The Nugget Chronicles: Doing It Wrong

It’s a simple rule of thumb for all parents to follow. You don’t buy your own children toys that make excessive amounts of noise. Sure, you can sometimes get something that isn’t terribly irritating (keeping in mind that your definition of terribly irritating will change drastically between a couple of button pushes in the store, and the couple hundred of button pushes as soon as it’s just broken enough to not be able to get returned), but the best rule of thumb is to avoid getting anything that makes noise. Please note that this does NOT apply to musical instruments, as the entire point of a musical instrument is to help your child learn how to make noise that’s original and pleasing.

So let’s start over. A simple rule of thumb for all parents to follow is that you don’t buy your own children toys that have a recording tucked inside of them, one that will be heard repeatedly at a volume that even the hard-of-hearing would deem excessive. This doesn’t mean that these things will never see the inside of your house. After all, your child will start with relatives, who will undoubtedly delight in delivering just these types of toys. Eventually, school and activities will result in friends, who have parents, who will also make sure that the noisy toys are sent to any party. After all, if they’ve had to live with that particular singing caterpillar for three months, then you’re going to have to, as well.

We’ve been very aware of this rule, even as first-time parents. We haven’t always adhered to it, but, again, first-time parents. We didn’t realize just how much that clarion call of “push this button again and again and again” would really dominate the day-to-day activities list of Nugget. But I’d like to believe that, over the past almost 23 months, we’ve really learned. Naturally, I was a bit surprised to see a toy that shatters the simple rule of thumb all over the place as a new entry to the home environment.

I should be clear. First off, the toy is one of those little car-type things that little kids often love to sit on and motor around thanks to foot power. Nugget has been trying to use one of her other toys that is so very much not the right size for her, so the time for her getting one of these toys was overdue. Secondly, this toy is Frozen-themed, both done as a way to ensure that she’d actually use her new toy, and as a bit of apology and distraction for her Anna doll being misplaced (note: misplaced by her, into a laundry basket of folded clothes, when there was no time to get the clothes put away). And third, it was a much more frugal choice than a similar toy. When you combine all of those things, it really shouldn’t have surprised me at all that this toy was now in our home.

So maybe I should start again. A simple rule of thumb for all parents to follow is that you only buy your children toys that make noise when it’s much more economical and you need something that fits that category anyway, realizing that the cost savings are worth the sanity loss. If I keep that version of the simple rule in mind, then it makes perfect sense. It was the exact thing that Nugget needed, and didn’t require taking out a second mortgage or anything. The quality may not be the highest, but it should last her until she outgrows it. Besides, it’s not like I was around to raise any sort of issues and concerns, especially as the stay-at-home parent who would have to hear this toy all the time.

Yeah, I was gone all weekend. For the third weekend out of four in the month of June. Leaving HawtWife alone with Nugget, who is just getting stronger and more opinionated as she nears her second birthday.

Final revision. A simple rule of thumb for all parents to follow is that you can buy your children toys that make noise specifically as a way of showing displeasure when your fellow parent leaves you hanging and forced to do it all on your own a little too often.

That’s the revision. If I’d just kept that in mind from the get-go, I would have realized I was hosed, and that the noise-making toys were my just reward. It’s a good thing that I’m above stooping to revenge tactics.

Mostly because I’m the stay-at-home parent, so I’d just end up punishing myself. Again.

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