The Toys

There are way too many toys in our house.  They have taken over.  I don't know where they all came from, but our living room looks like Toys 'R Us.  Cars, trucks, trains, wooden blocks, plastic blocks, 3 types of Legos (duplo, quatro, and the regular ones), Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, musical instruments, remote control cars and helicoptors, board games, card games, puzzles, bowling pins, light sabers, dolls, balls, spinning tops, fake (and sometimes real) fruit, army men, whistles, kazoos, plastic animals, stuffed animals (including Pablo, Tyrone, Tasha, Austin, and Uniqua).  And the list goes on.  By the way, other than a Tonka truck I bought the boy when he was about 2 years old, a set of various Nerf balls, and the Tyrone doll I picked up for the girl last Friday, I don't believe I'm responsible for introducing any of these items into our home.

Over time as we have accumulated more and more toys, I've learned that it's not possible to maintain any semblance of order.  Every day it's the same story.  The North Mankato FAO Schwarz store, i.e. our living room, is clean and tidy in the morning with toys nicely nestled in the giant wicker basket we use as a toy box.  Puzzles and board games are neatly stacked in cabinets.  But over the course of the day, every single toy and game somehow ends up in a chaotic jumble on the floor.  Hungry Hungry Hippo marbles and Yatzee dice get lost all the time.  I have no idea where the Cootee ears end up.  Puzzle pieces get lost in couch cushions.  And don't get me started again on the tiny LEGO bricks buried in the carpeting.  So at the end of the day, in a mad rush to clean up before bedtime, I, the wife, the boy, and the girl all scramble to put everything in the appropriate box or container to be filed away until Hurricanes "The Boy" and "The Girl" strike again the next day.

Speaking of toys, why is it that 90% of all toys make some kind of sound or noise, including playing songs, reciting the alphabet, and mimicking the sounds of a garbage truck crushing trash at 120 decibels.  I'm convinced that all toys that produce sounds were developed either by a) evil people who don't have children and want their friends with children to suffer or b) grandparents seeking vengeance against their own children for all the suffering they endured years before.  And poor newborn babies - after being expelled from their warm, cozy, muffled cocoons, they're immediately given squawking stuffed animals and placed in bouncy chairs that play "It's A Small World" over and over and over.  No wonder they cry all the time. 

I think it's time to take charge and begin purging some of the kids' lesser-used playthings.  I'm certain they wouldn't even notice anything missing.  Since I haven't yet found a bulldozer small enough to fit through the front door that I can use to shove everything to the curb on garbage day (including the 120 dB toy garbage truck), we'll probably end up donating most of the stuff.  We could have a garage sale and make a few bucks, but I'd sooner listen to "It's A Small World" over and over and over than expend one ounce of energy organizing a garage sale.  Placing ads in the newspaper and online websites, posting signs around the neighborhood, clearing space in the garage, borrowing and setting up tables, figuring out what to charge for each item, praying for nice weather, sitting in the garage for 3 days hoping to sell a singing caterpillar for $3.  No thanks.

I'm tempted to leave trails of cotton candy leading from various parts of the neighborhood to our front door to lure kids to the house.  Upon arrival they would find a mountain of free toys and could take as many as they could carry.  However, I don't want to end up on the wrong list, so I suppose donations to charitable organizations are the way to go.  It'll probably take a couple weeks to track down the correct people and get stuff ready for donation.  In the meantime I'll start scheduling weekly play dates for the girl and fill with toys the minivans and car trunks of unsuspecting visiting parents while they're in a trance-like state from listening to "It's A Small World" over and over and over.


On many occasions I've driven by a building in town that formerly housed the Bandana Brewery.  It hasn't been open since we moved to town (appears to have been in business from 2003 to 2008), so I have no idea what it was like, but I've always been intrigued by the place.  And I've never taken the time to do any online research until now.  Well, it appears to be closed for good reason.  One website that rates microbreweries had several entries saying the beer was "So So" or "Lousy".  Here's an interesting review:
Where to begin. The waitress knew NOTHING about beer, it was served too warm in dirty glasses, it was not mature and tasted like crap. I was with a party of four, and we each had something different -- all sucked, and one was undrinkable. The table was dirty, and the food was mediocre at best. I have been to > 100 brewpubs all over the country, and this joint has to be damn close to the bottom of my list. No redeeming features whatsoever. Located in the middle of a parking lot; even the building looks like crap. The previous reviewer must be one of the owners.
Either this guy is a former disgruntled employee or I didn't miss much.  At least Schell's isn't too far down the road.

Chúc sức khoẻ!


Anonymous said...

Didn't you introduce the Legos? I thought an earlier post described your angst when the sets you had lovingly maintained in an organized manner became mish-mashed. I wonder if a zero growth program would work - whenever a new toy is purchased or acquired as a gift, an existing toy goes to charity. I try to do this with clothes.

Anonymous said...

Note: Buy toys for Cameron and Ana that either: (i) inflict major injury when stepped upon; (ii) repeat without having to re-wind, or (iii) use computer-generated voices eerily reminiscent of Fran Drescher or Gary Coleman (may he rest in peace).

Garbage Trucks For Sale said...

Toys are very important for the development of kids growing up.

Eric said...

Anonymous #1: You're right, I do know where some of the Legos came from. However, they've been multiplying exponentially over the last couple of years.

Anonymous #2: I haven't determined who you are yet, but I'll figure it out. The kids aren't allowed to receive any gifts from you.

GTFS: I've decided to get rid of all the toys. The kids can play with rocks!

Used Garbage Truck said...

Toys are giving joy and hapiness for the kids and it brings enjoyment to them too. Used Garbage Truck

Eric said...

The toys are burning as I type.

Steve said...

Warning: this is way off topic. This evening I took the kids to watch one of the UM alumni teams at Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament. Guess who skates for Michigan's 65 and older team? A Spartan! Pete Correia is his name and he's pretty darn good. Not as good as Red Berenson, mind you, who could probably skate down an age bracket or two.

So my question is this: will the Spartan family now ostracize Correia for his hockey miscegenation? Are they already revoking his alumni club membership? Or perhaps this is a sign that the end days are upon us?

By the way, the good guys beat Vancouver (definitely not the Canucks) 5-1.

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