My children have an obscene amount of toys.
Toys from Christmases, from birthdays, toys donated by older children, souvenirs from holidays, toys 'borrowed' from playgroup and toys bought when Daddy can't help himself.
It's a whole heap of toys.
A frankly ridiculous pile of gaudy plastic. And when you look closely you will notice that some of the toys themselves are utter crap.
I mean, come on, what are some people thinking when they buy these shitty toys? Shitty toys that I have to make space for in my junk filled home.
Some of the toot my children have been given as presents has been verging on the offensive.
I'm not being a snob here, I promise. I don't care if the toy came from Poundland (prices start from £1) if it's good fun.
Let me assure you that some of the more rubbish toys my sons have are pretty darn pricey.
And it's not a noise thing either. I don't mind most noisy toys. Drums are fine. Shouty has a little keyboard, which he batters most days. I think it's funny.
I do, however, draw the line at dangerous toys.
You know, toys that are more like weapons.
Toys that come with large hammers.
Or sticky up bits that are ideal for falling on?
Or bulky awkwardly shaped toys that are all to easily dropped on other babies.
A long while back my boys were given a musical ball, that was about the same size as a football and as heavy as a medicine ball. It’s weight meant it was dropped a lot. It hurt. (The ball is no longer with us.)
Then there are the toys that the children are scared of. My eldest son was given an air-powered toy that pops colourful balls out of the top and then rolls them along a track for them to pop out again. It was super noisy and huge.
And terrifying for my little boy.
Tears literally squirted out of his beautiful big eyes when the machine was turned on. I put it away for a few months and hoped he'd have a change of heart next time it was aired.
Er, no. More tears, only this time a bit louder as he seemed incredulous because a toy he clearly hates has been forced upon him. Again.
But the noisy ball popping fiasco pales into insignificance when compared with the awfulness that is the Curious George Bump and Go Fire Engine.
It moves off, bumps into something and changes direction.
For maybe 2 minutes.
I remember being stuck trying to give little Shouty a bottle (he didn't like milk) with Eldest son sat watching In the Night Garden in his playpen/prison.
Eldest switched Curious George on, let him zoom off out of the playpen and watched him get stuck by some books.
And there he stayed. For about 7 minutes or so, not that I was counting.
The siren wailed on.
And I was stuck, my ears throbbing, unable to move because of highly strung Shouty.
Obviously I can't throw the bastard toy away.
I'd feel guilty (but slagging it off on the internet is fine).
I was nearly taken in by those lovely adverts for Moonsand. You know:
“Moonsand! Moonsand! Sand that you can mould”
I was just hours away from buying into the dream. Luckily two experienced mum’s got to me in time and saved us for the nightmare and heart ache. Seriously, when is it a good idea for children to play with damp sand inside the house?
Instead of pointing at the screen and saying “Me Mummy!” when the ad comes on I have trained my eldest son to say “Rubbish!” when the music starts.
It makes me very proud.
Next time you buy a toy for a child think about it. I mean really think about what you are giving. The toy, in my experience, will be housed for a minimum of 6 months before the parent gives in to their urge to throw it out. That’s about 180 days of purgatory.
And don’t get me started on Playdoh