The Land of Misfit Toys (A.K.A. Our House)

I visited my brother’s family in Connecticut a few years ago when I only had one child, and they had three, and my lil’ guy was only about one at the time. I remember my sister-in-law talking about having to “inventory” the toys a lot, and I remember thinking she was fucking nuts. Who the hell cares? But now I know all too well how stressful toys can actually be, and I know this because our house is where toys go to die. In fact, if I’m being honest, some of our toys were never given a chance to live. We bought a scooter for my older dude, and on the first walk, one of the screws came out and was never to be found again. Only a few weeks ago, we bought our lil’ guy a turtle that you ride on, but we never put in the steering properly, and now we have no idea where it is. And don’t get me started on Hungry Hungry Hippos. We bought that in May for the big guy’s birthday, and I had no idea where all the balls were going until they showed up in one of our pug’s vomit and poop. Now those hippos aren’t just hungry — they’re fucking starving, as there are two measly balls left.

Last Christmas was particularly depressing, as we (read: Santa) went way bigger than we would have liked to for the big guy. But it was one of those things where we thought “Wait ’til he sees this ride-on fire truck, he’s going to lose his shit” kind of a things. And we couldn’t resist. So we pulled the trigger despite the nagging “you’re spoiling him” thoughts. And boy did he think that thing was cool. Success! So we took it outside, and he promptly drove it into the curb across the street, giving me, his father, and my in laws a heart attack in unison, which I didn’t even think was possible. He clearly had no business driving that thing, so we put it back in the garage where it gathered dust until recently. So the kids went back inside the house and did what kids do — battled each other with the wrapping paper rolls, and threw wads of tissue paper at each other for hours. Even Elf on the Shelf seemed like he was laughing at us.

Our toy box is filled with games with no pieces, sticks with no balls, and dolls and stuffed animals with missing appendages. It’s truly frightening. And then there’s this:

boys playing

Unfortunately, this photo was not staged in any shape or form.

I heard a ruckus the other day, and I went in to find my boys playing “Monster,” one with a Trader Joe’s bag on his head, the other (yes, he’s wearing a Spiderman costume) with a bucket that we use for Easter candy. Please, oh please, someone tell me this is normal and in no way means I have to give up my hopes and dreams of Ivy League educations. Oh yeah, in case you were wondering — that is a water balloon that we blew up on the ground — a near daily request so they can play with them. Later that day — I shit you not — I heard one of the boys crying, and when I went running out, the other was hitting him with the broken end of a broom that they had fished out of the garbage. So long, Harvard.

In sum, this Christmas, I’ll be asking Santa for packing peanuts and 20 rolls of plastic paper with the balls they can pop for hours on end.


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  1. Sandy Colton says:

    Marn! Love this and couldn’t agree more. You saw the madness of my house on Saturday night. Omg…fucking nuts! I am still picking up toys….we have been unwrapping a few of Reese’s toys and the thing she loves the most is the tissue paper. So simple, so true. Everyone is so generous – we feel very loved. I normally put on all their party invites “no presents just your presence” and for whatever reason, I forgot. Soooooo here we are with lots of new toys waiting to be mangled. :) Love your but blog!!

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