The headache does not usually end with figuring out how to pay for all the kid’s toys. For most parents, with the right family members and friends, it is only the beginning.
The seasoned parent can spot a do-not-buy item at first glance. When the kid starts banging that one button, which makes that one annoying sound, over and over in the store — something similar to wisdom sends a sharp, stabbing pain to the base of the skull. Those are do-not-buys, no matter what, items.
Family members, those who do not have kids, often do not understand this concept and will buy the kid whatever it desires. The light-hearted, prankster friends pick these out for the dark, sadistic humor it brings their soul in a season filled with cheer.
To get the desired effects, options can vary.
For the girls, there are the usual baby dolls that cry or make other noise and, often times, have a bodily function or two. There is also a device called Press Dough. It’s a cooking set with real dough and real icing. The toy is a 9,790 colons ticket to endless amounts of clothes, face and hands cleaning, basically.
Along the same messy lines is an item called Moon Sand for the boys. A grainy, play-doh-esque product, Moon Sand comes with 10 ounces of this mortar-like substance. Included with the sand is a mold to make cinder blocks and then the child can build foundations block-by-block. The box proclaims it “never dries out,” and, more than likely, for 8.490 colons, never comes out of the carpet.
The Mix Me DJ is the exemplar do-not-buy item if a parent wishes to retain sanity after the holiday season. The product comes with microphones, cheesy synthesizer sounds at the push of a button and a DJ scratching table that makes the same wikki-wikki sound any time it is touched. For 27,900 colons, not only will the parent have to hear it constantly, but every time the family member without kids or the friend visits and says: “Show me how good you’ve gotten on that DJ-majig I bought for you.”
The device does not have a volume control. Then that one button, that makes that one annoying wikki-wikki sound, sends something similar to wisdom stabbing into the base of the parent’s skull. All that for $56.
For parents to avoid the impact of these toys, preparations can be taken. Forewarning friends and relatives of repercussions is a proactive strategy. Having a contingent plan in place is also helpful. Practice damage control, so to speak. Designated play areas for the messier gifts, earplugs or hiding battery supply for the noisemakers could work.
Or unlucky parent could invest in padded walls for when it gets downright absurd.