My Foot Got Stuck in the Car Seat: A Parenting Memoir (cont.)

Ch. 2: For the Love of All that is Holy, Legos are the Devil!

Children’s toys– a total Catch 22! I mean, we HAVE to have then to entertain the kids, right? (I am not actually sure of the validity of this statement– my kid, like my cats, seems perfectly content with a cardboard box and a marker.) On the flip side, toys can cause endless headaches, or in the case of Legos, foot aches/ twisted ankles/ 4-letter word vocabulary expansion.

When travelling for more than a day, it becomes mind game of what to bring. You don’t want to pack too much (especially of travelling on plane, overseas, only staying in hotel rooms, etc.), but at the same time, you want to make sure you have enough to distract/ occupy/ appease the demon that erupts every so often from that small frame.

So on this beach trip with my girlfriends and their 4 kids, I was flummoxed as to what to take toy wise. I was driving, and it was only me and Miss Priss in the car, so we had some room. I ended up mainly taking coloring stuff, the iPad, and a couple of games. Of those items, the iPad saw some action. The rest sat dutifully in the room, awaiting their turn should it come. It didn’t.

This was due mainly to 2 things:

  1. Balloons– JML’s kids have ALWAYS been bewitched by balloons. When you visit their house you always find them regardless of the fact that there is no holiday or birthday any time close. So one of the first things we bought when doing our shopping was a bag of balloons. These provided hours of entertainment and warfare. You’d be amazed how violent kids can become over a piece of rubber covered in spit and someone’s hot air. And of course the older kids all wanted to be able to blow them up themselves, which they did… repeatedly. My fingers are still cramped from tying off balloons.

    Then they started writing on them and decorating them. Then it really became territorial– “That’s MY balloon! I drew that squiggly line! Give it back!!” Oy vey.

    My daughter, who is in the pre-stages of being a hoarder, even brought 2, mostly deflated balloons home. They had her name on, damnit! They were HERS! Back off!

    Sorry… I clearly spent too much time in the balloon pit with those five.
  1. Legos– This house had a big box of Legos. Dear Lord.

    Legos are amazing aren’t they? As a toy they are awesome as they inspire creativity, engineering, and exploration (yes, I am teaching STEM this year and have been researching… ), but Legos can also be a vicious weapon that could bring an end to terrorism everywhere (why has the military not tried this approach??) This is especially true if you happen to step on one late at night, in the dark, barefoot, carrying a glass of champagne…

To be fair, there was not a lot of Lego stepping during this trip, but dear God did those things somehow multiply and spread all over the house! And of course the munchkins had to be conned, bribed, and almost beaten to get them all up. Then you would find one in the bed, or behind the tv cabinet, or in the blinds… Just kidding, the sand rake was in the blinds! Not the Legos! Sheesh! I am surprised I didn’t find Legos in my luggage when I got home.

Then there was the fighting. Oh yes. Remember how I said in chapter 1 that they played hard, and fought harder? Well, here was a BIG cause. They would be working SO well together building some giant tower or castle or bird house or whatever it was that they were creating. Then BAM! Someone, often Miss Priss, was instantaneously in tears. This could be for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it was sheer exhaustion coupled with a ridiculously tall tower falling over. Other times someone had taken one of “her” blocks, and this was punishable by death even though she had 20 other JUST LIKE IT beside her that had not been used. Holy cow, y’all. Then, all of a sudden, like a brilliant blinding light from Heaven, they were all building together again… the hell?! Everything is Awesome!!
I don’t have the answer for this one… When packing toys for a trip is less better? Or should you be prepared at all costs for any situation? My advice? Make sure the iPad is charged!


Up next~ Ch. 3: You Wish!


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