When the wife couldn't make it to the Muji store on this last trip to Tokyo, she couldn't get the kid the replacements for the shoes she loves but had outgrown.
So naturally, with only the airport gift shop's "I've been gone and haven't seen my kids" assortment of guilt toys to work with, she got her the next best thing: a Hello Kitty toy cell phone.
The kid took to it like a teenager; it's really eerie. She talks on it with one hand while doing a puzzle with the other. She has elaborate mock conversations with Kitty that start with the Answer button [Moshi moshi, watashi Kitty!/Hello, this is Kitty!] and end with the Hang Up button [Mata o-shaberi shimasho!/Bye, let's chat again!]. Then she pushes the ringtone button and the whole thing starts all over again. Once, she even turned her back on us while she was talking.
The annoying chirpiness of the recordings and the pink cuteness overload of the phone itself are, for now, small prices to pay for luring the kid away from our real phones, though. My wife found that the kid had purchased a "My Humps" ringtone on her phone, and just the other day, I realized she'd erased a whole batch of voicemails on mine before I could listen to them.