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A Toy Story


Toy manufacturers need to seriously do a re-think about what children like and what they don’t. Gone are the days when little boys were happy with toy soldiers, Lego bricks and dinky cars. If you walk into my house any day from Monday to Saturday you will think you’ve entered a toy store. That is because my little grandson’s entire toy collection is out for him to play. Being the only child in our family and the darling of both sets of grandparents, he has no lack of admirers to present him from gifts from time to time. Indeed it becomes downright embarrassing to see how many cars he has and how many crayons and pencils he throws around. Balls, stuffed toys, building blocks and even a kitchen set – he seems to have them all!

Yet this little fellow, the moment he comes home, marches straight into the kitchen and demands to see the mixer. His little mechanical brain loves the whirring sound of the mixer and insists that it be brought out into the living room so that he can play with it. And while the rest of us are making buildings out of his blocks or running his cars up and down the furniture, he is making a loud ‘gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’ sound of the mixer as he is grinding his imaginary food in my very real mixer.

With his hand on top of the lid to prevent spills, he smartly turns the knob of the console as he calls it, and waits for his food to get blended. He even opens the lid, adds his salt and pepper and after a few more short bursts of ‘gaaaaa’, ‘gaaa’, ‘gaaaa’ pronounces the job as ‘done’. He then goes on to mixer bowl number two and three. Sometimes he puts the bowls one on top of the other to make a triple decker mixer (which he proudly calls double decker).

I’ve tried my best to get him off this fad and tried to get him a toy mixer simply because he occasionally throws the mixer bowl around, thinking it is a great ball or object to be flung around. Alas, he wanted the real thing and my daughter told me that I should indulge him as he will soon outgrow it. Well, it’s been around four months now and the mixer passion is still showing no signs of abating.

It is now no longer something I feel indulgent about and was complaining to a friend when she told me that her two year old grandson plays with his mother’s pressure cookers. Yes, in the plural. This kid insists on bringing out all the pressure cookers – the Hawkins, the Prestige, the Pressure pan and the Idli Cooker. He lines them up like soldiers, smartly fits the lids and puts the weights on and goes ‘hssssssssssss’. When I told this to my daughter, she was amazed because her colleague had a son the same age who shared the same obsession. His obsession went so far that after he finished playing the weights had to be kept back on the kitchen shelf in exactly the same way that he wanted. Looks like this toy story is not exclusive to our household!

Seeing my three mixer bowls and console on my living room carpet, I was happy that little P only liked the mixer. I think I spoke too soon for no sooner did he reach the magic age of 2+, he brought out the pressure cookers one by one. And now in addition to the ‘gaaaaaaaaaaaaa’ we also have to listen to the ‘hsssssssss’!

Perhaps it’s time for them to have a complete range of real, childproof kitchen toys that aren’t pink so that little boys can play too!

As a mother of two thirty-year old daughters and a grandmother of a nineteen week old grandson, Sunita Rajwade has been there and done that. A hands on mom, she has seen two girls grow successfully through babyhood, toddler hood, adolescence and adulthood; solving their maths problems and contributing to their angst of growing up with a mom “who doesn’t understand”. But now as a grandmother, she’s being appreciated for her “wisdom” and “understanding” and would like to share her experiences of this wonderful journey from motherhood to grand-motherhood.