Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Toys

The Prawn sleeps. I make a beeline for the keyboard.

Vis a vie her continued development into a human being, I broke my “no bloody expensive toys before she’s capable of playing with them” rule in order to purchase the two obligatory baby toys without which you are not allowed to keep your Mommy Membership card- the colourful stacking rings and the little xylophone. Along with the order, I also purchase a swim nappy which won’t necessarily help her to become a well rounded human being, but will at least prevent her from taking a hellacious dump in the swimming pool.

I had both of these toys as a kid. I remember that when I was about 7, I was absently playing with one of the rings (having long outgrown it, the base of it spent a good deal of time being used as an offensive weapon against playmates) and getting it stuck on my wrist, resulting in a removal that I believe included margarine. The xylophone was also used well beyond its shelf life as an annoyance device to all adults within a 100 meter radius. Not wishing to deprive my daughter of the same opportunities to drive me up a tree in the near future, I thought it’d probably hop to it.

The xylophone was pretty much as I remembered it. In fact, the version that I bought is actually simpler than the one that I spent hours banging on tunelessly when I was a child. The Prawn’s musical device is actually made of wood rather than metal resulting in more pleasing musical “plonk” noises rather than the maddening “plink” of its metallic cousin. My only complaint is that it is somewhat out of tune. Only blessed with four “bells”, it should sound like a vocal warm up scale. However, the lowermost bell is out of tune and I fear that it might lead the Prawn to turn up at her first music lesson only to be chastised by her teacher by ear-bending pitch deficiency.

The rings, on the other hand, turned out to be slightly more high tech that my old plastic wrist entrapment device. Caveat Emptor- especially when you neglect to read the description of the items you purchase. Not that this thing isn’t cool, but it seems a little unnecessarily high tech for a stacking ring set. I liked the idea of the lovely, colourful bits hanging off the side of the rings, but discovered to my consternation, upon opening the package that it was graced with an “on” switch. After batting at it experimentally for a few minutes, I discovered that it revolved while playing midi sound clips of disturbing music and children laughing. Why is it that everything today has to move, wiggle, sing or vibrate to keep a child interested? It might go a long way toward explaining why we have a whole generation coming up with the attention span of hummingbirds.

My favourite toy as a child? A cardboard refrigerator box.

2 comments:

SaraS-P said...

Yes, the rings are getting fancier by the day. They can be scented, make noises, and have little things hanging off them. We use them in our infant studies to assess cognitive development and parents' teaching styles, and we actually have to special order "plain" stacking rings!

My favorite toy may have been the family cat!

lisalou said...

My favourite toy as a child was a deflated bike tire. I would laso my brother and we'd go ripping around the yard like a human sling-shot. Hard to imagine I'm sure..but it was a hella good time!