A Whole New World - Baby Steps in High Heels

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Whole New World

I’ve known people who have lived in this world, maybe for my entire life. I smiled politely, laughed a little … even tried to help from time to time. This world is a place far, far away from any reality I’ve ever known. It’s a place of frustration, uncertainty, and well … sometimes disaster. It’s a place where even rational adults are transformed into bumbling, blubbering, incapable beings. And, now I’ve become a citizen myself.

What is this land I speak of? This sad, sad place?

This is the land of Children’s Toy Packaging. Not quite hell on earth, but definitely a place we’d all avoid if we could.

I received my green card to CTP last week. I was initially excited. Baby has recently begun showing interest in objects other than her own hand. And, let’s face it … it was probably time for me to provide my child with some type of fun and/or educational stimulus aside from her 3 favorites:

1) Her lovey, aka whichever burp cloth happens to be attached to her at the time;
2) Her hand, which provides hours of gagging entertainment; and
3) My hand, which is just a larger more Mecca-like version of her own

So, once Baby started showing interest in other objects (like the spoon at mealtimes), I realized it might be time to buy her a few toys. Now, I’m not a parent who thinks my child should have every toy under the sun, but she definitely needed something besides cloth diaper!

Green Card to CTP Application Process:
Off to the toy store, I went, armed with coupons and ideas. Agh. Of course, nothing I had on my list was in stock. Of course. So my 15 minute errand turned into an hour, but I felt pretty good. I felt like I had come away with some decent options: a couple of toys with teething ‘appendages’, some things to help encourage her to sit up, one that will even convert as she starts to walk. A ball with lots of colors, textures, etc. And one with music! I was even able to use one of my coupons, so it seemed like a successful trip.

Green Card to CTP Granted:
Flash forward 24 hours (yes, Baby had to wait … I’m a working mom too!) … it was time to disinfect everything so Baby could go crazy with all of her new loot! Toy Number One … snip a few plastic ties. Um, how do you even get scissors under that tie to cut it? Lots of finagling .. okay, first one cut! Two to go … on this first toy. FYI – it’s a plush elephant with 2 rubber feet as teethers. It’s probably 6 inches in length. THREE damn plastic ties. Seriously? And, that was the simplest one.

CTP Citizenship:
Six or seven packages later, a bleeding knuckle, lots of frustration … and I still haven’t even used the Clorox or sink full of soapy water. Agh. The delightful life as a citizen of Children’s Toy Packaging Land.

On Probabtion:
So, it didn’t take long before I found myself in a bit of trouble. I’m nosey, a little pushy, and I ask a lot of questions. This ‘autocracy’ didn’t seem too fond of all of my nosing around, so I’m officially on probation. Here are the questions I’ve been asking about CTP:
1) If a toy is designed for a 6-month-old, do you really need to secure it 3 times to a piece of cardboard? I mean, if she can’t get the toy loose, she’ll just cram the cardboard into her mouth, right?

2) If a toy is designed for ages 6-18 months, does it really need to be secured to a piece of cardboard EIGHT times? Okay, I’m talking 8 twisty-ties, each looped through a piece of plastic on the back side of cardboard and taped. Really, I’m thinking it doesn’t matter what age the toy is designed for. EIGHT times? This is on a plush ball, by the way.

3) Not to get all political/social/etc., but I’m guessing that these security ties were likely put in place by some toddler in a third world country, and well … doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of safety ties all together?

4) Finally, all this cardboard! What do you do with it if your city doesn’t include it on their recycling list?

Citizenship Verdict:
I’m hosed. Never getting out of this place. At least not for 10-20 …
Anyone have any tips on how to survive?


  1. I leave that frustration for the he-men (Dad and Granpas), it provides way too much entertainment, LMBO

  2. LOL that was so funny! I hate all the packaging on kid toys. It's crazy! Seriously these toys should be gold plated for how hard they are to get into.

  3. I've stopped buying toys. Our son just wants to play with the TV remote anyway.

  4. Wait til you get to the (insert curse word here) barbie dolls. They sew their hair in a plastic thing so it doesn't get messed up. Methinks I am doing more damage trying to get the hair unsewn for crying out loud.

    Yes, packaging sucks. I think you only get 10 though. By ten, she can open her own toys :-)

  5. Just wait till you get the ones that you have to use a screw driver to unscrew the security features, those are a pain! (I'm the loving aunt that gets to put all the toys together for the niece and nephew):)

  6. ARGH! Toys suck! I've officially classified them as Dad duties since they likely require tools or things of that nature just to open them...forget trying to operate them! Will's given up hope on my abilities to transform Bumblebee or any of his Transformers...however, his dad "knows all about toys".

  7. I hate the packaging! I try to buy stuff that has less but it's so hard since everything is tied, secured with plastic and then taped down. Ridiculous, kids more likely to choke on all that stuff then hurt themselves with a cushy toy!