Monday, December 18, 2006


What is it with children's toys?
I just re-read the Little House books. Laura's first toy was a corn cob girl.
Anyone know where I can get me one of those for Lucy?

Something about infant/baby/toddler/children's toys scares me. I think it's my aversion to Stuff.
I think I'm going to have to get over this aversion now that I have a child.

Here are my ideas of acceptable toys:
1. corn cob dolls. Okay, any doll. Laura also later got a rag-doll, so that must be okay.
2. blocks
3. books
4. He-Man action figures.
Well, that last one is questionable, but I did have Skeletor as an eight-year-old, so that must be okay.
5. Stuffed animals.
6. Anything that doesn't glow, or beep, or chirp or bark or sing or dance or move unassisted. Those things scare me.

I think I'm a little odd. I know a lot of great parents with a lot of toys that do many of the things in #6. Their children are fine.
I must say, though, that even some of those parents hate the toys their children love so much.
Like my friend Jerusha got this baby doll from someone (in-law, neighbor, friendly axe-murderer.) The doll looked harmless, but when you squeezed it, it laughed.
The doll scared the bejeezus out of Jerusha, and out of me when she showed it to me.
I think its name was Mrs. Chucky.

I would like to avoid the diabolical baby dolls.

Dyami feels much as I do, and has vowed to remove batteries, snip wires, and do whatever it takes to keep our toys silent. Maybe that should be the new motto: toys should be seen and not heard.

Another category of toys/devices that I have mixed feelings about are the My Child Can't Do It Yet, But This Toy Will Help Her Acheive It Early! toys. This includes stuff like walkers and jump jumps and those clever seats that let 4-month olds sit unassisted.
When I say mixed, I mean mixed. Have you ever seen a baby in a jump jump? You have not seen joy if you haven't seen a baby in a jump jump. It's like ecstasy. It's like crack.
It's like Empress Tea.
Thus my mixed feelings.

This is one of the reasons I'm a little nervous about Christmas.
Grandparents. And excited aunts and uncles. (if any of you are reading, don't worry. I know I'm a little crazy).
But everyone wants to give the baby joy. And they want to see their devices/toys used with frenzied abandon!
I want to give them that pleasure in giving.
As long as the toys (or my baby) don't laugh diabolically in the midst of the enjoyment.


Susan said...

We don't have many toys that make noise or flash lights because I can't stand them! I want my playroom to be a peaceful place (ha, ha, ha) so our rule is this: If it is still a toy without the batteries we can live with it. If it needs batteries to be a toy it goes to the blessing box after a few days. Cosy is truly freaked out by inanimate objects that speak, laugh or sing but Lulu LOVES them at other peoples houses. When I was younger, I had more tolerance for diabolical laughter, but no more. (sorry present and future children of mine)
About the jumpy, walky things. They should only be used after she is able to sit well unassisted. There is much brain development that happens when she is laying on the floor/bed/play quilt that happens much more slowly in an artificial sitting position. She really needs to move her body, creep, roll etc. as much as possible. Any sort of device hinders that natural motion. Body movements create brain pathways in infants and toddlers.

Heather said...

Cool! actual scientific evidence to back up my curmudgeonlyness! (is that a word?)

Melissa said...

Hey, I was going to say that developmental stuff! Oh well.