Sunday, December 26, 2010

Toy Overload

We are drowning in toys. It was bad before Christmas but now it's just absurd. The floor of our living room is cluttered with Duplos, toy cars, tiny plastic figures from "How to Tame Your Dragon", rubber snakes and lizards, stuffed animals, foam swords, and more. I have no idea where to put all of these things so I've just left them where the boys dropped them. Each one is a little promise of a badly bruised foot but unless I can get my hands on Hermione's magic bag I don't know how to remedy this predicament.

You would think, too, that the boys would be deliriously happy with all of these fantastic new toys to play with but I think their little minds are blown. They're happy enough at first, but then they begin to realize just how many toys there are. Playing with the dinosaur means not playing with the car but playing with the car would mean the foam battle ax is neglected and so on and so forth. However, it's impossible to play with all of them all at once. As soon as child A puts a toy down to reach for another, child B moves in to claim the recently discarded item which suddenly inspires within child A the fierce conviction that that toy which he had dropped on the floor is the only toy out of the hundreds that will make him happy. To not have that toy means desolation and despair. Violence erupts. I generally end up taking the toy away from both of them which works for only a short time before they have to fight over another magical plastic talisman of childhood joy.

Thankfully, the noise-making toys were to a minimum this year. They each have one of those tubes that, when flipped over, sounds like the calls of a robot cat in heat and then Ethan has a little dog flashlight that barks. Clyde bought Ben a harmonica. I can only hope he purchased the thing in a fugue moment of pure ignorance rather than out of a previously hidden sadistic streak. Still, it's not so bad. I even enjoy one of the noise-makers. Specifically, I'm a fan of Ben's "Big Roarin' Rex"* that could easily function as a duck call. Now, when we ask Ben what sound dinosaurs make he says "quack!" I can only hope that it's somehow factually accurate. I love the idea of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex sending shivers of terror through the spines of its intended victims with a mighty quack.

Considering the growing mountain of toys that is slowly but surely taking over every bit of livable space in our home, I think the only remedy is a purge of epic proportions. I'd have to get the kids out of the house, of course, because they'd no doubt kick up a mighty fuss over every scrap of plastic even if they haven't seen it for months. Clyde and I have done this before but they toys never really made it any further than our garage. This time, I plan to donate as much as I can. We have plenty of discarded toys that are in good condition and still function as the manufacturer intended. If we don't get them well and truly out of our space, we run the risk of the kids glimpsing some long-forgotten treasure and I'll be damned if I have to listen to the "Sing and Go Choo Choo" one more time.

*I created a meta moment of narcissism by linking to a YouTube video of myself in this blog. So very shameless.

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