Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When Toys Become Possessed

If you are laughing at this moment, after having seen the title of this blog post, you likely have either experienced something similar with your child's toys or just think I am plain old nuts.

A friend recently posted on her Facebook page that some of her son's toys were talking or making noises even when they were not being played with.

When I read this, it gave me a laugh based on my own past experiences as a child and with Sarah, and because it gave me a great idea to share this in a blog post.

Early on during Sarah's first year of life her Grammie and Papa gave her some great bath toy stuffed animals that also doubled as wash cloths. They made cute animal noises too.

So, considering the fact that these toys were meant to be in the water I didn't think twice about putting it in the washing machine for their first cleaning.

Quackers the duck and Clarence the Crab did well after their first soaking. Robert the Frog did not fare so well. It just so happened that he lost his voice as a result of the washing, or so we thought he did. We kept pressing his belly over and over again waiting for him to dry out and starting talking again but nothing would come out. Out of the blue with Robert resting on a shelf we would hear a "ribbit" sound, then again, and again, and again. He wasn't lying on top of anything or pressed against something causing the sounds.

He was possessed.

This went on for a while and Daniel then suggested that we just get rid of the toy.

Now, let me caveat, I am a sentimental freak. Once I name a stuffed animal or toy I am attached. There is personal connection. And, Sarah's grandparents gave her this toy. I didn't have the heart to depart with it. I also realized at this moment that just because Robert didn't speak didn't mean he was broken or any less lovable. He was just different. He was still great for baths and to play with.

Even though Sarah was much too young to understand it at the time I wanted her to keep Robert even though he couldn't talk and understand that he was still fun to play with despite his differences.

One day when Robert said ribbit, ribbit, ribbit one too many times unprompted, it started to get freaky. When asleep at night sometimes we would hear him in the other room. We would laugh each time this happened but then realized something needed to be done.

So, I woke from bed one night and wrapped Robert in a towel to muffle the unplanned, now somewhat more frequent ribbits. However, the one thing I forgot to do was mention to Daniel that I did this.

Since Daniel works from home it wasn't until much later in the day that he called me to tell me he spent a while trying to find Robert because the ribbit sounds just wouldn't stop and didn't know where to find him. Let's just say we got a really great laugh out of this especially when I told him what I did with Robert and where he was (just over Daniel's shoulder next our desks).

Later that same night it was decided that I would need to perform my first stuffed animal laryngectomy.

The funny and sad thing is, about a year later we purchased for Sarah a talking Kermit the Frog from a yard sale. Since it was necessary to wash him too since Sarah mouthed everything in sight, he too landed the same fate. (Sorry, Kermie). It then brought back a flood of childhood memories of one frog in particular that I had growing up that my mom had to mend way too many times over the years. I loved him so much, beyond words, that it broke my heart each time bunk mates from summer camp would put him outside or hide him where I couldn't find him (I still hold a grudge about this).

I'm guessing, it may be best not to get any more frogs (live or stuffed) especially since their fates don't often end well in my hands. However, Robert, Kermit and my childhood friend Frog are all still with us and forever friends despite some of their differences. They are still loved and will forever be appreciated.

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