Monday, 1 July 2013

Toys kids love and parents hate

Toys kids love and parents hate
1 July 2013

There are some things that kids absolutely delight in.  The sad thing being, that their parents don't.  And perhaps therein lies their biggest attraction.  The fact that some of these very same things that they love so much, their parents quite simply can't abide by.  Forbidden fruit somehow always seem to taste nicer and hold far greater appeal.

And so I thought that I'd compile a list of some of these very same things:

Whistles - man kids love them.  They are so nice to blow repeatedly.  Especially early on Sunday mornings to wake Mom and Dad up.  Or on those rare occasions when they have an afternoon snooze.  For many years, I have fondly cherished the vision of being able to blow a whistle, Captain Von Trapp style, to immediately lure my kids into obedient submission.  But sadly, this was not to be.  I do own a whistle and used it once to ref a soccer match at one of Cole's birthday parties.  But subsequently, whenever I haul it out, my kids scramble to get to it and all want to have a turn.  And somehow receiving a wet whistle back after three kids have had a go, is rather bloody awful.  Not nice at all.  And to be truthful my whistle ambitions fizzled out after that.

All toys requiring batteries, should be banned.  In other words, toys that just don’t shut up.  ‘Cause chances are, they need batteries, to making annoying noises.  Most noisy toys, playing repetitive melodies over and over again are a truly aggressive form of torture.  Even waterboarding and removing nails are less invasive and insidious.  Having to listen to, "The best of both worlds", Hannah Montana theme song, implanted under the hand of Amber's Build-A-Bear was unbearable.  The same also applies to ringing telephones, with those automated voices, saying "quaint" little phrases like, "Thanks for calling" and “Operator, may I help you?” with annoying twangy accents are also most trying.  And I’d also like to make special mention of little fire trucks and police vans, complete with flashing lights (intense enough to trigger epileptic fits), and those darn irritating sirens.

When we were kids, we had one of those lawnmower push-toys that made a most annoying clackety-clackety sound.  I think it drove my poor Dad to distraction.  In fact one fine day, it simply pushed him over the edge and he snapped.  And for reasons rather unclear even now, all three of us loved it equally and continually fought about who's turn it was to play with it.  In hindsight, I find it rather strange, as pretending to mow the lawn doesn't sound like any fun to me at all.  Why, now as an adult, I'd avoid it like the plague.  Years later, I’m still not entirely sure exactly what prompted, “The Incident” – whether it was the three of us arguing over who’s turn it was to push it around, the fact that it was a Sunday afternoon, or the annoying noise that emanated from that little lawnmower.  And perhaps in hindsight, the cause was not all that important and was more than likely a combination of all these extenuating factors.  Still one fine Sunday afternoon, my Dad lost the plot, and flung the lawnmower on the flat roof of one part of the house.  I guess the three of us must have stood there for quite a while, feeling quite shocked and dumbfounded - speechless in fact.  Not able to fully comprehend that our much beloved toy was no more.  I’m also guessing that after a short while, we realised my Dad was not going to regret his actions and retrieve the lawnmower.  And so I suppose, we simply had to resort to blowing whistles thereafter instead…..

Now I'm all for pets.  Really I am.  In fact I'll go as far as to say I love animals.  Barring snakes of course – every person has their limit.  And as a family we've done the full spectrum.   We've lovingly welcomed a whole host of animals into our home.  We’ve done dogs, cats, bunnies, fish, hamsters, tortoises, silkworms, we've even had a pet squirrel for goodness sake.  And part of the appeal of having pets, apart from the simple sake of loving them, is the hypothetical and mistaken ideal and belief that they teach kids responsibility.  Poppycock!  What a load of bull.  Because enthusiastic though they are in the beginning, at some or other point I inevitably find myself having a conversation with myself, mumbling and muttering about picking up dog poo, cleaning a hamster cage, feeding a tortoise, cleaning a fish tank, picking mulberry leaves off a neighbour’s tree at 22h43 at night, etc.  Sometimes it is simply easier to just knuckle down and do it yourself.  Kids are not known for their impeccable work ethic and dedication to service delivery.  They are lazy louts!

Yet somehow, even worse than real pets, are the fake ones. The Tamagotchi’s.  Those little mini-things attached to key rings, that seem to require constant care because of their continual pooping, needs for petting, hunger issues, etc.  Talk about being NEEDY!  I have been known to babysit one for my kids on occasion.  Hard work, I tell you!  At least cleaning up and looking after real pets is slightly more rewarding.

Toys with an inordinate amount of accessories are also super irritating.  The amount of Barbie and Build-A-Bear accessories are rather surreal.  Between Amber’s Barbies and her Build-A-Bear, they are better shod than all five us put together.  Not to mention their handbags!  Still even their accessories pale in comparison to those absolute must-have-essentials, that superhero’s seem to require.  Guns, shoes, bags, phones, glasses, binoculars, exchangeable capes, light sabers, ammunition, cars, bikes, etc. etc. etc.  Seriously!!!  Are you friggin kidding me! 

Aaah, playdough and glitter.  Both equally trying too.  Through the process of osmosis, glitter is able to penetrate even apparent impenetrable surfaces and objects, leaving all sparkling for ages to come.  And playdough, has a knack for getting stuck under shoes, and being trampled into carpets.  This ability is usually reserved for the very brightest of colours.  And occasionally, one gets lobbed with a double whammy – violent coloured playdough, filled with glitter.  OH.  JOY.

Then there is a whole section reserved for musical toys.  You will find that only people without actual children, gift musical toys.  Though to be truthful, your enemies are also likely to gift your child with musical toys.  Just to get you back and annoy the hell out of you.  And big up to them, because it is really effective.  The fake drum kit, giving those horrendous tinny bangs are the pits.  Along with those little guitars, playing a range of say four or five guitar riffs.  Blegh!!!  Xylophones are also right up there, along with little discordant harmonica’s and cheap and nasty recorders.  However, all of these fade into insignificance, when compared with horror of horrors – microphones.  Shoot me now!!!  Once again, I blame Hannah Montana.  That chick has a lot to answer for in my home.

It is remarkable how many parents will share my feelings about these things that kids seem to love so much.  It is a universal phenomenon and I bet you can ask a parent in Norway and they’ll say the same. 

Some toys, are simply manufactured to keep the battery industry alive and well.  And keep hearing aid specialists and audiologists in work too (btw – hearing aids need batteries too – they’re clearly in cahoots).

So perhaps, it’s a mere case of job creation?  In which case – bang away, ring, toot, poop, accessorise, glitter and whistle with all your might.

And stock up on noisy toys to give to the kids of those people that really annoy you.  Whistles are an awesome bet, ‘cause they don’t need batteries – noisy all year round.  Alternatively I can highly recommend those little lawnmower toys…

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 Aaah, yes!  Ours was similiar, though I do recall ours being orange, and flying past our heads, in a glorious blaze of orange.

Toy harmonica's - a particularly effective instrument of torture

Whistles - don't you just HATE them!

Though I wouldn't mind having a few myself, if it lured my kids into submission Captain Von Trapp style

Bright play-dough with glitter - such "fun"

Some Barbie accessories

Yet more...

And more...

Some superhero gear

Those infernal Tamagotchi's

With this lot, you'd never get any sleep!

 Noisy toys of the telephone variety are pretty gruesome

We have been blessed with two of these - ever so grateful each time the batteries died!

The toy microphone - these are normally fun the first half an hour on Christmas morning, thereafter it turns into the spawn of Satan.  Amber has the exact same one.


  1. You forgot to mention what a bitch it is to step on lego blocks in the middle of the night on the way to the loo.

  2. Well done !! I got my elder brother back for all the things he did to me the day I purchased my niece her first bright pink Barbie cel phone !! Such fun - NOT!! Except for me of course as I waited till they were leaving for home to give it to her !!! Revenge was very sweet!! A