Friday, October 24, 2008

Big Time Toy still eludes us

One of our more egregious failures in recent months is a lapsed quest for a Big Time Toy.

Sonny, freshly embarked on a seventh month with us, is by now quite capable to fiddling and having fun with little playthings (though he mainly tries to eat them). The kindness of friends and relatives, along with Mum's odd sally into a shop, has left him with options ranging from a furry donkey to Rainbow the fish (pull a fin and it shudders awake) and some cloth books. But we're aiming to score big, literally, with a larger-scale item that can engage and entrance the little fella, so he can both develop skills and amuse himself. Pa's code name for the project is 'Operation Big Time Toy'.

The closest we've come so far is what might best be described as a suspended super-rocker. Supported on poles, its seat allows Sonny to bounce about with no fear of falling while he tackles the myriad delights built into the dashboard. Depending on the make of the super-rocker (yes, there's a variety) these include flashing-bleeping things, twirly-whirly gewgaws, a selection of half-hidden animals for him to suss out and much more besides. Such a contraption would appear to offer hours of fun, during which his powers of co-ordination, spatial recognition and assorted other '-ions' are surreptitiously boosted.

The problem with Operation Big Time Toy is that we have a sneaking suspicion the little fella will soon lose interest in whatever we buy him, leaving us with a bulky white elephant with no discernible function. The name of the game these days, after all, is 'dual use'. This has relevance to deadly-serious things like restricted technologies. These, if purchased by dubious regimes like those in power in Iran or North Korea, could be turned from peaceable uses (making better lightbulbs, say) to dangerous ones (superweapons). Somewhat less momentously, with Sonny, we try to procure things that pass the dual use test. For instance, we have a nifty high chair that will allow him to eat at the dining table by and by, but also converts into a desk-and-work-chair set.

Big Time Toys, for some reason, tend not to pass scrutiny when the dual use test is applied. So we'll just have to see how things go. Sonny's having plenty of fun with his Small Time Toys, and there'll be less heartbreak or wallet-linked rage in case of breakage or equipment malfunction. But the quest will continue. Fitfully.


Shirley said...

I fully agree with you about that Big Time Toy thing! I made that mistake with my 1st one and am ABSOLUTELY NOT making that same mistake again. So what I do now is ASK around for that Big Time Toy thing! Hahahaha! So I've still got white elephants sitting around though I did not have to spend any noosh on it. Ha, go figure!

Cloudsters said...

Hmmm... that might work. We'll go find some vict... I mean, folks to consult.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, came here to your blog too late. Regarding that Big time toy thing, well, its a trial and error, but mostly it works out.

Cloudsters said...

You know, Tnomeralc, it's the weirdest thing, but our son at first disdained the Big Time Toy we ended up getting for him (the play pen we blogged about) - but has now come round to enjoy playing about within its confines.

Can't ever tell with the whims of these toddlers.