Monday, March 29, 2010

The Men In White Coats Are Considering A Visit.

I'm onto you.

Yes, you over there. The company that makes childrens toys. That's right. I'm onto you.

You hold your focus groups and your brainstorming sessions and talk to all the experts in the field of child development and then you design toys around the resulting data. But, I'm onto you. You're not doing this to further the intellectual development of my children.

You're doing it to torture me. It's all a secret plot to drive me insane.

If I'm not spending my days listening to the banjo pluckings of the Leapfrog Fridge Farm I'm listening to Farmer John sing "Old MacDonald" while driving his tractor. You gift me with the insane giggling of the Drop and Roar Dinosaur or the multiple musical instruments and songs included in the LeapFrog Learn and Grove Musical Table. Even the stuffed animals talk sometimes!

Everything makes a noise, sings a song, or otherwise noisily rewards my child for interacting with it. He finds it so addictive that he can't stop pressing those buttons to make those noises. Over and over again I hear the same things.

You want me to be a blibbering idiot by the time the kid is 5, don't you? Yes, I thought so, too.

He has become so enamored of your creations that when he doesn't have buttons to push for musical accompaniment to his day he looks lost and bereft. Constant input is all he knows. Ask the kid to sit still and read a book and he needs 87 other things going on in the background in order to do it.

Eventually my brain is going to seep out of my ears to the strains of "Skip To My Lou." It's running away, really, looking for a better home that treats it well and doesn't abuse it. I urge it to look for a home without small children. One day it may come back to me but I fear that I will not remember how to use it by then.

The songs and noises meet me in my dreams. They will not go away. And if I have to listen to "Farmer in the Dell" one more time the Fridge Farm is going to get dropped in the toilet.

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