“Go get the batteries”

We had a bit of drama this Christmas in our household. As with Swedish tradition, we get to open our presents on Christmas Eve evening. My son had wished for a Super Mario car racetrack so he was very excited when he got it. You could see how eager he was to start racing when my husband set it up. That’s when they asked me to go get the batteries.

“What batteries do you need?”

“Type C.”

“Type C?”

“Yes, Type C.”

”Erm…. What are they?”

That’s when our trouble started. We had tons of AA and AAAs but no Type C batteries. We had made a classic rookie parenting mistake. We hadn’t checked the box for what kind of batteries the toy needed and there we have stuck up a creek on Christmas Eve.

We started asking our friends on WhatsApp channels asking if anyone in the neighbourhood had any. YES! We found some. A friend had 2 of them. Only we needed 4 – argh!

“Not a problem. We’ll head to the main station tomorrow and pick some up.”. We promised our little boy.

The next day, we went to the main station to pick up the batteries. Only to find out that everything was closed. We hadn’t realized that due to the latest Covid restrictions, even the main station shops which are normally open 365 days a year were closed. And our trouble didn’t stop there. Not only were the shops shut on celebration days, but they would also be shut on Sunday. So that meant not being able to buy batteries Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I know it doesn’t sound long but it’s a long time for a 5-year-old who is asking about batteries every 10 minutes.

We widened the search to friends within Zurich and I told my husband that if it didn’t work out, I was going to ask on our local Facebook neighbourhood group. Most replied they had the same batteries as ours but not the ones we were looking for… until we got a reply saying “I’ve got a couple of really old ones so I don’t know if they will work”.

At this point, we were willing to give anything a shot. My husband went to get them and I told him to test them on the racetrack before showing our son. Just to be on the safe side.

And lucky for us – they worked! You should have seen and heard him as his Super Mario car was beating the green dragon car I was racing. Priceless.

Lessons learnt? We learnt a few actually.

  1. Always check what batteries you need when you buy a toy. I trust I will never make this mistake ever again.
  2. Don’t assume – stay updated with holiday shopping times.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  4. Friends are the best!

And that’s how our friends saved Christmas!