Monday, January 14, 2013

Dad: The Stuck and the Furious

Our 10-month-old Susan is obsessed. For Christmas, Santa brought her a toy that – at the time – we thought would promote all sorts of physical and intellectual development. Turns out that it does, but the tradeoff has us asking ourselves if this wonderful toy could be put to better use collecting dust somewhere in our attic.

The toy in question is known as the Little People Music Parade Ride-On, but in our house it’s simply known as “That Damn Truck.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful toy because our daughter loves it and it allows her to “walk” around the house “unassisted.” But I can’t emphasize the quotes around “unassisted” enough.

The toy description reads, “Fisher Price Little People Music Parade Ride-On - so much music - so much fun! Includes push bar handle and extra wide wheels for stability. C'mon...the parade is about to begin!” What it doesn’t say is that the parade begins and then abruptly ends when your daughter crashes the truck into a wall, piece of furniture or her father’s leg and gets stuck because she lacks the coordination to go in any direction other than straight. What she doesn’t lack is the ability to cry when she gets stuck, which almost always brings a parent to the rescue to put her back on track. That lasts about 3 more seconds until she nails the refrigerator. Cry and repeat. All. Day. Long.

The Fast and the Furious 8, coming to theaters soon.

The easiest solution is to either A) follow her around the house and turn the truck for her, or B) hide the toy and pretend it doesn’t exit. Option A is great until you’re guiding her on lap 15 of the living room/kitchen/dining room speedway and she’s showing no signs of stopping. Option B is no longer feasible because she understands now that when something she wants isn’t there, her jerk of a father probably hid it in the bedroom and all she has to do is cry until it magically reappears. 

As poor timing would have it, I just finished reading Christine and I'm seeing some STRIKING comparisons between Arnie Cunningham's "relationship" with his demon car and my own baby daughter's obsession with her truck. Even when we put it away, she knows where it's supposed to be and when it's NOT there, she looks right at us and whines. I can only hope that That Damn Truck hasn't become self-aware and tries run over my foot during a late-night trip to the restroom.

Heads WILL roll.
Toes WILL be stubbed.

For now we're just going to work on teaching her how to turn the thing before she destroys every piece of furniture in the house. Our entertainment center can only take so many head-on collisions, and the same goes for the walls, fridge and dog. 

At least we have another 15 years before she gets a driver’s license.

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