Friday, May 19, 2006

The Toys R Nuts

Ever sit in a parking lot of a Toys R Us store and count how many kids come out crying? Well I did and I counted 3 in 3 minutes, including my own. To tell the truth, I felt like crying too. It wasn’t just the overwhelming assault of plastic not found in nature colors that line the floor to ceiling shelves, or the deranged versions of lullabies that seem to be coming from the innards of everything from books to teddy bears. Really, I think it is the learning toys that call out to you from the shelves when you walk by in this electronically-forced cheerful voice that are the weirdest. It can be a totally surreal experience going to a huge toy store on only a few hours of broken sleep, but when the toys start talking to you, saying stuff like “Time to count!,” and “You’re my best friend” then surely something is amiss.

Even my favorite Fischer Price Little People aren’t little anymore - it looks like they have been super-sizing their freedom fries for too long, finally catching up with their obese neighbors, the Weebles.

And what is with the Pink Isle? Having a first-born son, I have never ventured near that particular part of the store. What exactly is down there and how do they find so many shades of pink?

Luckily, I didn’t have time to think about the Pink Isle for long because up ahead were the Baby Toys. The doctor's office recommended a busy box and stacking toys for babies six months and up and since Little Pet had just started sitting up on her own, I thought I’d check out the selection. Busy boxes my arse! Maybe we used to call them busy boxes back when all we needed to learn was how to push a button or turn a dial and out pops up a smiling mickey mouse. But now I think they are called ADHD consoles or manic boxes or holy shit I’m overstimulated contraptions. Even the stacking toys have bells and whistles.

So we left the store fussing and crying, with a plastic bag full of toys made of color and lights and music and went and breastfed in the car and watched the other kids come out with their heads spinning too.

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