We just had a birthday at our house. My "baby" turned three and presents were opened. We didn't really have a party for her, but she received a few great gifts from her grandparents and her aunts. My sister in law nailed it with books. Lyla loves to hoard her own books. And they were princess books to make it even better. My sister brought her a ton of balloons. This too was a monster hit. The kids go nuts for balloons in a way I can't really understand. Balloons mesmerize in this house. I could picture both my girls trading a kidney for a helium balloon.
While Christmas shopping months ago, I found some great presents I had set aside for Lyla's birthday. The first was a Barbie computer toy. It's cute and little. I looks like a three year olds laptop and my kid loves it. I really do think she is already learning a lot about shapes and letters from this toy. It gets played with A LOT! It's a great toy, EXCEPT for the fact that is is extremely loud. It sounds like Barbie is screaming orders at my kid. FIND THE YELLOW TRIANGLE! WHAT ARE YOU WAITNG FOR SOLDIER? FIND IT RIGHT NOW!!!
I wrongly assumed that there would be some sort of volume control on the toy. Nope, just one setting that I call "incredibly loud". A deaf person could hear this toy.
I've been in the "toy fail" game for years now. There are the barbies who ought to be packaged in a cement block, because it would be easier to chisel them out, rather that un-twist a million twisty ties to unlock their bodies from the cardboard. There are the puzzle boxes that are sealed shut. We seriously have to take a knife and surgically open the box. It never works out right and we end up with puzzle pieces in a ziplock baggie with a ripped up cardboard picture square inside. We've had the Disney movies with the "fast play" feature, that is anything but fast. They should be called Disney (your movie will start automatically after 30 minutes of commercials and previews) Slow play. We always get stuck watching every single preview because we can't find the DVD remote control. If you don't hit that menu button fast enough, you are in it for the long haul. Who seriously thought of that horrible feature and why on earth is it called Fast Play? It's like the real estate term "short sale". There is nothing short about waiting 4 month's for a reply to your offer.
I have come up with two solutions to an incredibly loud toy. First, I find the speaker on the toy and I cover it with Duct tape. It can't be regular tape, it has to be thick duct tape. Sometimes two layers are necessary. If solution number one doesn't solve the problem, solution number two will work for sure. Secretly remove the batteries from the toy. When your kids notice that something is horribly wrong with the toy, act confused and irritated. Complain out loud about how cheaply made toys are these days. Then after the kids have gone to bed, I magically make the toy disappear forever. The loud toy will then either move to a place called the outside trash can, or it will be dropped off in the Savers donation bin. The kids don't like solution number two, but it's okay, because you can't put a price tag on sanity. This reminds me that we have one of those toddler popcorn vacuum toys that needs to get magically lost from our house.