Return of the retro pet

My six-year-old granddaughter found the comics section from the Sunday newspaper I recently purchased (first time since I can’t say when). After poring over the funnies, she asked:

“Franna, can we do the crossword puzzle?”

Girl after my own heart…

“Sure, let me get a pen!”

On her own, she figured out ache for ‘Dull pain’ and treat for ‘Dog’s favorite word, probably’.

Then she asked: “What’s ‘Digital pet of the ’90s’?”

“Oh! Mister had one when he was little,” I replied (Mister is what she currently calls my son. This kid…). “I haven’t thought of it in years. A Tamagotchi.”

“Tamagotchi?! What is that?!”

I tried to explain.

Blank expression.

I looked it up and showed it to her on my phone.

She looked dubious.

There was only one logical thing to do….

It arrived today.

She picked it out (yes, they’re still out there; she chose one decorated like an ice cream cone).

She was, in a word, enraptured. Could hardly wait for the egg to hatch so she could figure out how to feed her Tamagotchi. And clean up after it. That was what puzzled her most when I was trying to explain how this thing….er, pet….works.

She’s a quick study in everything: “It wants my attention! Ohhhh nooo…it’s not happy! All its hearts are empty! Help! What do I do to make it happy?”

We tried to play a game with it but apparently we only made it mad.

Fortunately, Mister arrived around this time. With all the expertise of a previous Tamagotchi owner, he fed this digital pet of the ’90s a ton of snacks and filled all its hearts with happiness.

Then, with pure delight, my granddaughter cleaned up after it.

“When I am busy, you will have to Tamagotchi-sit,” she told my son, with authority.

I wonder if I am enjoying this too much…and if he remembers there’s an on/off switch…maybe I should remind him…

—Nah.

My granddaughter, waiting for the egg to hatch. By the time they left this evening, Tamagotchi had grown quite a bit and remained happy with all the attention it was getting (have fun with that, Son…).