Usually, this would be the time of year that I’d start asking around about the latest and greatest in toys and general “stuff” ideas for a 3-year old girl and 4-year old boy for Chanukah. I’d scour the Internet for top 10 lists, best of 2012 lists and whatever else anyone is listing off for me to make my shopping list.
This year is different.
This year, I’m going for shit that I can get out of the packaging without a tool.
Seriously, I just finished opening a toy for my son this morning that, I swear to Hasboro, I’ve been trying to remove since 2008. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but the pain in my forearms from using a screwdriver for so long has made me a little nuts. Let me explain…
I innocently purchased a Cars car set from the Disney store for my little car-loving dude. Yes, he already had 4 out of 5 of the cars in the package at home, but it was not worth the temper tantrum to re-explain that to him for a 4th time. Yes, I’m that mom. Secretly, I’m sure my husband curses me and my “parenting” techniques, but I say, if he doesn’t like it, he can stay home with the kids all day. My guess is upon that suggestion, he’d give up groceries in exchange for toys.
So we got home from the store and of course, before I could even remove my shoes and coat, my son was all up in my face to get those damn cars out of the box. Since they have been sealed into the packaging better than a heart en route to the hospital for a transplant, I got out my ziplock of tools. My toy-opening-tool-kit includes 3 different small screwdrivers, 2 larger screwdrivers, a pocket knife, and a mini bottle of vodka. If you’ve ever attempted to open a toy for a crying child, you know the importance of the mini vodka. Actually, you know the importance of a full-size bottle of vodka, but the mini’s small enough to fit in a ziplock.
Using all my strength, I ripped open the plastic packaging, receiving only minor cuts and scrapes on my fingers and one broken nail, to reveal that the bottom of the package had every die-cast car locked into place with screws that are longer than those holding together most of my living room furniture.
I placed the first little screwdriver into 1 of 2 of the screws in a car, and remembering, righty-tighty, lefty loosey, I began turning to the left. And turning to the left. And turning to the left.
Ok, so about 15 minutes later, I had half of one car removed, so I took a bathroom break, knowing that I was in for at least an hour more of hard labor.
Here are two things that came from this painful experience. First, I realized it’s really ok that I don’t go to a gym to workout. My guns have been created by Disney, thanks to their ridiculous packaging. They’re not the only toy company to do this to parents, but seriously, I’ve tried on diamond jewelry that wasn’t as well protected as these stupid 5 cent cars.
Second, do the toy companies know they’re ruining holidays, birthdays and just-a-little-something occasions? I thought the hard part of gift giving was coming up with the idea. Turns out the hardest part is actually getting it out of the box!