Blasted Plastic


I think parents need to revolt. Petition. Refuse to buy the product anymore. Whatever it takes to bring about change.

If we would all work together, we could bring some sanity back to the world.

Of what am I speaking, you ask?

The awful, offensive, vulgar, impossibly complicated packaging of small toys these days.

Few things in my life can frustrate me as quickly as trying to open a new toy for my children.

Just tonight I experienced the cruelty of the toy packaging masterminds once again. We just finished up our first quarter of homeschooling and my middle child completed a successful first quarter of kindergarten.

That deserves a prize! (And lest you forget, MAMA deserves a prize for that as well, but I don't think the spa has an office in the toy department of Target.)

The girls had a small sum of discretionary spending cash burning through their pockets (and I know, I know...some of you will take offense at the idea of rewarding success at school with a gift. It should just be normal expected behavior, you'll say. Yeah, yeah, I get it...but sometimes we just need some fun. You can make your comments at the end of the blog for all to see.).

I tried some stealth tactics first.

"Hey! You guys need some new boots and they have some REALLY cute ones here. Why don't we go look at those first?" I was hoping against hope they might use their cash to put towards something they actually need. But alas, even my shoe fanatic did not fancy this idea.

I tried one more time...."how 'bout a brand new pair of jeans since you've outgrown yours? Or I know! You've been wanting some rain boots. Let's go check 'em out!"

Nope. Nothing but a meaningless toy was going to make them happy. Okay. It was their money, after all.

After agonizing for nearly 45 minutes over how to spend a few dollars, the girls claimed their little treasures and we headed for home.

Of course the moment we entered the door, two packages were shoved in my face with exclamations to, "please open this! Please!!!"

I readied myself for the challenge ahead. Turning the Littlest Pet Shop box over in my hand, studying it from all angles, I planned my strategy.

I began tugging. Pulling. Tearing. Out came the scissors.
Out came the magnifying glass to better view the teeny tiny twist ties which hold each and every little separate piece of the toy set in place.

Oh, enough already. Out came the butcher knife.

I calmly asked my husband for help. But inside, I was throwing the stupid package on the ground and stomping on it. Sometimes I have these out of body experiences where I get to do really irresponsible, temper tantrum kinds of things. This was such a moment. But back to reality and my calm outer presence. I am a mother, after all.

I enlisted the help of my husband. He began the same process.


It is a time-consuming, discipline requiring, challenge you to the core kind of activity to open a new toy. I sometimes have suspected that terrorists are moving from obvious acts of cruelty to more subtle means of torture. Perhaps THEY are behind the packaging of tiny toys these days. It's impossible, I tell you! It cannot be done!


I am considering entering my time in the Guinness Book of World Records for breaking into toy packaging. The only problem with this is that in order to train, I would have to purchase endless amounts of new toys. So, yeah. Scratch that pipe dream. I'll have to find another way to be famous.

It takes SO long to tear into toy packaging, in fact, that my child taught herself to read while waiting.


There have been times the girls have actually walked away and forgotten what they were waiting on.

I suppose it's because we live in such a lawsuit happy society that toys must be packaged in a way so that Houdini would meet his match. You really need about 12 hands and razor sharp tools on the ends of your fingers to succeed at opening a toy quickly. And the more parts it contains, the harder it is.

Polly Pocket? Forget about it. Other parents will laugh you out the door.

Santa and his elves have it out for us on Christmas morning. I don't understand this. We leave him homemade sugar cookies with non-soured milk (which is better than he gets at some houses, you can be sure), and what do we get in return? Practical jokes. Glistening, gleaming, brand new toys sitting under the tree that our children must only dream about playing with because mom and dad won't be able to get it open til they are 14 years old.

It can make you a little crazy, really, trying to break into packaging for toys.


Step away from the knife, girls...Mama's about to show this plastic who's boss.


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