The toy cycles

It can sit in the corner ignored for days at a time, weeks even. Neglected and relegated to an afterthought by the lack of use and the general apathy from the masters. There are so many things to play with and only three kids to play with them so there is bound to be some toys that fall through the cracks. They get buried in the one of the three toy boxes or lost behind the bed. They fall under the seat in the car or hide in plain sight, visible but unpopular at the moment.

Something changes though, one of the kids finds the toy, discovers it again for the first time and the toy is imbued with worth. The toy transforms from forgotten item to object of desire in one fell swoop. As soon as one of the kids decides this toy is great again the other two buy in completely and are immediately filled with jealousy. They covet the toy and start plotting ways to make it their own like Gollum with his precious. All three boys turn into monsters and it becomes my job to keep them from hurting themselves or others that try to wade into the fray.

The precious toy changes hands three or four times and in that process the shine starts to come of the rose and the transformation has begun again. From coveted object back to forgotten, the boys fight less and less for the toy. Soon it will be dropped in a corner, or put in one of the three toy boxes. It will be lost behind the bed or dropped under the seat in the car. The toy will find a crack or hide in plain sight, invisible from it’s lack of desirability. The toy will have to wait for that next round, though who knows when that will come again.

Part of the Fatherhood Friday group of blogging Fathers and Mothers over at Dad Blogs. Please click on the image to the left to find more great writing from other bloggers trying to make sense of this whole parenting thing

  10 comments for “The toy cycles

  1. 06/04/2010 at 5:42 am

    This happens with McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. Which is why when I see one laying around, I toss it in the trash.

  2. Tom
    06/04/2010 at 5:58 am

    We actually rotate our toys out. Everything old is new again.
    We could truly rewrap most of the toys in the playroom and regift them at birthdays/Christmas and the kids probably wouldn’t know.
    .-= Tom´s last blog ..Fatherhood Friday: Tattoo: A love story =-.

    Portlanddad Reply:

    that is a great idea

  3. Jamie
    06/04/2010 at 7:32 am

    With basically 2 toddler and a pre-schooler in your care have you noticed this to be the “Rule” of your house?
    1. If I like it, it’s mine.
    2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
    3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
    4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
    5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
    6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
    7. If it looks just like mine, it’s mine.
    8. If I think it’s mine, it’s mine
    This is the Toddler Rule and I find it to be very true even in Pre-school settings.

  4. 06/04/2010 at 8:22 am

    Great post and comments! My 1/5 year old has already heavily invested in mining. As in “MINE…MINE…MINE.”
    .-= james@doodadblog´s last blog ..doodad video: Food Inc. The truth about what you’re eating =-.

  5. 06/04/2010 at 11:31 am

    If toys had emotions, they would need years of therapy.
    .-= WeaselMomma´s last blog ..Quit Your SAHD Whining =-.

    Portlanddad Reply:

    yes they would. Abandonment issues, physical abuse, verbal abuse, it would get expensive to work through all the issues

  6. Que
    06/05/2010 at 9:12 am

    I’m with ya on this one. Our youngest is finding the toys that my 4-year old left behind months ago. But for some reason, the 4-year old thinks that the toys are new and wants to play with them again. I’m seriously thinking of taking all of the toys the 4-year old doesn’t play with and re-wrapping them for future birthdays and Christmases. That way when either of them open their presents they will think it’s new and belongs to whomever opens it. (wishful thinking)
    .-= Que´s last blog ..A Day to Remember =-.

  7. 06/07/2010 at 7:24 pm

    We sometimes use this to our advantage – hide the same old toys for a few months and then you can capture the “new toy feel” (kind of like the new car smell) without buying a new toy.

    Great post.
    Functional Father´s last blog post ..Vasectomy Diary – Part 1

    Portlanddad Reply:

    We do that too, but any matchbox car or other vehicle my 4 yo has an encyclopedic knowledge of and remembers each car and truck.

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