Wooden toys, plastic toys, bright toys, fiddly toys, loud toys, messy toys, toys which contain a million bits, toys that contain batteries, toys for imaginary play, toys to develop motor skills, toys that make them laugh, toys that help them learn. They are all meant to achieve the same thing “entertaining and developing your child”. This is probably the case, but they also appear to have another purpose.
To cause a nervous breakdown before killing me.
Oh don’t look so shocked, you all know what I’m talking about. I can’t be the only one to have a house which appears to be bursting at the seams with these little death traps. Death traps which are broken down and segregated into their own little groups, each with it’s own mission, it’s own task to help them achieve the final goal.
Firstly, there’s the loud group. These are often gifts. The Xylephone from Nan and Grandad, the Guitar and talking laptops from
cool Uncle John, the cars and racing track from Granny. Tasked to come out of the woodwork when I have a headache, when I’m trying to concentrate, when one of them is trying to sleep. The noise works away at you, starting as just an annoyance, getting into your brain so that you sing their songs in the shower, and mutter their phrases as you tidy up, niggling away, then they work down your neck, into your shoulders, before your spine is tense, until, finally you stand on a Rice Krispie, and feel the need to lock yourself into the toilet for 20 minutes to compose yourself.
Then there’s the toys which have lots of bits. You know the ones I mean,shape sorters are a good example. We have these eggs. They’re great. They’re in a little plastic egg box and have lids on and can be sorted into shapes and colours, very educational. Every day they get lost. Every day I end up crawling around fishing them out from under the coffee table, finding them behind my bottle of Black Stump in the wine rack, IN MY SLIPPER. I hate it. I can’t REST when there are toys not fully in a set. On Thursday night I struggled to sleep because I KNEW that one of the dinosaurs from Harry’s bucket was in the back of Matthew’s car and he was in Scotland. You can always be sure that if a toy is missing a piece (one of the balls from Hungry Hippos is missing), it’s the game they want to play. I can’t STAND the look of disappointment and I can’t STAND the feeling of disorganisation, knowing that somewhere in my house there is the final puzzle piece was lurking, hiding, mocking me. Like a bad ass game of hide and seek.
The ones that should be perfectly safe but are dangerous are amongst the worst, giving me heart failure, images of broken bones and frequent trips to A&E flash before my eyes. They tell my children how to use them incorrectly. We have the xylophone which is used as a skateboard, it has wheels on it, so is placed upside down and skids across the floor…often left for me to trip over. It’s the same with the ball and hammer set. You know the thing I mean, a plastic thing where you can hit balls into with a hammer and they roll down and out. Can’t remember the official name for it, as it’s known in our house as “the hand catcher”. Fatso always shoves his hand down the ball shaped hole and his little chubby wrists get stuck and I have to wiggle them out amid a flood of tears and snot. Even simple fancy dress costumes can cause problems when they involve spiderman doing intricate balancing poses off the back of MY LOVELY LEATHER CHAIR which I only witness as I’m coming out of the shower.
Finally, there’s the sneaky ones left to kill me. They often come under the disguise of cars. Strategically nestled on the second step down, hidden from view because of the stair gate, ready for you to stand on, to trip you up. Although, sometimes other toys join in this group, a swing, swinging back and smacking you in the face, or a foam rocket launch thingy majiggy that shoots across the room smacking you in the back of the head. Marbles skittering across the tiled floor just as you’ve put your heels on causing me to stumble and slide across, only saving myself by landing on the sideboard. All of them working together to create a comedy sketch style demise.
There are others, others which personally I think should get you signed off motherhood with stress. Paints for example. Crafts. Glitter.Glue. Transformers. I could go on, but just typing this is causing me to hyperventilate.
Just remember troops – keep your eyes peeled – over and out.