At 10 months old, my daughter let me know that she was “bored” with our “committed” relationship.
“I want to “see” other people,” she said in toddler gibberish. “I want to play the field.”
I, I, I was heartbroken at “hearing” this. No, I was devastated. But I went along with it to make her happy. To make her happy, we tried out playdates and library storytimes to find “the one,” but we weren’t lucky.
We almost gave up hope, until her first birthday party. It was then that she was given a purple, talking dog whose name is Violet.
Violet works with a LeapFrog Connect software that you can install on your computer. Through this software, you can program Violet to “play” the best friend of your child. You can enter specifics about your child, their name and its spelling, their favorite food, color, animal, select their favorite songs, basically all the “juice” that only a best friend would know. And then through a touch of Violet’s four paws, you can have her regurgitate all she’s learned. I know. It’s so deceitful that it’s “sexy,” right?
My daughter fell in love with Violet in their first meeting. She likes that Violet can say her name, that she sings songs that she knows, songs like B-I-N-G-O and If You’re Happy and You Know It (with only some dog-twists on the lyrics). She also likes that Violet is soft and lovable and barks at, seemingly, random moments.
And I like that my toddler has a best friend. I like that I can use Violet to play lullabies to try (keyword:try) to help my toddler to sleep. I like that my toddler can easily use the controls in the paws. And, most of all, I like that she (Violet) can be turned off when I’m tired of hearing her bark or say my toddler’s name over and over and over again.
Other than talking a lot, and please don’t tell my toddler this, my only other complaint about My Pal Violet is that she can’t be washed. After a year of accompanying my toddler through mealtimes and painting projects, our Violet looks pretty bad. And while the product description does say that she can be spot cleaned with a cloth, I know that wouldn’t help our Violet much.
Overall, I think Violet is a great play friend for younger toddlers. And at $20, she’s well worth the money.