Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Toys Are Us

With the beginning of the school year comes another annual event that I face with mixed relief and angst. For while this activity means a return to freedom, organization, and fewer injuries, it also means a lot of work. I am referring to the Annual Toy Purge. 

Ah yes, at last I can dispose of the unplayed-with, the broken, the forgotten bits of fun. It’s clean-out time now that Kiddo is safely ensconced in school. Obviously, I would prefer him to do this job with me. I would love to give him the option of choosing whether or not something is too loved to be sent on. The trouble is, he loves everything he has, even the broken toys. Even if he doesn’t play with it, it is treasure to be held onto no matter what.
Hence, the Fabled Treasure Den (halfway through Purge). Enter at your own risk.

As you can see from the above picture, the child has too many toys. This is just a fraction of his hoard, by the way. I swear, the things are breeding amongst themselves. Like cells, one toy becomes two, then four, then eight. Pretty soon you have Toy Mountain ... or my house. It’s actually embarrassing. When people come over I have the urge to protest, “It’s not me! I don’t spoil him!” 

Oh yes I do. But I’m not alone. I have plenty of help from relatives. It’s a vast psychotic mindset of ‘It’s perfect for the boy. Therefore, he must have it.’ And so throughout the year, toys creep into our home.  

When I was a kid, I got toys at Christmas and my birthday. At no other time did I receive playthings. When school started, I got clothes and pencils. On Halloween, I got enough candy to turn me into the world’s best pinata. At Thanksgiving, I got the missive to clean my plate or no dessert. On Easter, I got a basket with chocolate, jelly beans, and tons of fake grass that ended up in all corners of the house. But the toys – that was only twice a year. 

I’m not sure that a week goes by without a new toy donated to my son. He even gets them from school, for heaven’s sake. And the dentist. I think they appear out of thin air sometimes. Perhaps there’s a wormhole in my home with the other end at the North Pole. I have a vision of Santa’s elves shouting, “Hey, we’ve got a surplus!” “Send it through the wormhole. It’ll end up on some other planet where no harm will be done.” 

Yes, I envision a sci-fi portal with Santa’s elves. No, my medication does not need adjusting. 

At any rate, we’re tripping over the toys in my home. They overflow the bins, the tubs, and everywhere else I attempt to contain them. Plush Angry Birds  and the Millennium Falcon own my couch, leaving me only one tiny corner to huddle in.


Birds: "We’re saving this seat for anyone but you."
Toy trains run from one end of the house to the other. Did you ever see the ‘Trouble With Tribbles’ episode on Star Trek? That’s what I’ve got, except I’m overrun with Matchbox, Tonka, and Mattel.

And then there’s Lego Hell. 

Legos. Legos. LEGOS!!! A neverending sea of Legos, particularly the small ones. We have Legos for at least half a dozen projects: trains, bulldozers, Star Wars fighters -- all lying on the floor, all waiting for bare feet and the resulting pain that comes with stepping on them. 

Freakin’ Legos. 

None of the project sets are intact. Kiddo is delighted to get them, that much is true. He’s even more delighted when I put them together for him. Those directions tend to be a bit much for someone with sensory overload, so it’s up to Mommy and her handy-dandy collection of curse words to handle these jobs. The creations last all of a day before Small Fry The Destruction Guy must pull them back apart. And then tiny pieces are on the floor, attacking my toes and daring the vacuum cleaner to bring it. 

Guess what? The vacuum wins, and nothing ever gets put together again.


 I think I have enough left to build a memorial to those kits though.

I fear sanity may never be restored as long as stray toys keep finding their way to my home. However, I can pretend by cleaning out what’s already here. I can fool myself for a little while, donating boxes of the still-good toys to those who are not in the path of the North Pole Wormhole and setting out dumpsters of the broken ones. I may even find my floor has a carpet under all those @#%& Legos. I know what I’m really doing, however. I know what’s truly going on. 

I’m making room for the next round of goodies that will find their way to my son. Well-meaning goodies that will be greeted with shouts of joy from Kiddo and a tight smile on my face. “Oh thanks. You really shouldn’t have.” 

Seriously. You really shouldn’t have.

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