Before having kids, I never imagined that our house would become so totally infiltrated by toys. I mean, I know kids love toys and kids have toys, but the extent to which we’ve accumulated toys is pretty ridiculous and only kind of disturbing. Two years ago, we invested in an organizer with bins, but they’ve even outgrown that. Mallory’s playpen is so inundated by different toys that there is hardly a place for her to sit in there. I feel like some sort of crazy toy hoarder, even though I do periodically purge the toys, but only after they’ve gone to sleep, because heaven forbid I toss the doll that’s missing an eye and a leg and totally haunting my nightmares at night, because despite the fact they haven’t even cast an eye on it in over six months, “WE STILL NEED THAT!” I think I’ve seen less freak outs on an episode of Intervention.
Throughout the years, my kids have gone through dozens of different toys, and some of them have been completely, mind blowingly, ridiculously annoying, asinine, and downright horrible. I don’t know what the toy manufacturers of today are up to, but I truly and sincerely believe that some of them are just sitting up in their offices, designing toys for the sole purpose of annoying the shit out of the parents who have to shell out hard earned money to be annoyed. Because that’s essentially what’s happening here. You’re paying for your child to play with this toy, which will ultimately become an annoyance to you. You are paying to be annoyed. You’re welcome.
I’ve decided to compile a list of the most awful toys my kids have ever owned, and most likely still own, because it’s nearly impossible to rip a toy away from their cold death grip. I’m going to go in order from “eh, I guess we can live with that” to “oh my god get that fucking thing out of this house.”
8) Shape sorters: you buy this toy thinking it’s going to be a stimulating, educational toy to help your toddler learn his/her shapes and stick them in the corresponding holes. However, what you don’t realize when you’re naively paying for this toy, is that it comes with more components than a space shuttle, and you’re about to put it in the hands of a toddler. I guarantee at least 85% of the pieces will be MIA within one week, and your toddler will have an empty little box with differently shaped holes all over it to throw all over the house as they weave their path of destruction. Lucky you.
7) Nerf guns: I didn’t think I’d actually ever utter this sentence, but every time my kids are playing with these things, I almost always say it: “DON’T DO THAT, YOU’LL PUT YOUR EYE OUT!” Every single time that sentence comes flying out of my mouth, I feel like an old lady with a little purse full of butterscotch candies, but I can’t help it! It’s so true! Those little foam bullets COULD VERY WELL TAKE YOUR EYE OUT. Of course, it’s only fun if someone gets shot in the face or groin, so my kids always aim for those locations, which is great, because if they are ever in the military, they will have that important experience under their belt. No pun intended.
6) Talking toys: these toys are actually pretty neat. When Carl was a baby, he was given a talking puppy that actually said his name and sang songs. We liked it a lot, and so did Carl. Until the batteries started to die. I have seen the Chucky movies, and I know what that shit is all about. When it started to talk really slowly and its sentences started to drift off into the most eerie fucking silence ever, that friendly fellow got thrown right the fuck into the closet. I am not being murdered by a little green dog. No.
5) Play kitchens: play kitchens are actually pretty fun at first, despite the fact that it took my husband and I nearly three hours to build it, and we had screws left over. Oops. We were so excited for our kids to make all kinds of fun play food, until they started making all kinds of fun play food. I swear, I think some days all I “eat” is play food. How many times can I pretend to eat this pancake? Am I supposed to sip from this empty cup all day? Stop making me eggs. I don’t want anymore eggs. But I don’t want to hurt your feelings. Give me the damn eggs.
4) Legos: at first, you buy your kid a set of Legos, and you think, “wow! This is going to be incredible, we’ll get to build this Lego City together, and have a great time, and it’ll be an awesome team effort, and quality time to bond with my child! What more could any parent want?!” First of all, these Lego sets are priced at just the right amount in the event that you’re a Rockefeller, and second of all, I’m sure I could probably read hieroglyphs before I could adequately interpret the enclosed instructions. Carl and I built a SpongeBob Squarepants Lego boat about a year ago, and it literally took an hour. Who builds these things?! Oh, that’s right. Assholes.
3) Easels: everyone wants their kids to be creative and have the tools to express that creativity adequately, so what better medium than good old paint and paper, right? Wrong. So wrong. You are so wrong right now. The minute you introduce paint to children, the entire world becomes an easel. I have never spent so much time scrubbing paint off of stuff paint isn’t supposed to be on, including my face. The worst part is, I don’t even know how the paint got on my face.
2) Hot Wheels cars: every little boy loves Hot Wheels cars, and for good reason. They’re cool looking, fun, and come in all different styles so that every time you stop at the store and pass the strategically placed Hot Wheels display, at the very end of the cookie aisle, because damnit Publix, you people are fucking clever, you can harass your mom incessantly until she just grabs the Hot Wheels car from your grubby little hands and throws it on the counter to pay for it, before her bloodshot eye twitches. These are great to keep a kid entertained, until they’re thrown all over your living room and you end up stepping on one and your leg slides out from under you and you fall and almost twist your ankle. Not that I know anything about that. Moving on.
1) Musical instruments: a few Christmases ago, someone who really hates us gifted our kids a musical instrument set, complete with a trumpet, a drum, a tambourine, and maracas. I don’t know who gifted this to them, because if I knew, I wouldn’t be on speaking terms with them anymore. Despite the fact that I’d love for my kids to be well rounded and musically inclined, I’m pretty sure the noises that are created with that godforsaken instrument set have the ability to make a deaf person hear again. So go home, doctors. We’ve cured deafness.
If you need me tomorrow, I’ll probably be donating these toys to Goodwill.