It’s time for parenting realness. My kids are asleep which is usually a time when I tackle a boundless list of desirable things with no relation to childrearing. A recently used example: slothing. This is the word I use to describe my devotion to the couch after stay-at-home parenting two kids all day.
Today is different. Today I actually want to pick up toys while my kids snooze. Why would I ever want to do that? So I can complete a household purge I’ve been daydreaming about for two years.
This is how the daydream goes: I pick up a garbage bag, pick up my children’s toys one by one, and complete a simple test in order to determine whether or not each toy can safely continue to reside in our home. What's the test? If it makes any noise it fails. I mean any noise.
It doesn’t have to be the soul-sucking sound of a VTech safari animal; even a rain maker, put in the wrong (my toddler’s) hands, can turn into one of the most offensive ruckuses you’ve ever heard.
If there’s a mildly detectible sound upon lifting the toy it will be shoved mercilessly into a trash bag to symbolically suffocate to death.
If it’s anything VTech, ending up in a trash bag is an underwhelming purgatory. Additionally, this means of disposal poses a safety risk because VTech toys are the type of unforgiving beasts that will continue to squawk inside a trash bag en route to the can; a rage inducing situation so delicate that only an inpatient psych unit would have the necessary tools to handle it.
Therefore VTech toys need a completely separate disposal method, similar to batteries or other hazardous chemicals. Perhaps instead of ice cream trucks someone should drive around a toy demolishing truck so I can actually watch a VTech toy get pulverized right in front of my eyes. It’s a valid biz, someone please think about it.
Nothing less than a total VTech toy massacre can right the wrong of the psychological torture these toys inflict on unsuspecting parents everyday.
So why did I allow my house to get littered with audible grenades?
First, I was never that parent who tried to filter every incoming toy. "Oh it was painted in China? Not in our house." I accepted free toys with open arms because three triathlons wouldn’t tire out my child so I need an arsenal of toys.
Second, all parents become masochists when faced with a desperate situation. Sometimes when I’m “functioning” on four hours of sleep and I have to chose between my child evacuating a Target with his spine-tingling screaming or buying a noisy truck book; I buy the noisy truck book that now monopolizes my nightmares.
So back to my daydream.
Once every culpable toy is bundled up cozily in a trash bag. I haul them out and stare rapturously at the overstuffed trash bin. On trash day I watch by the window, much like a child awaiting Santa on Christmas Eve, so I can complete a triumphal dance while each bag is compacted by the metal jaws of a garbage truck.
Tonight may be the night that I make my dreams become a reality.
However, even if I successfully purge every noisy toy from my house, exposure to one elsewhere may cripple me. The deafening symphony of rowdy toys has become a source of trauma that is triggered by even the dullest squeaking of a stuffed animal’s noise box.
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