My baby just turned 2-years-old. My teeny, tiny, itty-bitty, little baby is now a steak-chewin’, question-askin’, opinion-havin’ little man.
Sigh. Ah, how time flies and all that.
Of course, any time you get to celebrate a child’s birthday, it’s a time of joy. Perhaps a bittersweet joy but a joy nonetheless. And it remains a joy all the way up until the moment your adorable, big-eyed offspring looks lovingly up at you and asks you to open their giant pile of small, impenetrable toy jails.
Seriously, have you ever had to liberate a child’s toy from modern day packaging? It’s like the escape scene in “Shawshank Redemption,” only on a slightly smaller scale. Giving birth was less frustrating and complex.
First there is the plastic. But not just any plastic. Oh, no. No, this plastic was whipped up in the bowels of Hell and no weapon forged by man can destroy it. That alone is bad enough. But then the toy manufacturers decided that these pieces of demonic plastic that encase the toy needed to be fused together in an alchemy concoction that is so supernaturally strong it likely lists virgin blood and unicorn tears among its unholy ingredients.
Then there are the zip ties that are usually included, because imprisoning baby dolls and shiny cars in Satanic plastic doesn’t go far enough. These zip ties usually fasten said toy to a piece of superfluous cardboard like tiny choker collars and S&M cuffs. Oh, and standard scissors can’t cut these things. They don’t even make a dent. In fact, I’ve broken no less than three sharp knives trying to free Barbie and G.I Joe from their respective miniature torture chambers. As far as I can figure, a grenade might do the trick but only like one of those really big bang-bang military grade ones.
Sometimes toy makers like to switch it up and also add random gigantic staples that can only be removed with three bottles of wine, a steady supply of Vicodin and a sturdy butter knife (or, better yet, a tiny titanium crowbar).
And let us not forget the sadistic bastards who use full-on bolts to secure the toys in their packaging. BOLTS. Those things used to fasten steel in cars and houses and skyscrapers are also apparently needed to keep Buttercup, the shiny, new My Little Pony, from shifting during transportation.
What do these people think is going to happen from the time a toy leaves the factory to the time it arrives in an eager child’s sticky little jam hands? A tsunami of volcanic lava will flood a toxic waste dump and as a result become a sentient volcano monster named Magma Mike and the only way to defeat him is to throw tightly packaged toy tractors and farm animals at him?
Or perhaps this is some sort of secret government plan to enforce population control in a way that can’t be traced back to our elected officials. Sure, you’d love to have more kids. So would I. But the thought of having to go mano a mano with even MORE toys every Christmas, let alone another whole birthday, is simply too much to bear.
Whatever the reasoning is, at least it’s a relief to know that all your hard work and not insignificant hand wounds are well worth it once you get to see the look of pure happiness on your child’s face as they play with their great new toy. Which they do for all of seven minutes before discarding it to go roll around in some bubble wrap.
And let us not forget that on the plus side, should the apocalypse happen, we can all rest easy knowing that an army of Fisher-Price Little People and Bratz dolls will survive in mint condition and hopefully keep Magma Mike satiated once we’re all dead.