watch Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street (not so into this right now, actually) and Paw Patrol. We DVR everything. If they’re watching Paw Patrol, I try to watch with them so I can fast forward through the commercials. My 1 year old is sometimes in the room with the TV on and I cringe a little if he stops playing with his toys and stares at the TV, but meh.

      • I don’t think that’s terrible…I’d say my kid (age 2) averages at least 30 min and prob more a day (but before 18 months he watched basically nothing). And yes I do that “parking” method, too, because why do I want to sit and watch a boring kid show when I could be using that time for something else (even if that is sitting in a chair and reading)?

        My real concern is not so much the TV watching, it’s the available programs and how they can contribute to a shorter attention span because the frames all switch so darn quickly. I was just looking at some research on this… Mr. Rogers is apparently a great show because it has a much calmer pace and is essentially a person talking to you, vs Baby Einstein where the pictures are changing at a frenetic pace. Barney is better than Sesame street for the same reason. I don’t go nuts over this, but it does give me something to think about.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Hugs. My kiddo watches a full episode of TV every morning while she eats breakfast. On a good day at my house, that’s it. On a bad day at my house, probably double that….on an average day at her dad’s house, she might watch a full-length Disney movie. She is 3.5.

        And fwiw, she would probably get an extra show in the evening while I prepped dinner except she turns into a snarly little monster with any screen time after about 4 pm. I’ve taken to playing the Disney Story Central podcasts of her favorite movies in lieu of screen time after 4 pm.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      My family is bad at moderation but good at rules. So we have no TV/videos at all on weekdays, ever, and unlimited TV/videos on weekends. It works out pretty well because Kiddo (2.5) doesn’t actually like TV that much… like she wants to watch it, but once it’s on she watches for 10 minutes or so and then wanders off to do something else. I think it’s good that it’s not some rare forbidden fruit; she can glut herself on weekends if she wants, but since she can, she’s just kind of ‘meh’ about it.

      • Carine says:

        This was us until my daughter got older. She started to like and ask for TV a lot around 3.5 – which is also when her baby brother was born – and I also realized that I was making weekdays so much harder on myself by not allowing any screentime! So we actually switched our rules around and usually have no screentime on weekends, when we can take her to the park, or guide her toward books or crafts or coloring or pretend play and usually pass the time pretty easily. On weekdays, it’s not every morning or every evening, but we do allow 20-30 minutes of TV when needed to get through our busiest, most hectic and cranky times. Usually educational shows like others have mentioned – Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street.

        And of course the baby (well, 20mos) sees the TV on more than his sister did at that age because we couldn’t exactly walk back what was appropriate for her just because her little brother was around. He is not old enough to be interested for very long, though, so he will watch for a bit and then do other things.

        I don’t agonize over it as much as I used to.

    • I don’t worry about screen time – I’m solo parent most days so need something to distract them. My kids (2 and 4) watch 20 min every day after daycare while I get dinner ready. They watch ~1 hour (3 shows) on Saturday morning while I drink coffee and ease into the weekend. And we watch a family movie every other Friday night. They also probably each get about 20 min of iPad or phone time a couple times a month as well.

      We watch roughly educational shows (Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street, Umizoomi, Wallykazam, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) and I made sure to watch them first so I knew what kind of show it was (So no Mickey Roadsters, because the way they treat Minnie/Daisy is pretty awful imho.)

  12. We are in the (what I presume to be rare) camp of little to no TV (we have a 3.5yo and 1.5yo). I’d say we average about 3 shows per month, and these are utilized when we are tired/sick/had a rough day. When my youngest was born we were letting the eldest watch a lot of TV (cause newborn plus 2yo was really tough sometimes) but eventually weaned off (maybe when my youngest was 6 weeks?) because we noticed a huge uptick in bad behavior from the eldest after he had been watching. I think the TV was just sensory overload for him, so even though he was calm while watching, it would send him into sensory overdrive.

    I think this is doable for us because both boys go to daycare, and we spend our weekends very on the go. Not necessarily the right choice for every family, but it works well for us. I don’t think a show is going to ruin kids or is even bad from them, but we like that watching TV is not an automatic in our house, it’s something that we sometimes do, but our kids rarely ask for it. Now that my 3.5 is becoming more independent, I also like that when he’s bored he runs for his toys and/or books, rather than thinking the TV will entertain him. I’m hoping this will help with future technology power struggles, but i think that is wishful thinking on my part :)

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