Tag Archives: toys

Gender Matters: My Son Won’t Play with “Girl Toys”

boys_girls

“Will doesn’t care about Elsa from Frozen. He’s a boy and that’s girl stuff.”

That’s what a dad said to his daughter in front of my 5-year-old son recently. My son who, just a few days earlier, excitedly danced in his seat while watching Frozen in a movie theater accompanied by — gasp! — me. His dad. Yup, that’s right. A father and son trip to see an animated Disney musical about sisters, relationships, love, and sacrifice.

You know, total chick stuff.

Since this is someone we encounter on a fairly regular basis, I suppressed the dad blogger rage and accompanying vehement diatribe on gender equality that was desperately attempting to escape from my mouth. But I saw the confused (and slightly ashamed) look on my son’s face and it broke my heart, so I knew I had to say something.

“Actually, Will and I saw Frozen and we absolutely loved it. That movie is great and it’s for boys just as much as girls,” I said, choking down my anger. “Right buddy?”

But after hearing it labeled a “girl movie” and therefore unacceptable, all Will would offer at that point was a tepid “Well, it was OK.” Just OK. Three days ago it had been deemed “AWESOME!!!!!!”

And then it was my heart that broke.

Continue reading Gender Matters: My Son Won’t Play with “Girl Toys”

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Kid Toy or Kid Torture?

At first blush, it seemed like a fantastic idea.

Will loves dinosaurs. Loves them. So when one of our very generous family members saw a dinosaur egg toy in a store they bought it for Will. He was out of his mind with excitement. And why wouldn’t he be? It looks like a real dinosaur egg that you put in water. Then a little dinosaur grows to four times its size and eventually hatches out of the egg. Is that not friggin cool as hell??

Well…let me tell you what common sense should’ve told me in the first place.

The idea of this toy is very, very awesome. What kid wouldn’t want their own dinosaur, and to watch it be born. Hell, I was excited about it. So excited, in fact, I forgot to read the fine print. So it was only after I worked Will into a frenzy and put the dinosaur egg in water that I looked at the box and saw something troubling:

“Within 24-48 hours, the dinosaur will crack through the egg and grow larger.”

Uh-oh.

For those of you who don’t have kids or have never been around a 3-year-old, let’s just say instant gratification is of the utmost importance. There is no patience with kids this age. They need things and they need it now. That’s to say nothing of their gnat-like attention span, which can only be described as ADD on crack.

After a whole 30 seconds underwater, Will turned to me and said “Where’s the dinosaur Dada?”

I’m a dumb parent. Mainly because I usually tell my son the truth even when he won’t like it and we’ll suffer for it. So I just flat out told him it takes a whole day or two for the dinosaur to be born. But I assured him that if he just put it out of his mind, went to bed and checked on it the next morning there would probably be some progress.

I should’ve lied to him.

He threw a mental fit and demanded the dino’s birth. I tried to distract him with food, candy and other shiny objects but unfortunately Will picked this moment to focus all of his energy on one thing. And he refused to move. I can’t get him to sit still when it’s time to eat, brush his teeth or get dressed. Yet he was glued to his chair for a good hour—nose inches from the glass—intently watching for any movement from his dinosaur egg.

It was right about that time I cursed whoever the sick bastard was who invented this thing (Jim Henson by the way), because this is not a kiddie toy. It’s kiddie torture. It’s like telling a kid who just go this driver’s license that he can drive a brand new Corvette. But then you hold onto the keys and park it right in the driveway for a few days, not letting him get behind the wheel.

When he finally hatched it was cool and Will liked it, but then I realized the dinosaur shrinks after he’s out of the water. So now I’ve tortured my son for two days with a toy he can’t touch, and then when I do let him play with the dinosaur it goes all Benjamin Button on us and starts withering away to nothing.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s a a whiny kid for 48 hours, a happy kid for 45 minutes and back to an inconsolable kid wondering why his dinosaur is sick and shrinking even though it was just born.

Thanks a lot Jim Henson, you muppet bastard!

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Outbreak!

Get me Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Kevin Spacey. Cuba Gooding Jr, you stay home.

What started as a mild annoyance has suddenly turned into a public health emergency. Just like the aforementioned cast of the movie “Outbreak,” we have a wildlife problem at the Daddy Files palace. Like the Outbreak simian, we also have a problem monkey. But instead of a monkey infected with the Motaba virus, we have something worse. Much worse.

Will’s favorite thing in the whole wide world is his monkey. It’s like half stuffed animal, half little blanket in the shape of a monkey and the underneath is lined with red satin-like material. He’s had it since he was just a few months old and he can’t do anything without it.

Unfortunately, when a kid latches onto an item that hard it means it goes everywhere with him.

Monkey has been left outside, accidentally dropped in the trash, stepped on, puked on, peed on and shit on. But Will comforts himself by constantly chewing on it (after we wash the piss and shit off it obviously), and somehow the collective amount of drool and spit from his constant chomping manages to smell even worse than everything else combined. And yes, we do wash it. Oh do we wash monkey. Sometimes we wash him three times a week, but though the stench disippates for a few hours it always seems to come right back. And usually 100 times worse.

I knew it was getting bad, but until yesterday I had no idea how malodorous our monkey problem had become.

When I picked Will up at daycare I unzipped his bag and nearly passed out from the smell. It was like Monkey had been drenched in week-old sour milk, soaked in vomit and shoved up a skunk’s ass for a week. I wanted to put him directly into the washing machine when we got home, but Will wouldn’t give him up. Then Will wanted to watch The Lion King in our room, so we mercifully left Monkey on the couch.

When we came back in the living room, it was utter chaos.

As you can clearly see, the carnage is surreal. Apparently the Monkey’s stench has grown so strong he has started to harness his powers to snuff out all of Will’s other toys. The T-Rex chose extinction over dealing with the smell, Buzz Lightyear was sent to infinity and beyond, and as you can plainly see the chicken cut off his own face just so he wouldn’t have anymore olfactory senses.

Then I looked on the other couch and saw this:

Christmas Bear could stand it no longer, and decided to shuffle off this mortal coil rather than take one more tainted whiff of Monkey’s wretched stench.

It was a sad, sad day for childhood toys.

We’re considering placing a call to the US government to isolate and eventually bomb the entire town of Bourne so that Monkey’s awfulness doesn’t infect other parts of the country. Either that or we’ll wash him again and continuously douse Monkey with Febreze.

Stay safe out there.

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Baby Death Trap

A few weeks ago, Will received a very generous gift from my in-laws. The ever popular Cozy Coupe pictured here:

I had one as a kid and I’m sure most of you did too. These things are a time honored tradition when you hit the age of one. So I was pretty excited to have MJ put it together and give Will his first spin in his new ride. After some initial confusion on his part, he finally understood what it was all about and he began pushing it all around the room. Then, after some prompting, he climbed in and took the wheel. He loved it, as can plainly be seen here:

He tools around the living room like a big shot and I smiled as I pictured him in about 16 years riding around picking up chicks in an actual car. And just as I was about to annoint this car the coolest present ever, I heard a sound from the kitchen.

When I came around the corner, I saw that Will had been in a rollover. The car had fallen on top of him and he couldn’t wriggle out of the wreck. He wasn’t really crying, just more in shock and he certainly wasn’t hurt. I chalked it up to a freak accident and righted the Cozy Coupe so he could continue playing with it.

But it wasn’t an isolated incident.

This thing is a death trap! It topples over at the drop of a hat because it’s so tall. So when a 26-lb mega baby climbs into the cab there is no balance at all, and Will goes flying. Thankfully the paramedics we are always around to use the jaws of life disentangle him from the wreckage before any serious injuries occur.

I looked up some info on the Cozy Couple of Death and it appears these things have been around for 30 years. How have there not been any modifications to this thing? You’d think they’d start changing the design after the first few hundred babies were helplessly trapped under a twisted heap of plastic, right? I mean, they’re not as dangerous as those damn goats but still…

So I’ll be sending a letter to the Cozy Coupe people along with this picture:

And no, it’s not bad parenting that I raced over and took a picture of my son trapped under his car instead of immediately lifting it off of him. Because…well…it’s kind of funny right?

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