I love a good list. I'm not exclusive. I normally have at least 10 different lists on the go an any time. Even more so at this time of the year. These lists include Christmas lists for the small people.
Over the years I have learned to filter these lists to stop undesirable toys getting in through the door. This year I am thinking of operating a doorman style policy on Christmas presents. You know, if your name's not down, you're not coming in.
Gifts that will not gain entry to the toy boxes include:
1 Toys big enough to pay their own rent.
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Seriously, where am I supposed to keep it? It's bigger than my biggest child and he has taken over the entire house!
2 Toys with no volume control.
I don't mind singing and dancing toys. I'm often wondering around the house singing catchy little numbers such as "Are you ready, here comes the train, chugga chugga toot toot, chugga chugga toot toot, off we gooooo." But there are some toys out there that are louder than a room full of five-year-olds off their nuts on sugar. If the toy gives me a headache, or the desire to rip my own ears off and shove my head in the oven, it's gone.
3 Toys that eat batteries.
Since having children there is a drawer in my home purely devoted to batteries. Big ones, small ones, round ones, rectangular ones. They are all in there. This drawer is kept well stocked and is replenished as regularly as the fridge. But some toys are greedy. They consume far too much juice, and always need replenishing. Needy toys need not enter my abode.
4 Toys that make a mess
I am quite happy to colour in with my small people, paint, bake cakes. I'll even get the Play-Doh out and turn a blind eye when they start mixing up the colours and treading it into the carpet. But I drawer the line at glitter. Glitter is not just for Christmas. Glitter is for life. You just can't get rid of it. Glitter was banned in my house after the 2008 disaster. Incidentally this was prior to small people entering our lives. I bought the most beautiful Christmas wrapping paper from M&S. Rolls and rolls of it. It wasn't just any wrapping paper, it was glittery gold wrapping paper. Glitter that didn't stay on the paper and infiltrated everything within a mile radius. Everytime I finished wrapping gifts for the evening my husband would have to hoover me. Then the lounge. We were finding the stuff everywhere. Come Christmas, relatives were cursing us and striking us from next years Christmas list, as we bought their glitter wrapped gifts into their homes and spread the mess further. Everything that glittered was in fact gold.
5 Toys that require a degree in engineering to get it out of the box.
Seriously, What is with all the screws and cable ties? Have the manufactures been watching a little too much Toy Story? My small person is chomping at the bit to play with their new pride and joy, but they are going to have to wait for an hour whilst five adults attempt to get it out of the box.
Said toys are normally bought by:
a) Those without children
b) Those who had children before you, and are now getting their own back for all the annoying gifts you bought their kids when you were clueless.
c) Grandparents - There are no rules for grandparents. Anything goes.
Every Christmas I am astounded by my family and friends generosity, and this post is very much tongue in cheek. Although whether your small people are two years old, or in fact no longer small at all, and grown up with kids of their own, I am sure every parent, at some point, has watched their child receive a gift, and rolled their eyes and said "thank-you" through gritted teeth.
What is the most annoying toy your small person has ever been given?