Open it!

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.

 Welcome to class.

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).

Looks easy to open, doesn't it?

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.

Freaky doll for Snow Cruiser.

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?

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About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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12 Responses to Open it!

  1. blogginglily says:

    I appreciate this post. I once wrote one long ago but it had many many eff words in it.

    Two things. . . 1) can opener, 2) wire cutters.

    You can run the little hand crank can opener around the entire border of those ridiculously rigid plastic enveloped toys (I know you’re not addressing those specifically, but it’s something worth knowing).

    Wire cutters will make short work of the tape and those stupid little twisty wires.

    Finally, something you failed to address. . . those friggin TINY clear rubber bands. You think you’re home free, you go to pull the little piece out of the box and it snaps back invisibly like the taunting grasp of a mischievous godling.

  2. Tootleslady says:

    So THAT’S why your hands look like that!! Oh the joys of parenthood seem to be never ending!! Good thing there is auntie Karen to open ALL the weird looking locked down toys for little E! I think I will innevitably need therapy no matter what toys he chooses!
    Ps I woke up the man from snort laughing at the part where tootles puts his eyeball up to the scissors!!

  3. Karla (Mom2MissK) says:

    And there you have one of the reasons why I continue to crochet – those stupid wires? Child’s play for my super-crochet muscles! Grrrrrrrr!

    P.S. if you think remote control cars are bad, try one of those Little People play sets. Every. Single. Effing. One. is tied down with one of those wire and cleat dealies. Then they put them in that inpenetrable bubble thing just for good measure. Bastards.

  4. Lizbeth says:

    I had to start opening those blasted toys in the privacy of my own closet. After Alex started calling Thomas the Tank, “Effing Thomas” I knew I lost any semblance of humanity when opening those horrible little boxes all the toys come in.

    I think I need to go meditate or something now, just thinking of opening one of those boxes is making my blood pressure bubble.

  5. Lisa says:

    This is definitely something that was not in the “what to expect” series. You forgot about the clear plastic rubberbands that seem to appear out of nowhere, and when you think you’ve finally freed the piece of junk from the container, the bands get so tightly wound around the wheels, that you need a surgeon to extract them. Arghhhh….

    i loved this…made me laugh- thank you!

  6. Jen says:

    Ha ha…SO true! We’ve ALL been here! I love when my boys want me to open their new car toy on the drive home and it requires a screwdriver to set it free!! Sorry boys. I don’t carry my toolbox in the trunk, but maybe I should start? Is this the reason Tootles leaves most of his toys unopened? 😉

  7. Kelly Hafer says:

    Okay. THIS. I hate this. Barbie’s in bondage is what we called it when Alex was little. It’s all a part of The Man keeping us down. Totally convinced. This keeps us busy and focused on other things while The Man does more and more to keep us down! Or, it keeps the toys from getting tossed around in shipping…but who really believes THAT?! 🙂

  8. LOL. I’m super impressed with your endurance. I was right there with you. Great post.

  9. Broot says:

    Lol!!!That’s it exactly!!

  10. Lana Rush says:

    Oh my gosh, this is so true! It always seems like such a contradiction to me that we hear all about recycling and using less packaging so there’s less waste and all that “green” stuff and THEN you see 15 examples of waste just trying to open a Barbie.

  11. eof737 says:

    Some packaging just stinks!!!! I remember those days. 😆

  12. AAAAGGHH- yes! HATE those things. I learned early on to take my kids’ gifts out of the packaging and wrapping them for easy access on birthdays or presents. “Cos if they’re around when I’m trying to do, it will take 10 times as long. And I don’t need echolalia to meet with my language at those times…

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