Well, I have successfully consumed a glass of wine and 3 snack-sized boxes of Junior Mints so I think I'm ready to begin. Hard to pull myself away from the dinner-time TV, though. It's the only TV I get these days, what with me being one of those parents... you know, the ones who refuse to let their kid watch children's television or eat non-nutritious foods. It's not that I'm opposed to those things (if I never let the boy watch "Sesame Street", how's he supposed to learn Spanish?) but I know me: 5 minutes will turn into 30 minutes will turn into "Mama needs to take a trip to Tijuana. Here's the remote, kid." So I clamp down. No TV until age 3. No sugar/salt until you're (insert randomly chosen age). And most importantly, NO ELECTRONIC TOYS THAT TALK. This is a total holdover from my nanny days. It was a Dora the Explorer jobbie that did me in. After the 8,0000th perky-voiced repetition ("Maracas! El maracas!") I vowed never to let my child play with anything that required batteries. His toys would be wooden. Creative. Preferably Amish. Which worked fine until he started dumping out the entire contents of his toy box, staring forlornly at the pile of boring. That, combined with his obsession with button pushing (TV on. TV off. TV on. TV off. On. Of. On. Off. On. Off) led his father and I to conclude that he needed something new to play with. Something with buttons. Something that required batteries. So we went to the massive Toys R Us - the one with the indoor ferris wheel - and wandered the aisles. My plan was to get an old favorite, something wooden-esque, maybe a farm with a barn door that mooed when you opened it. Instead I found plastic. Lots and lots of plastic. And noise. Everything talks! Bless the voiceover artists who've lent their gifts to Elmo and Dora and John The Farmer (my favorite Fisher-Price toy has gone electric!) but I don't need you anywhere near my house. Unfortunately my son didn't get the memo because by the time we hit the Leap Frog section he was a goner. And this was no minor infatuation I'm talking about here - this was full-blown, grabby-grabby, where have you been all my life L-O-V-E. I let him play with each one so he could pick the toy he wanted (well, the one he sort of wanted. His first choice, the unbearably obnoxious Leap Frog Phonics Radio, was nixed immediately). Eventually he chose (clutched, horded) the Leap Frog Telephonics. It has a keyboard and whenever you push a letter it sings and chats in a vaguely 1940's telephone operator voice.
We decided to return it the next day.
Unfortunately my son didn't get the memo.
Baby B spied it as I was slipping it into the stroller and let out a series of yelps that can best be described as orgasmic. Then he slap-slap-slapped himself over to wrech his beloved toy out of his mother's evil, battery-denying hands, and spent the next half-hour pushing the letter Z to show her how much he loved her. ("Z says ZZZZ!")
Raise your hands if you let your kids play with crap. Now raise your hands if you were horrified to discover how much you enjoyed the crap when it got you 20 minutes of free time. (Oh, the hypocrisy.)