I survived the Thanksgiving holiday… I will have a recap of my days in the non-Internet zone later.
Right now, I wanted to talk about my observations on the toys at the two grandparents houses. My daughter has two sets of grandparents whom we get to visit with on holidays (conveniently, they live at the same houses as my mother and Ms. Kaz’s parents!). My mother has three grandchildren, the oldest being 17. Ms. Kaz’s parents have one grandchild – my daughter.
As one might expect, this creates a vast difference in both quantity and quality of toys available at each house.
We first visited my in-laws. My mother-in-law has very few toys for kids my daughter’s age. The ones she does have, however, are either left-over from my wife and her siblings, or perhaps even pre-date them.
My in-laws have the classic Fisher-Price barn. You know, the one we had growing up. The one which has dangerous pointy pieces, and pieces which are easy to swallow. I love this toy.
In addition, she has the Fisher-Price doctor’s kit. This one is, somehow, much cooler (and dangerous. Is there a connection?) than the one we have for her. It even comes with two pieces our’s doesn’t have – a medicine bottle, and one of those reflex tester hammer things, which my daughter wanted me to keep hitting her knees with, despite the fact that I couldn’t find the reflex sweet spot.
Besides these, she has a few older wooden toys, including a realy sweet wooden firetruck pull-toy, which has little wooden balls on strings that spin and strike another piece of wood, making a nick “clacking” noise.
My mother, on the other hand, has three grandchildren, and is a retired teacher. She has tons and tons of toys, games, and books spanning at least a couple generations. These toys include boxes of plastic dinosaurs, and boxes of generic toy cars, about the size of a match box, if you now what I mean.
These cars are mostly produced in China, and are designed by people with a limited knowledge of English words. My favorite example is the “Energy” car – which is apparently sponsored by the company that makes “Energy”. There is a slogan on the rear spoiler, encouraging us to “Use Energy!”
Unfortunately, being collected and abused by several generations, a lot of the toys have functions that, well, no longer function. Even with the batteries replaced. We’ll call these toys, “the ones my daughter most wants to play with.”
Also, as I mentioned, my mother has about 3 generations of books left over from kids, grandkids, and teaching. She gave us a collection of Disney learning books, most likely from the 70’s. My daughter is big into Peter Pan, and made us read the Peter Pan one over and over and over again. Of course, guess which one book was not in the bag when we got home.
At Christmas time, I definitely have to explore some of these toys more deeply for hidden gems (both cool and bizzare). And this time, I need to take some pictures.