Although recently I’ve tried really hard, I’ve still not found the answers to the following toy mysteries:
1. Why is another child’s toy always more attractive?
Time spent purchasing the perfect toy for my little one is usually rewarded when I see the joy and happiness the carefully selected item brings. Un-boxed, batteries inserted and blaring out a cheery song about the alphabet, the said item might even (for around seven minutes) become her favourite toy ever.
That is, until little friend Johnny turns up for a play date.
Little friend Johnny (please note: can be substituted with any other child) takes off his socks. These socks (not even a toy!!) suddenly become the best toy ever. An epic battle of wills begins.
The expensive and carefully chosen toy from earlier is discarded and tossed to the ground in similar style to the home cooked food served at lunch time. Little Johnny’s socks are now the most fun thing ever and must be stolen from his grip, twirled around and generally enjoyed, leaving poor Johnny screaming and wishing he’d never removed them from his now-freezing feet. Darn air conditioning.
Peace resumes as my little one is distracted by a toy aeroplane. Oh no, wait a minute, Little Johnny has now picked up an old teddy bear, lame-looking and with one eye missing. This precious item which my child couldn’t have cared less about 5 minutes ago is definitely now worth fighting for….
And so on. Sigh.
2. Why do we need three people, a pair of shears and a degree in physics to get the toy out of the box?
3. Where do all the small parts disappear to?
I’m convinced there is a toy paradise where the phone handset from the V-tech walker, the xylophone stick from the ELC wooden activity cube and approximately thirty-seven Megabloks are all partying hard and laughing about how they escaped the clutches of my toddler.
We have wooden bits missing from a ‘hit the wooden pegs’ toy.
Passengers missing from a toy bus.
Pages missing from various noisy books.
When I’m waving my child off to university one day, these small toy artefacts are going to come out of hiding and make me cry, I just know it.
4. Why are the ‘proper’ toys ignored?
Remote controls, telephones, laptops, plug sockets, stroller wheels, toilet seats, stale food from under the sofa: what do they all have in common?
These are, in fact, the best toys ever.
5. How is it humanly possible to maintain a toy-free living environment?
My living room looks like a low-rent soft play area, minus the padded flooring. When I visit the homes of (some) mum-friends I’m often left wondering how on earth they manage to avoid having a massive pile of brightly coloured toys in the middle of the living room/dining room/kitchen…in fact in ALL rooms?! If you are one of those people, do us all a favour and please, please shed some light on this. Maybe your little one’s toys ran away to join the V tech telephone handset in toy paradise?