There is no such thing as the perfect toy. I need to get this through your stubborn head with Christmas coming at us quicker than the kids can spill something on a freshly washed floor.
There is NO such toy which not only will light up their faces brighter than Rudolph’s nose and keep them occupied and interested for
minutes months years on end, but is durable enough to last for decades to come. A toy which becomes such a beloved favorite, they feel incomplete without it by their side. You can search high and low, research all the options across the world wide internet spaces, and ask for every non-parent’s input, and still! You won’t find it. It doesn’t exist, I promise you this.
Every year, our children will painstakingly craft their Christmas Lists full of magical items they’ve coveted all year long, entranced with every repetitively worn out commercial advertising such. And every year without fail, you will critique the children’s Christmas Lists with the scrutiny of Mr. Scrooge. Nothing will meet your arbitrary approval. Too cheap. Too boring. Too stupid. Too small. Too big. Not one item will meet your perfectionism criterion. You want to give them something conceivably unobtainable
which just doesn’t exist. I swear!
See, the thing is, my dearest husband, your perception of children and playthings is all askew. Romanticized even, if you will. Just as middle-aged women, like myself, still believe in the powerful magic of fairy tales and happily ever after’s, you readily believe in the essence of the movie trilogy, Toy Story. You revel in the implied happily ever after’s when the Toys-R-Us and Target commercials end. Advertisement is a farcical b!$@h! You, my love, fall for their spiel hook, line, and sinker. If you really sit back and take a long hard look at reality, you would see what I’m talking about. Sorry I’m not sorry for bursting your bubble.
Put your child in front of the television and play nothing but toy commercials over and over again. They will say they want almost everything regardless of gender, age range, capabilities, or skill level involved. The word “favorite” does not hold true to definition in the minds of children everywhere. It is merely an exclamation of love when referring to anything they seemingly like right then and there. And everything can change in the blink of an eye. No different than watching a butterfly or bumblebee in a wildflower field flit from flower to flower, testing each one with just a sip. They are sampling the nectar from all but stopping, though only momentarily still, to drink from a very select few. Yet there is nothing obviously special or different about any of those chosen blossoms which would determine which flowers will enamor the most attention from those sweet sampling insects.
Haven’t you paid any attention to what your children do all day, anyhow? I, mean, c’mon now… get with the program already! All those toys they already own, they were all expected to be “the one” at some point or another, as far as you were concerned. Sure, they were absolutely thrilled… ecstatic… over-the-moon… with joy when they received each one, but not one of them was coveted as you had hoped for. They will all be deemed the “favorite” in turn for a few hours, days, or weeks, most gone back to from time to time, some more often than others.
In the end, every last toy will lose the splendor it once held, lost in the bottom of the toy box as they move on to the next one. Like the real story hidden inside the fairy tale of cherished toys a child will never let go of that is Toy Story. That very well may happen with a lovey/blankie/stuffed something or another, but never with a plaything. For Pete’s sake, children don’t even limit items to use for entertainment purposes to the conventional toy definition- cardboard boxes, packing materials, empty bottles, string, the contents of the refrigerator, tampons, dirt, entire rolls of tape, toothpaste… Moms, you know exactly what I’m talking about here! Kids will play with anything; there are no limitations, boundaries, or protocol to follow in determining what can become a toy.
It seems to me, my love, in all this hoopla over the perfect toy, you have forgotten who and what the toy is for. Your child and Christmas is what the toy is all about. Not your own selfish need for unrealistic perfectionism… because there is no such thing as perfect when it comes to raising children, either, you know. The gift is about the experience you are creating for the recipient. It is about bringing light and happiness through the magic of giving from the heart into this otherwise thoughtless world. You aren’t giving from the heart if the gift must meet your own expectations instead of those of the one receiving it.
By: Kristina Hammer, aka, The Angrivated Mom