Too much Christmas
How long will this soft-hearted dad’s toy boycott last?
Last Sunday Tom collapsed in a heap, weeping, because he had lost Zar-Zar, his blue Gogo - Crazy Bones.
You don't know what a Gogo - Crazy Bones is? Well, you're lucky. Gogo - Crazy Bones is another piece of dross, just rubbish: coloured plastic blobs that comes with a story-line and a book of copy-cat games.

’Collect them’, instructs the awful little booklet that costs R20.

So Tom's toxic little blob of expensive moulded plastic was somewhere lost in his room.

He was outside being comforted in an offhand sort of way, by his brother, Jesse, 13.

I ploughed through the Bionicles, books, Nintendo games, iPods and ... and just toys and belongings EVERYWHERE!
Collectable rubbish rules

I can remember back as far as about Smurfs. The world has been obliging me and my children to collect rubbish with rubbish storylines and the occasional made-to-sell-plastic-rubbish TV programme from those distant little blue pixies all the way through Magic Cards, Yu-Go-Oh!, Harry Potter paraphernalia, Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon - you gotta catch them all!

Suddenly, while I was helping Tom look for his toy, an epiphany struck me. I was nowhere near the road to Damascus. I was, in fact firmly wedged under Tom's bed, my arms straining towards a shape in a dark corner.

I think the trigger was the realisation that I hadn't sent Tom underneath here. What was I thinking? And then it came. What have I done?

I had allowed - nay, encouraged and assisted - my children to become like that little fat kid at the family Christmas party.

You know the one? He sits surrounded by wrapping paper and destroyed packaging and toys and trinkets and just so much stuff that he is drowning in it. He cries and cries and bellows like a fat calf and the big fat tears roll down his big fat cheeks and, frankly, we all wish that his mummy and daddy would just take him away.

He is drowning in excess. It is all so sickly sweet his presents have merged into a blur of plastic rubbish.

‘Where's the joy!?’ he's screaming. ‘Why are my presents making me so sad?’
So there, underneath the bed, I resolved: THIS FAR AND NO FURTHER!

From now on I will NOT buy - or allow to be bought - this kind of rubbish plastic garbage again.
I will stand resolute against the tears and the pleading of my children and any soft-hearted relative who might criticise me on their behalf. I will become like stone ... no, like the rock the stone fell from.

The return of Zar-Zar

When I managed to unwedge myself from the bed I hurried outside to where Tom was still weeping, clinging to his brother.
‘I found it!’ I said. It had been the thing that was lurking in the darkest corner underneath his bed.
I held the little blob of plastic up to him.
He looked at me and the toy through the thick lens of blue tears and a kind of joyful relief spread across his face.

He held out his hand and closed his fingers over the little lump of plastic.

‘Daddy found it!’ Tom said, holding the toy up for us all to see.
And we were all filled with Joy.

Here endeth the lesson.

Do you make resolutions about toys? Do you stick to them?

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