Wednesday, November 02, 2005
No More Monkey's
We were on a mission for the boss. He has grown bored with his car-shaped walker and his playpen filled with mismatched odds and ends. He’s no longer interested in balancing the empty I Can't Believe It's Not Butter container on his head, and the empty plastic tube of Lay's chips with it’s rattling toy shoved inside (creating a makeshift instrument) no longer thrills him.

He spends his days banging on the coffee table, demanding something to keep him busy.

And so we found ourselves side by side in the developmental toy aisle - frozen in the over stimulating onslaught of colors and beeping, blinking, and honking toys. We didn't need much, just a toy or two to tide him over until his birthday and Christmas. Just a set of blocks or a wobbly rainbow stacker - that's all we needed.

But it's easy to lose track of needs vs. wants when you're standing in that aisle. Everything screams: Push me! Squeeze me! Try me! Buy me! Each box outlines exactly how developmentally stimulating their product is. This basketball hoop that blinks and plays music when plastic balls pass through it encourages hand eye coordination and rewards baby's efforts. The slightly smaller sticker notes: $20.00 and what the box doesn't mention at all is: The repetitive music will drive you crazy and your child will take the plastic balls to chew them and then lose them under couches, tables, cribs, etc.

After much deliberation, we left the store armed with two toys and the proud satisfaction that we had bought exactly what he would've chosen had he been there himself.

This morning, I excitedly showed the boss his two new toys.

He is afraid of the moving/singing monkey and has already abandoned the ball-spinning-turtle in favor of simpler things.

He's chewing on one of his shoes and squealing with delight.

Lesson learned.



Blogger LJ said...

Imagine the CV you'd have to write for your job.
I shudder.
There's this old line... "Want to know how to make God laugh?" Answer: "Tell Him (Her)your plans."
New answer: "Have a child."

Blogger mreddie said...

I'm a grandpa with six "grand" ones and am fortunate enough to have four of them nearby. It has always amazed me the things that they enjoy playing with the most. Of course, some of the unwisely purchased noisy toys lasted only until their batteries ran down. The two-year old was outside with me the other day, I handed him a yellow leaf and you would think it was the best toy he had ever had. They have me so wrapped, but I try not to let on too much. ec

Blogger Bree said...

Cute blog, I really like it! :) Your post kind of reminds me of when I spent $20 on a new toy for my cat, and he still prefers the old pipe-cleaner (the one he's chewed all the yellow fuzz off of and now is just a mangled piece of wire) from last year. I guess kids and cats aren't that different after all... haha!

Blogger Susanna Rose said...

Well Mella, I think many a parent learns this depressing lesson(and loses many a dollar along the way as a result!!) My husband swears that when we have children, we will just buy them wooden spoons and tupperwear and they will be happy!(= Though I argue, maybe he's right!

Blogger piannist said...

My husband apparently loved a coffee can and a wooden spoon when he was a baby. We've not yet introduced that combo to our 6 month old. If she has any of my musician genes, she might end up loving this modified drum too much (and too loud!). I love your blog. Good luck - I hope everything goes well for #2.

Blogger Mella said...

A coffee can & wooden spoon~I can see my son loving that. He loves to pound out the beat with anything he gets into his hands (as of today, he found that he enjoys taking the balls that came with his fancy turtle toy and banging them on the poor monkey's head...)

Blogger Carrie said...

I remember my favorite toy when I was very young. My mother had a large wooden somewhat shallow bowl - of course, at my young age, it seemed enormous - I would sit in it on the linoleum floor of our kitchen and spin and spin and spin. What fun!
Despite showering my daughter with whatever was new on the shelves, her happiest moments, from the time she was 3, was sitting in front of a mirror, with or without her dolls, pretending to be a teacher. She spent years doing this, sometimes using paper and pencils to "teach" all her students in that mirror. (Now she's a sophmore in college and has no interest whatsoever in teaching).

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