As kind, loving parents, we want our children to be happy. Even if it means making us unhappy, annoyed, bored, miserable... You know, like when we buy the most ridiculous over-priced annoying crap toys, that we end up wanting to smash into a million pieces, just to see that beautiful heartwarming smile on our child's face.
Well, I say it's time to draw some lines. We have to know when to say NO, drop the toy and run like hell out of the store. Below are 10 such toys to you should never buy your child. Ever.
1. Toys that make annoying noises. Steer clear of the fire truck with 50 flashing lights that screams "FIRE FIRE" and then belts out a 30 second siren whenever you slightly touch the button, because I promise, your kid will push that button repeatedly for two hours straight. There is a special place in hell for toy manufacturers of those toys. It's on the corner of Whats-wrong-with-you and Needs-a-slap Street.
2. Toys with sensors that go off when you walk by. This reaches beyond toys. ANYTHING that makes noises when you walk by will be regretted. You will never be able to sneak out of your child's room again thanks to it.
3. Toys that are part of a set or collection. Your kid will insist on every style, color and "special release" in the collection. To add insult to injury, just when you buy the last toy to complete the collection, your child will be onto the next big toy collection. Trust me, once you open the floodgates, you can kiss your nest egg goodbye.
4.Tiny toys. First and foremost, the smaller the toy, the more pain it inflicts when you step on it barefoot. They are impossible to see in the dark, so there is no avoiding it. Think: Lego. Tiny toys also end up in the kid's mouth, then the dog's mouth then back in the kid's mouth. Just avoid anything smaller than your hand.
5. Toys that can be easily disassembled into two hundred tiny pieces. This will inevitably happen in the back seat of your car, two minutes after pulling out of the store parking lot. With any and all accompanying stickers immediately stuck to the car window.
6. A toddler bed. I don't care if it looks like Dora the Explorer or a Race Car, your kid will not fall for it. It's a waste of time and money that will fail you. TIP: Transition from crib to a bed no smaller than a twin. You'll need somewhere to sleep when your kid crawls in bed with you and takes over. Every night. Forever.
7. Toys that are weapons or can be turned into weapons. Including but not limited to drumsticks, hard balls, wooden blocks, car tracks, dolls with removable heads...
8. Toys on wheels your kid cannot operate alone. Make no mistake about it, if you buy a tricycle, scooter or bike before your kid is ready for it, your back will break from having to bend down to push it CONSTANTLY!
9. Annoying children's books with 400 pages and tiny print. Before you purchase a children's book, read through it first, then ask yourself if you could stand to read it at least 10 times a day for two months straight. If not, drop the book and run like hell.
And last but probably the most important type of toy to avoid...
10. Toys that require assembly of more than three parts and/or the application of stickers. Have you ever tried to assemble a toy that requires 22 steps with a toddler "helping"? Three pages in to the instructions nothing makes sense anymore and the stickers are stuck to the TV. You'd think that if a manufacturer has gone to all the trouble of assembling, marketing, and packaging the thing, why on earth wouldn't they have applied the damn stickers too?
And there you have it. To maintain harmony in your home, avoid all of the above things until your child goes to college. In the meantime, if you really want to give your child a toy both of you will love, throw a cardboard box down on the floor and watch hours of fun unfold. It never fails that my kid spends more time playing with the box the toy came in than the actual toy.