Dream Lite, sleep tight, starry night with Dreeeeeam Lite
Dream Lite, all night, keep dreaming on with DREAM LITE!!!1
If you’re a parent whose child watches even ten seconds of television per year, you know exactly what I’m talking about and I sincerely apologize for reminding you of that godawful commercial and dooming you to hum it to yourself all day or until you smash your head into the wall, whichever comes first. For those of you fortunate to have somehow escaped the reaches of Dream Lite’s impressively pervasive marketing, allow me to fill you in: a Dream Lite is a nightlight/stuffed animal amalgamation that combines busted-looking plush toys with LED lights to beam multicolored moons and stars onto the ceiling, and it is apparently compulsory for all children under six years of age to own one. They bear little resemblance to the animals they purport to represent and the lights are so bright they are more likely to keep your child awake all night than soothe them to sleep. Best of all, the dizzying light show they project is liable to nauseate anyone with a propensity for motion sickness if stared at for more than ten consecutive seconds.
Bubba, of course, loves his Dream Lite, a sad-looking turtle who looks none too pleased to be responsible for his obnoxious behavior. Mr. Dream Lite has been a nightly staple in Bubba’s room since he arrived from Amazon a few months ago; Bubba has even hollered for me to turn the damn thing on at 2am more than once. While I do find the stupid thing annoying (I wasn’t kidding about the nausea), I can see the appeal it holds and I continue to indulge Bubba’s fascination with it night in and night out.
A couple weeks ago, the usually dependable Mr. Dream Lite started showing signs of malfunction or perhaps drug use — his typically uber-bright lights were so dim we could barely see them, and sometimes it took several clicks of the power button along with a good shake to get him going at all. After a few days of this troubling behavior, he refused be roused for his duties altogether and I finally accepted that I’d have to get off my ass and change the damn batteries, a process that involves removing the world’s tiniest and most tightly-secured screw to access the battery compartment. With Bubba watching intently, I swapped out the batteries and re-secured the Fort Knox battery door, then clicked the power button to enjoy a performance from our freshly rejuvenated Dream Lite friend.
To our collective dismay, nothing happened. The batteries had failed to revive poor Mr. Dream Lite! Bubba politely asked me to “fix it pwease,” and when I told him that I wasn’t sure how, he asked me again, less politely this time. He eventually gave up and we forgot all about it until the next night when we had the exact same conversation, a pattern that repeated itself for about 10 days until I finally accepted that I’d have to get off my ass and change the damn LEDs (because what else could it be, now that we know fresh batteries weren’t the cure?). I promised Bubba we could buy some new lightbulbs at Target the very next day, then consulted Google to locate instructions for swapping out the lights.
It was at this point that I discovered that the good folks over at Dream Lite either hate their customers or assume we are all mechanical engineers with a fully-stocked toolshed at our disposal, because the instructions for changing the LEDs require, I kid you not, a SOLDERING IRON. Based on my reaction to having to remove one screw to access the battery compartment, it should not surprise you to learn that I have never even seen a soldering iron, much less own one or know how to operate one. Supremely irritated at this latest development in The Great Dream Lite Saga of 2014, I tossed the stupid turtle aside and resigned myself to buying a new one, all the while cursing the nightlight gods that had so cruelly chosen to smite me.
Luckily, I happened to mention my dismay on Facebook and my wonderful sister kindly offered to give me her daughters’ Dream Lite. I believe the exact words of her generous offer were “please, take this stupid thing out of my house.” Unfortunately for Bubba, this replacement Dream Lite was a pink unicorn instead of a manly green turtle, but Dream Lite beggars can’t be Dream Lite choosers, so we trekked out to my sister’s house to pick up the newest addition to our overflowing collection of ridiculous toys. She warned me that it would need fresh batteries and off we went, eager to put him to work keeping Bubba awake all night with flashing stars and moons.
Obviously, the story doesn’t stop here — that would be way too easy. If you think we got home and fired up that godforsaken pink unicorn with no further issues, you’re adorably naive and optimistic and clearly unfamiliar with the law of children’s toys, which dictates that whichever toy your child most loves will inevitably cause the most trouble for the parent.
No, the unicorn did NOT work, even with brand new batteries. Of course not. WHAT THE HELL, DREAM LITE?! WHY DO YOU HATE ME AND WANT ME TO SUFFER SO TERRIBLY?! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME????
I was about two seconds from throwing both of these hideous creatures across the room when I remembered that I had another pack of batteries in the house2 and decided to think like a scientist for a moment3 before giving up all hope. Is it possible, I pondered, that the batteries are to blame, even though they are brand new? Perhaps I should try these other batteries just in case I got unlucky with that other batch? Could it be that simple?
Yes, yes it could.
Thanks to my brilliant critical thinking skills, I am now the proud owner of two fully functional Dream Lites (and a bunch of dead Energizer batteries). I was pretty pleased with myself and couldn’t wait to show off the double light show to Bubba…
So of course he chose last night to fall asleep on the floor before I could so much as get a diaper onto his naked booty, much less demonstrate the fruits of my labor.
Keep dreaming on with DREEEAM LIIIITE!
1I’m actually not 100% confident in my recollection of that second line, but I was not willing to look up the commercial on YouTube to verify.
2Do you ever forget that you already bought something at Target the week prior and re-buy it and then wind up with a giant stash of something weird like AAA batteries? Oh, just me?
3Or even just a smart person in general.