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January 05, 2009

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Heidi

It's the cheapo party store crap that annoys me the most now that we are of birthday party favor bag age. The 10 cent sunglass that are broken before you get home are a bitch to confiscate. And honestly, because I can be a grinch at times, Trader Joe's and their free balloons. The helium in them has super powers and the darn things float around a foot off the foor for daaays. No matter where I banish them to, the cats always find a way to chew off the ribbons and gak them up all over the house.

Sorry to hear about the waking. My 8.5 month old has been doing the same thing since she learned to crawl and pull herself to a standing position all in one day. I remember that milestones can interrupt sleep for a time, but OMG how much longer???

the planet of janet

eh, you never know what a random pom will turn into. my daughter has been on a competitive team since she was 7 and she's now on her high school team.

we're hoping for college scholarships if she stays injury-free (insert wood-knocking here)

Missy

I hate toys in the kitchen! My kitchen is super small and the baby will not stop bringing her toys into the kitchen! I miss Tire. There is a doll that moves and makes baby sounds that we hate. It will come alive out of nowhere. I want to throw it away and run it over but my husband says it would make my daughter cry. Eh.

Jess

Two words.

Repeating. Parrot. (See "my link" for an amazon link to it, as your comments don't allow HTML.)

My father-in-law loves to get obnoxious toys for my daughter. Sigh.

Kim

I couldn't help and chuckle at your fertile myrtle remarks and this is why I laugh. I am a former infertile with five children. After adopting our second child I found out I was pregnant nine months later, then three years later after not ovulating in over 7 months got pregnant again (and no bc), and then our last child was conceived while I was breastfeeding, while using birth control, knew that we had sex but it was so seldom, and had a hysterectomy scheduled. My OB/GYN laughs when she sees me bring in my herd of children now and looks at my six inch thick chart. I got my tubes tied, which is seriously laughable when the odds of me getting pregnant are supposedly slim to none.
Sorry you are having such sleep issues. I wish I knew some magic fix, but five kids later - I have none. My 21 month old still gives a run for our money at night.

Kim

I couldn't help and chuckle at your fertile myrtle remarks and this is why I laugh. I am a former infertile with five children. After adopting our second child I found out I was pregnant nine months later, then three years later after not ovulating in over 7 months got pregnant again (and no bc), and then our last child was conceived while I was breastfeeding, while using birth control, knew that we had sex but it was so seldom, and had a hysterectomy scheduled. My OB/GYN laughs when she sees me bring in my herd of children now and looks at my six inch thick chart. I got my tubes tied, which is seriously laughable when the odds of me getting pregnant are supposedly slim to none.
Sorry you are having such sleep issues. I wish I knew some magic fix, but five kids later - I have none. My 21 month old still gives a run for our money at night.

CaraH

I know you don't have boys... but Transformers. My God, the stupid TRANSFORMERS! They can't transform them; I can't transform them; everyone is pissed off... so not fun!

Glad to see you posting again! You should re-post some of the old Infertile Myrtles. :)

Carol

I don't know if you live near Massachusetts, but my daughter came home from school today with a fever, puked about a gallon of liquid once, then her fever broke and she's fine now. Maybe random puke is going around?

I freaking hate all the treat bag/happy meal toys. We call them "the small toys." I'm sure small toys are filling up landfills everywhere. Useless pieces of plastic with dead batteries or missing parts, characters from the latest movie McDonald's is hawking. Clapper hands, superballs, plastic lizards, My Little Ponies, Chuck E. Cheese picture cards, Polly Pocket clothes.

I also hate this Big Bird toy that I keep meaning to throw away because IT HAS NO OFF SWITCH. WHAT KIND OF A SICK JOKE IS THAT? And when I walk by the toy box it's in, sometimes just the vibration from my foot makes Big Bird laugh. Annoyingly creepy.

Carol

Oh! And floam. Messiest toy EVER:

http://www.floamit.com/

Beth

I rue the day I allowed toys in the kitchen. Why didn't I think of that rule? You are very wise.

jenn

Hate all toys! Can't wait for kids to grow up. just kidding...

kristylynne

Sit and Spin. Not the one I had has a kid, the one my kid has, purchased by an aunt who will be getting it back the instant she has a kid. Some toy development jerk apparently felt that the awesome old standby could be improved upon by adding loud techno music and annoying kid voices yelling, "READY?" and "SIMON DIDN'T SAY!" Why, I ask you? WHY?

MFA Mama

The Elmo sing-and-dance shape-and-color mat is FROM HELL. It's a 3x3-ft square of that crinkly stuff you find in small Lamaze hand-toys for babies, coated with a vinyl mat chock full of electronic pressure-sensors, and it sings (LOUDLY) in Elmo's manic little voice, urging your child to jump and dance on top of it. The crackling is loud enough to wake a sleeping baby and as a bonus it shuts itself off after a certain period of time so that you will THINK it's off, but if you step on it it turns itself back ON and shrieks "SING ALONG WITH ELMO!" at full volume. There is no volume control. It's about as loud as the average car-horn. Did I mention the crackling? This is from my former mother-in-law. I think she did it on purpose, the bitch.

shirky

PARENTS BRAND KITTY KEYBOARD

I wasn't the one who bought it but I WILL be the one who destroys it!!!

Shelley

I'm laughing hysterically at all of these, and Heidi, I'm glad I'm not the only one with a demented cat who chews off balloon ribbons.

Sarah

The first (of many) toy that comes to mind is the Fisher Price Learning Puppy.
http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=2341&e=detail&pid=30407&pcat=bulnl
It has two volumes - loud and louder. It's constantly underfoot, and goes off when you step on it. What's worse is when the eldest outgrew it, I put it (gleefully) away. Then someone got one for the youngest as a gift. Then someone bought us another one (which was regifted because we're evil.) Then someone bought us the bunny version.
I dislike, on principle, toys that do the playing/imagining for the child. And of course that's what my kids end up liking the best. (for five minutes, until they leave it on the floor and go play for hours with a box of tissues)

I like the little crappy toys because I don't feel guilty when I throw them out.

Katherine

Was just complaining about this to office-mate this am. Toys with too many parts and too few play options. SIL got 2yo a set of 26 plastic animals (one for each letter of the alphabet) that came with a mat on which you can place the animal on its corresponding letter to hear the animal noise. Really? Where is the fun in this toy with 26 pieces? In my house, that fun is in the donate bag!

Spacemom

Any toy without a volume control! :)
The worst is My Pretty Pony. Who the hell came up with this and WHY???????
And how do these ponies reproduce anyway? There are no boy pretty ponies.... ANd I am SICK of braiding their manes and tails!

MotherLawyer

On the sleep thing, could Chloe have an ear infection? The constant desire to nurse is a red flag for that. She isn't eating, she's comforting herself, I know you know that.

I had terrible sleep "issues" with my first child. I was miserable as was he. The child needs sleep as much as mama... figure a plan that you can both live with. I've let #2 cry some, I don't like it, but she sleeps and I don't want to die, that's worth a lot in my book. She also can ride in a car without passing out (which #1 could NEVER do)... that's a great yardstick for knowing if your child is getting enough sleep.

On the toys thing, it occurs to me that we live in the house too, mom gets a vote on the toys that stay or go (and her vote is the one that counts:))... gleefully thinking about a toy purge (hehehe!).

Oh, and this too shall pass (not helpful, I know:)).

Chickenpig

AAAArg my neighbor gave us a bag of toys her son had outgrown. The are all Blues Clues toys, and one is a computer type thing with plastic cards that go into a slot in the back. It asks questions in Steve's annoying voice that the kids are supposed to answer. This toy is SO loud and SO annoying, and the twins LOOOve the frickin' thing, so they are always fighting over it. From now on I vow to look through whatever toys she gives us and be very careful which ones I let out of the bag. I can't wait for the batteries to die.

carrie fleming

That big bag of toys that arrives from friends - it will always contain the hate toys. The ones they cannot stand but you as gullible parent will not know.

Our solution - take them straight to the gparents. Leave. Use them when you visit them. As those visits are never that long, no one gets too crazy. And it stops you having to tell your friends you threw them out.

Of course if your parents/in laws aren't in driving range you are in trouble.

Jen

One word....5 letters...

LEGOS.

They embed themselves into your feet...It is supposedly made for children, yet there are 85 steps to build one spaceship. And then of course a piece, a CRUCIAL piece is always missing...but you love your kid, who desperately wants the ship completed in less than 10 minutes, so you persevere.

After 17 hours of assembling said spaceship, you hand the masterpiece to your precious child who has been waiting none to patiently...and the wing pops off. So he hands it back and you try to pop it back on, and the other wing comes off. Then you pop that on and 17 random little pieces fall off and for the life of you, you can't find where they go.

I truly believe that legos were designed by a team of people who hated their parents.

Brainy girl

Oh my god - my mother gave my now 3 year old this dancing caterpillar thing that sings "La Bamba" over and over and OVER again, ad nauseum, while shaking its little caterpillar booty. It was all I could do to prevent my husband from throwing it away WHILE my mother was still visiting. It now resides in the great big toybox in the...um...basement, awaiting a yard sale so that some other unsuspecting parent can be tortured by this thing.

Lesley

I have to agree with Jen about Lego's, but I'd like to add K'nex also. They have even more and tinier parts than Legos and I can never find all the stupid tiny pieces to put together whatever it is that my 4 yo needs to build right then.

Ginger

Someone (who has good intentions, but no experience with kids) gave my son a Whack-a-Mole toy for Christmas. It sounds like he's trying to tear his room off the house when he plays with it. Horrible.

Jane

the snare drum and cymbal set that Santa was so proud to bring the kids (so they can have a parade it was thought!) instead, anna threw the drum sticks at everyone and everything after peronally hitting everyone over the head with them. They are now behind the t.v., the last place she threw them (I'm leaving them there.)
And the cymballs, well, they slammed them together so much they cut their hands with them. I can't even remember where I put them.

We continue to have parades but with their musical Thomas the tank engine toothbrushes!

Dee

Let's just put it this way.... IF you ever have an urge to give your almost 5-year-old daughter a set of jacks of the very sharp metal variety with two red plastic balls in order to "keep her entertained" during the long, long 2-week winter school break, RESIST THAT URGE!! The set kept her entertained for maybe 30 minutes, oh yes it did. Over the next few hours until dinner, I reminded her to please put the jacks away when she was done playing with them. And she did put them away. Until that last time when she didn't. And I stepped on a handful of said jacks, which were scattered on the kitchen floor tile. I yelled quite loudly, and to my credit, I did not utter any expletives.

stella

I second the comment about crappy small toys. When I have parties for my kids I always give something that is not a piece of junk like a coloring book, or one time my son's party was Power Rangers and I found Power Rangers plates and bowls at the Disney Store on clearance. That was a big hit and useful. On those toys with no volume control, I always put a piece of tape over the speaker. It muffled it a bit. Sometimes I taped a folded paper towel over the extreme ones. Now my kids are a little older (7 and 5) so I am on a constant quest for things that: 1)don't have alot of small parts, 2) don't make much noise 3) they won't get bored with right away. Any suggestions. And finally, the most annoying thing I bought this Christmas is Rock Band 2. Mostly my dh is driving me crazy with it but if I hear my 7 year old sing Eye of the Tiger one more time, I may break it. And my poor little dog is having anxiety attacks with all the beating (drums) and screaming (singing). Bad idea!!

stella

My husband wanted to add Transformers also. I know someone mentioned that but DAMN! You have to have an engineering degree to figure thise things out. He said when he was a kid, he had transformers that a kid could do. What's up with that?

Anne

A stuffed duck that moves its arms and legs and sings a HIGHLY annoying song in a "quack-quack" voice when you press a button on its, um, wing? My mother, whom normally is a wonderful grandmother, gave it to us. It has FINALLY run out of batteries, so now I don't have to listen to it anymore, thanks be to god.

(Why do we keep it, you ask? Because my child obviously has no taste and LOVES the thing.)

Erin

a stinking Elmo toy that talks -- oh, I hate that thing. It was given to him, and he loves it.

sheilah

Yeah, I blogged about that kind of junk a while ago (http://hopefullyhome.blogspot.com/2008/11/just-junk.html). My son has a box full of broken bits of junk that was acquired here and there. Hate. That. Crap.

Erector sets. I guess I have a love/hate relationship with them. I am just geeky enough to be challenged to put them together but right now am pissed off that the little motors to both sets we own have ceased to function. Result: one really sad little boy.

*sniff*

Allison

My 5-year-old son got a fart "system" for Christmas from his uncle. (It's always the uncles.) He can put the speaker part under a chair cushion, and then use a remote control to launch a fart aria from afar when some unsuspecting mom sits there.

It sounds annoying just on the merits, yes? But the REAL PROBLEM with the fart system is that I am so freaking immature that it makes me LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY. Thus, when he gets the farts going, I can't even reprimand him, because I'm gasping with laughter, tears running down my face. He quickly figured out that he could keep me from communicating with him in any meaningful way by revving up the fart system, and for awhile he used it every time I tried to talk to him!!!

I withstood the fart onslaught for two days, and then I confess, I hid it -- remote, speaker and all. I have my dignity, after all.

Colleen

Back to the sleep issues here...

I highly HIGHLY recommend Better Sleep for Your Baby and Child by Shelley K Weiss. My kiddo was doing the same thing, eating all night long at 10 months, and I suspect this brilliant book saved my marriage, not to mention my sanity - although some might debate the sanity... Anyway, this book is all about gradual, systematic, humane changes that will require some patience on your part. Definitely worth reading and doing! The description of "Nocturnal Eating/Drinking Syndrome" fit my daughter to a tee, and it may ring a few bells for you too... did I say I HIGHLY recommend it? :) Best of luck.

Liv

I hate Moon Sand. Everyone says it is wonderful, but the stuff gets everywhere. And keeping the colors separate? Puleeze.

Everytime I read the work "pom", I swore it was porn. I am sleep deprived as well.

Jenn (dish)

I second Ginger, Whac-a-mole must die. And because my husband has no idea when to shut up, he complained for days and days about the W-A-M to his colleagues, so they gave him the travel version (which is even LOUDER and MORE ANNOYING). We also have a really loud motorized car that was given to us by my cousin--she purposely picked the loudest toy in the store because my husband complains about the noise. Oh, and there is a Winnie the Pooh memory game where they pop out of little honey pots? That things is REALLY LOUD. I actually don't mind the noise on toys, I mind when it is so loud around a kid (that last one was a hand-me-down from people that I thought really liked us...). :-)

Erika

Karen, for some reason last night I started thinking about Getupgrrl, and started wondering whether she'd ever started blogging again, which led me to Google her today, which led me to a post of Tertia's where she announced Danae's (!) baby, and in the comments I saw mention of your pregnancy, and so even this is about 7 months late, Wow! Congratulations! How awesome, that you get to experience 2 amazing ways to build a family.

They're both gorgeous, of course.

re: Toys, my least favorite ever is the Fisher Price Kick and Drive that a friend gave us. Luckily it freaked my daughter out, and our friends live thousands of miles away, so it made its way to Vinnie's w/ no trauma, although I can still hear the damned music 5 years later...

Erika

http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Brilliant-Basics-Kick-Drive/dp/B0016D1BZI

Just evil.

Sonya

A High School Musical Gabriella "Barbie" that sings a song from the movie - my three-year-old is currently torturing her older sisters with the stupid thing.

Jane

Stop! stop! You guys have me giggling so loud that my dept. chair is going to come in and discover me so not working here!! This is a brilliant, hysterical thread that makes me appreciate the Wii that we bought for our kids even more. Sure it cost a boat load of money, but it kept them busy over the holiday break when my MIL was visiting and did not make me homicidal even once.

Evil toy of all time -- expensive programmable keyboard bought by MIL when DD#1 was toddler. It has both a microphone and a volume control that is very hard to find. It comes on with the volume at the very HIGHEST level. My kids like to set it up to play the same pre-programmed rhythm about 1,000 times and then leave the room. They also like to turn it on and off to re-start the programs which means that the volume shrieks at its highest level every single blasted time. (This toy periodically vanishes on a vacation to the attic or the basement until they notice and beg for it to come back.)

Other memorable evil toys not already noted - Fisher-Price musical saxophones and guitars which play the same song over and over, cheerleader doll with her own pom-poms who does very loud cheers just when you least expect it, any High School Musical toy, play dough fun sets where the dough has stuck to every piece and you have to soak the pieces to separate them. Whoopee cushions. Tricycles that tip over.

Wishing everyone some well-earned sleep!

Alex

Wow. This is great to read. Now I'm grateful that at just under 2, my DS is too young to complain if his favorite toys go missing and, also, to understand that if the toy is not making a noise it once did, that may mean the batteries are missing.

liz

Super balls. I need to teach that boy to play jacks so he can learn to control the bounce of those suckers.

Anything that beeps.

lizard

there are many, but a couple really leap to mind.

1. a friend sent a Little people pull train. Christmas theme. When you push one of the characters down it plays a tinny holiday song. Over and over and over. I actually called the friend who sent it and asked "what did I ever do to you?" She had thought it was fun.

2. an easter puppet from family. When you opened and closed the mouth it croaked a song-- I think it was here comes peter cotton tail-- and the speed of the song varied with the speed of your hand movement.

3. the barbie cash register. the talking I can live with, though when I hear "welcome Princess shopper!" I do consider violence in many forms. However, the part that turns me into an insane monster and scares my kid's friends (my kid knows better than to do this more than once, but her friends love to do it over and over and over and over) is that it has a credit card slot and when you swipe a card it does the old modem dial thing: 7 beeping tones for the phone dialing, and then that hideous loud screeeeeeeeech of the modem connecting. Hear that over and over and you, too, will want to kill.


Kim

Just de-lurking to say I'm glad you're writing more regularly again! :-)

Val

The toy hammer my BFF's x-MIL gave to an 18 mo old. When you hit the hammer on anything, it made the noice of breaking glass. That thing drove me batty and, of course, was the kids favorite. I started hiding the damn thing when I visited. One day, B I T C H showed up and found the damn hammer and got it out for the kid. I left.

becky

Our best and worst toy is the same one: Lite Bright Spin Art.

Best because it entrances my son for literally an hour. The kid can't stay entertained for more than 5 minutes by any other toy (which is why we have a whole housefull of crap). His little 3 year old fingers can even work all the buttons so I don't have to supervise *too* much.

Worst because they give you enough paint and paper to last, oh, a day. So then you comb the internet and craft stores for replacements, all the while your son weeps everyday for "More spin art mommy!" sigh. Finally found some replacement poster board I *think* will work. Please pray to the Toy God with me because if it doesn't I will stab my eyes out with forks.

Becki

Too many to list, but:

the chamber that you put a square of paper in, and it spins madly, and you squirt paint on the paper while it spins to make cool spatter patterns. Because that never makes a mess, or makes a kid cry because their art looks, literally, like vomit.

Mandy

Tickle me Cookie Monster.

Christmas 2006, my BIL gave my daughter Tickle Me Elmo. Somewhat irritating but it did make us laugh for a bit. He's sitting on a shelf, unplayed with for at least a year.

So what does BIL give her this Christmas? Tickle me Cookie Monster and he is LAME!!!!!!! I wish we hadn't felt obliged to open the package right then and there when she opened it or that sucker would have gone back.

So now we have a toy that probably wasn't cheap but doesn't get played with. Times 2.

Shelley

Where are you, dear Karen. I'm hoping everything is going well, but your extended absence is worrying me a tad. Check in when you can.

Jennie

Karen, I keep checking in hoping for an entry, and I really miss reading your blog. I am fearful that this extended absence is an indication of something wrong - and I'm hoping your mom's health is okay, and that everything is fine with you, your husband, and the girls. I'll wait as long as it takes and keep checking in, but hope you know that we care about you.

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