Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Few Simple Toys

Cute little guy, isn’t he?

We all know him as Captain Jack, the youngest swashbuckler on Pirate Mom’s should-be-an-award-winning blog, The Pirate Mom Dot Com. If you look a little closer at this picture you will see that in keeping with his name, Captain Jack plays with an instrument of sheer terror, a toy that sends adults scrambling frantically to get anywhere, as long as it is far, far away. I am speaking, of course, of the Playskool Boom Box radio on the blanket next to the young Captain.

It’s an innocent little toy. Shaped like a radio, it is preprogrammed with 16 songs in four categories. There are country-and-western songs, classical music selections, lullabies, and rock-and-roll. There are four buttons to push for four different tunes in each category, and a selection knob that is impossible for any child to turn. This simple device that brings hours of entertainment to young children is also an instrument of torture, a sure-fire tool that guarantees no one will sit with you and your child on even the shortest of Southwest Airlines flights.

It was the Boss who returned from a trip with our young General Mayhem, as proud of herself as a young mother can be.

“How was your flight?” I asked.



“Absolutely packed!” she beamed.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied. “Who did you end up sitting with?”

Passengers who get stuck sitting in a row with a parent and a small child are notoriously grumpy people.

“No one,” she smiled.

“How did you pull off that feat of magic?”

“Do you see this?” she asked, pulling our Playskool Boom Box Radio out of her carry-on bag. “Aunt Barb gave this to the General. When I see her I am going to kiss her!”

“Oh, really? Do tell.”

“I was able to pre-board. I took a row near the front of the aircraft, put the general in his car seat next to the window, and took the aisle seat. There was an open seat between us. Then I gave him the radio to play with when the other passengers started to board.”

I saw where this was going. The general rarely made it through an entire song, preferring to speed punch the buttons until the radio was a cacophony of ear-piercing sound.

“Every person who even looked at the seat between us grimaced and walked to the back of the plane,” she explained. “By the time the plane was loaded I think the seat between us was the only open seat on the flight.”

“You listened to that for an entire flight? That must have been long.”

“Are you kidding?!” she exclaimed. “The minute they shut the door and pushed back from the gate, I took it away from him and gave him a book. I didn’t want to listen to that sh*t!”

Kellie hit on a great idea on her funniest of homeschooling blogs. In yesterday’s post, Christmas Toys on a Budget, she listed a variety of toys that keep children entertained for hours but will not break the bank. “This is just the beginning of this concept, folks,” she wrote. “ If we can pulll all of our ideas together, we can really turn this economy around this season.” I think we should explore the other uses of children’s toys. If we pool our collective parenting resources, we can write the book on how to escape any unwanted situation with the help of a few simple toys.


Papa Bear said...


Kellie said...

Yes, that is annoying toy. I should post a video sometime of the little routine that Dirty Harry and Bonny Annie have made up to some of the tunes. Or maybe not...

Just let me know if you need any more photos of obnoxious toys. We probably have them here.

Teacher Mommy said...

It's amazing how those grandparents/aunts/uncles/non-parental-units are able to seek out the most annoying of all toys for the express purpose of gifting them to our precious tots. And how those toys instantly become said tots favorites.

My head hurts just thinking about it.

Eat, Fart and Bark said...

I'll have to post about the cheapest present the boys ever got excited about at Christmas. Well... sorta.
Good post.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Kathleen said...

The Boss is nothing if she isn't resourceful!! And I could have guessed the General got that gift from an aunt or other relative--grandparents especially find pleasure in giving out the most annoying toys. I think it is their way of getting back at their children through their grandchildren.

Michelle said...

Good job Boss!! Wonderful idea!!

Cheap toys-how about picking up all the legos, polly pockets, etc on the floor, divide them between the kids, put them in a colorful bag and present them as brand new. No expense-other than the bag of course.

CrossView said...

Never thought of taking the annoying toys on the plane. Too late now... But great idea, Boss!

TobyBo said...

LOL. Surely the Powers that Be will now ban this toy. No one else has thought of terrorist applications.

Bagel's Life @ Home & School said...

I love it! Fortunately, our kids are beyond the noisy toys. At least the noisy toys that have no place to plug in some earphones

Kate said...

Your wife is brilliant! I love her ingenuity. And I also loathe noisemaker toys that go on & on & on. :)