There’s so many little things about parenting, aren’t there? All the ways to raise your babies, “right”. The heavy stuff. Then, there are all the annoying little details. The things you don’t think about or find in the books. And whether your kid is an NT or ASD, some things are universal.
So, in an effort to assist my buddy, Jessica, who is about to bring a little bundle of baby boy joy into our world, I have a little tip to share. Something she will not think about for a couple years. By way of a preview, here, Jessica, is a little something that you won’t read from Dr. Spock…
How to Open a Child’s Toy.
In front of you sits an innocent child’s toy. Your mission should you choose to accept it is to open the toy. (Truly, you have no choice but to accept. Otherwise, you will be hounded to the depths of certain “places” we do not want to go.) Wait – no! That’s not all. You have to open it, make sure it works and make it is easy to use. Yes, that’s the mission.
Oh, don’t be deceived. That charming little Snow Cruiser remote control car in the box? It’s under lock down like Fort Knox, parent-to-be. And, every, single toy you will purchase for that little bundle of joy? Exact same cardboard, plastic, wire, tape, fold, screw and security device will greet you whether the toy is $4.99 or $499.00 (because nothing is $5 or $500 anymore, anyway).
Now, this “Snow R/C Cruiser” is a remote control car. This remote control car, as boy-oriented as one might think R/C cars would be, has been identified with “girls” because it is a “Moxie Girl” car, one for those freaky, botox-lipped, big-headed dolls.
Lesson Number One – Your child will not care which sex the car is marketed to. Boys and girls like remote control cars. Some boys like dolls. Some girls like monster trucks. Be prepared to open the wallet for both. Don’t worry about having to lie down and get therapy over your preconceived notions of who should play with what. This is not about you. What’s important is that if your child wants it, even if you don’t buy it, someone will. Thus, you need to know how to open it.
This remote control toy was chosen for this lesson because it
drove me crazy enough to write this post appeals to both genders. I was pleased to learn that the “lock down” features of the toy are designed the same for either sex. It appears that the manufacturers believe shoplifters are equally willing to steal for girls as boys. Comforting, isn’t it?
Lesson No. 2- that “flimsy” piece of cardboard is not flimsy. In fact, there is this thing for cardboard packaging called “bursting strength” which is defined as “A measure of the ability of a material to withstand pressure without rupture; it is the hydraulic pressure required to burst a vessel of given thickness.” Unless you’re into ripping phone books in half, you’re going to need a tool to remove the cardboard wrap.
And, yes, I have burst a vessel or two trying to get the cardboard off.
Let me explain. You don’t just open the box. First, you have to cut the tape wrapped around every possible point of entry. I don’t know where the tape comes from but it’s usually sticky and old. I always think I’ll just cut the tape with my fingernail because, hey, I’m either worn down from chasing the kid around or I’m just plain too lazy to get up and get the scissors. Through laziness/exhaustion, I have learned I can “strangle” my finger around the tape, get a paper cut under the nail or lose the nail entirely. So…
When you do get scissors, the child will become a magnet. Mine has to have his eyeballs nearly touching the sharp end of the scissors as he eagerly anticipates the opening of the package. Tell them to go elsewhere and it is like swatting a fly. They leave only to return as soon as you quit waving them away.
If you use the scissors, successfully and remove one end of the cardboard, congratulations! What? You thought you were done?! You have now revealed the underside of the secret world of anti-theft wrapping. This is likely what you will see:
That little twisty wire and black plastic rectangle? That is the work of a very sick mind. That wire is no bread bag twisty. That would be child’s play. This stuff is thick wire, twisted on top of itself. When you try to untangle and untwist it, your fingers and thumb will go numb.
Eventually, with strong fingers or tweezers or pliers, you can loosen it enough to cut it. Not just any scissors will work. Super sharp, strong scissors or actual “wire cutters” would be best. I’ve thought of using a chainsaw. As these are fairly heavy, and generally not used indoors, I don’t recommend that method. Just use both hands on some good scissors with one of your free feet holding back the magnetic child…
Once you do get the wires off, repeat. Times four. Or six if it is a more expensive toy. If you are lucky, instead of the wires, you will find screws. Then, you will spend 30 minutes unscrewing these gems from the cardboard box and the plastic pieces to which they are attached. (I recommend an electric screwdriver). Inevitably, you will lose a screw on the floor and just when you think you are home free, you will step on it. Consider it initiation.
Don’t put away the screwdriver yet! There are batteries to add. That reminds me. I need to purchase some stock in Duracell or Kirkland.
Once you finish all these steps, repeat them all for the remote! Now you’re ready to play. Wait. Where’s that kid? What do you mean he went to bed?