How to celebrate Prime Day with your kids

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 6-year-old daughter Viva, who waits like Linus near the package room for the great Box with a Smile to arrive.

My daughter asked me, “What’s treason, Daddy?” Kids hear a lot of things at camp. 

“Why does the president like the Russians more than us?” Don’t kids ask the darndest questions? 

Just last week she asked me, “Why are there kids in cages?” And before that, “What’s a Code White?” 

And, of course, the evergreen “If everyone is marching all the time, why doesn’t anything change?” 

Today I’m able to say, “Hush, child. Don’t worry your pigtailed head. There are happier things to worry about. It’s Prime Day.”

What is Prime Day? It’s our hottest new holiday. Not stuffy and retrograde like Arbor Day or Secretaries Day. Not problematic like Thanksgiving nor divisive like the Fourth. It’s like the perfect secular Christmas — just the consumerism with none of the tricky mythology or the ubiquitous Wings song. It’s pure. A day to gather the family around the computer, log in to Amazon, and destroy our retail infrastructure by purchasing everything you could imagine online … including, and especially, stuff you didn’t know you needed! We’re stressed out these days — divided by disinformation campaigns, social media, geography, and income inequality, but one thing that helps us all calm down? Inexpensive consumer goods delivered quickly. This is the materialistic anesthesia we all need right now. 

Clear the family calendar

You can’t buy things if you aren’t staring at a screen. Don’t get me wrong, you can get the Prime app and still enjoy Prime Day by the pool, in the car, even standing in line to buy other things, but it’s best if you just take the day off, pull the kids out of camp, and huddle around a desktop or hand everyone a tablet. Shopping on an app is fine when you know what you want, but on Prime Day, you get TOLD what you want — and that’s best to do with a full keyboard, together, as a family.

Explore and learn

The great thing about the internet is that it reads all our mail and logs all our searches and then robots tell us how we should spend our money so that we can be our best selves. I didn’t know I needed a turntable to play records. I don’t own any records, except maybe “Pac-Man Fever” and that Muppets Christmas album with John Denver. But thanks to the explore button on Prime Day, I know that I’m only about $120 dollars away from being a hipster dad who spins wax. Also, this allows me to re-purchase all the music I own on cassette, CD and MP3 in an archaic format but with superior cover art and a charming hiss. Kids learn by doing, by experimenting and by making mistakes. A few clicks, a short journey, and some wrong turns, and my six-year-old daughter learned she needed a purple plush narwhal, a backpack that looks like a cat in a spaceship and a three-string solid body electric guitar. Now she can make art while carrying a stuffed narwhal in a spaceship backpack. She didn’t know that she could do that before.

Transform your kids‘ rooms

Maybe the best part about Prime Day is that the real deals are on computer devices that make it easier for you to buy more stuff from Amazon in the future. It’s like getting a bunch of Christmas Trees for Christmas. Think of how great the NEXT Christmas will be! I’ve already purchased multiple Echo Dots so that every room in our house, especially our daughter’s room, now has a tiny listening device that you can tell to order things for you. And when you aren’t buying things, you can pay to hear any music you want with just a voice command. Careful, though, they’re really kid friendly, and I rarely get through a full recording of Led Zeppelin doing “When the Levee Breaks” before Viva chimes in and gets Alexa to play the “Cat Flushing a Toilet” song. Luckily, 24 hours for now she can play it in her own room.

Eat

Amazon doesn’t just bring gadgets, it now brings food, AND it bought Whole Foods. Hopefully you’ve shopped at Whole Foods this week because if you did, you got at least $10 off a Prime Day purchase. Share your $6 asparagus water with the kids and enjoy your savings, then use your Prime membership to get a discount on Morel mushrooms and you won’t have to pay the full $320/lb.

Open together

In just one to two days — for free — all our loot will arrive, and then you can teach the kids box cutter safety and start opening! Remember the joy of sitting under the tree unwrapping a Red Ryder bb gun or a Dagobah playset with foam quicksand? Well, now you and the kids can open a glowing moon globe with touch controls or a remote pet camera that literally shoots a laser at your animals … on a Wednesday.

Holidays are for families. Don’t shop alone at work and deny the kids a chance to feel the rush of using spending as a momentary distraction from existential dread. Is Democracy dead? Maybe. How about God? Don’t ask me. All I know is, it’s Prime Day. Enjoy it.

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