Did you know prostitution is legal in Buenos Aires? It's true! But this post is not about that. It's about bribing my child with gifts to make up for my two week business trip.

While all my co-workers spent their free time shopping for leather bags and belts, I scoured toy shops for ways to assauge my guilt. (I bought a leather bag for myself too but that's beside the point.) My Mazzy gift selection, however, was complicated by the fact that toys in Argentina are not quite as conventional as they are back in the states.

Toys in Buenos Aires look like this:

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Uniquely awesome and playfully warped, every one of them. Not a Tickle Me Elmo in sight. And if that sounds unbelievable to you, there was not a Hokey Pokey Elmo or a Let's Rock Elmo available either. And if you so much as mention the TMX X-treme Special Edition 5000 Elmo, they might just throw you into the food bowl of that pink monster pictured above right.

In other words, Argentina was not going to make my Mazzy bribe come easy.

After much perusing, I decided on a half-dead un-Disney-esque handmade "Mu├▒eca Clara" doll from Sopa de Principe. Then I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

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When I came home (a few hours after the melon episode was over), I produced Tim Burton's muse from my suitcase. Mazzy yelled, "FRIEND!" (a word I have never heard her say before) and gave it a big hug.

Success!

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And then it got even sweeter.

A few minutes later, Mazzy noticed a plane in the distance fly past our bedroom window. Every time she sees one (it's a regular flight path), she yells "plane!" and points to it excitedly. This time was no different. Except after her initial announcement, she ran over to grab The Anti-Elmo, held the doll's face up to the window and yelled "Look, Friend! PLANE!"

It was a melt-your-heart-forget-about-the-two-handed-bitch-slap moment.

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Of course, Friend doesn't have quite the excitement longevity of Grammy's Mazzy-sized Minnie Mouse, currently taking up valuable lounging space on my living room couch and ruining what little is left of my home decor aesthetic.

But my bet's on Friend to win the "long con".

For starters, just yesterday Friend was telling me about how Minnie seems eager to test out the slide (aka the garbage chute) in the recycling room. And then today she started hinting about how Minnie loves to be charitable around the holidays and how her favorite cause is "Toys for Tots".

Friend, my friends, has some serious plans lurking behind those x'ed out eyes.

Poor Minnie.

Hugeminniemouse

She's going down ARGENTINA-STYLE.

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All toy pictures were taken at Tienda Palacio and Capital in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires.

A big thank you to Ana, a Mommy Shorts reader from a town called Pilar, who gave me a proper introduction to Dulce de Leche and helped me purchase an amazing painting on the street. She got married last Saturday, the same day her son turned one. Congratulations!