Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ten Worse Toys 

Though a few playthings in current commercial release are indeed unsafe for children (choking hazards are no laughing matter), most of the toys on the World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) 2005 "10 Worst Toys" List are hardly dangerous, save in the kind of hyper-anxious, absentee-parent scenarios which only ambulance-chasers and other WATCH-ilk can envision.

As such and as always, the PC silliness of such listitems is easily lampooned, so I won't bother trying to reinvent the whee.

More seriously, though, the WATCHlist is moot. As a proud non-popcult-purchasing parent of two wee ones, I can assure you that the really dangerous toys never make the list.

In the spirit of the (advice)giving season, then, and in order to truly protect those who would be giftgivers, we here at Not All Who Wander are proud to present the first annual Top Ten Worse Toylist (pat. pending, all rights reserved, et al etc.)...

  1. Anything from a McDonalds happy meal. The pincher guy from some animated show you've never heard of. A hundred tiny parts between the carseats. A tiny pseudobook for a kid that can't read yet. Once, a ragged piece of unidentified yellow plastic.

  2. Shoes. Where her big sister wastes her own oral fixation on kissing burninghot cake pans (long story), baby Cassia shoots right for the nearest pair of shoes, regardless of ownership or, indeed, whether someone is wearing them. Please wipe your feet; the baby is teething.

  3. Paperback books. Her second favorite chewtoy. On the list for both their tasty fragility and their heft; held above the head, they're liable to go bonk on a prone infant's nose at a moment's notice, and then it's your fault. How do they get on the floor, anyway?

  4. Magnets. Fun be damned -- in a world of portable hard drives, it becomes necessary to call for a total moratorium on all magnetic kid's toys, from magnetic fishing pole games to those damn refrigerator magnets. The science lessons can wait until middle school or Daddy gets his own office, whichever comes first.

  5. The dog. She wants to play, but rub her belly in the wrong spot and she just can't help that paw to the face. Plus, no creature who growls when you approach her food should be trusted with children who can't eat solids yet themselves yet remain about as mobile as possible.

  6. The cat's tail. It goes without saying. So do the retaliatory claws.

  7. Daddy's hair. The infant pulls it. The three year old bites it. Sacrificing the beltline-length Samson locks merely to avoid changing table disasters turns out to have been especially prescient, albeit not going far enough.

  8. Sugar. While technically not a toy, often a gift-substitute, especially from people who ought to know better, including random strangers with the best of intentions. Thanks for cranking up my kid to crashing point and then leaving us to deal with the fall out.

  9. That Lamaze-type baby toy we bought secondhand from that place in Northampton. A colorful horse swings up and down atop a suction cup base, which seems totally innocuous until the baby gets her finger caught between the horse and the sidestruts on the upswing. Worse: in her struggle to get free, baby puts pressure on the horsie from above with her other hand, compounding the pinch.

  10. A stick. Willow, put down the stick. Please. You'll hurt yourself, sweetie. No, I don't think Cassia wants it either. Put it down, please. Put down the stick. Put down the stick. Put it down. Now. That's it -- if you don't stop waving the stick at your sister we're going home right this minute. One...two...Are you listening to me?

posted by boyhowdy | 11:17 PM |


Kids have a way of making toys from whatever is available in the universe. I remember my daughter was once infatuated with a butter knife. Hmm... She is really an intelligent child. I still don't get the fascination, but hey. I'm just her mother.

Funny observations. I enjoyed reading. Thanks!

Pat Marcello
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