Someone’s Out to Get Me

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Out to get all parents, really.  More specifically parents of young chitlins.  There’s a vendetta against us.

Batteries.

Never in my life did I have to replace batteries as often as I do now.  Not even back in the old school walkman days.

It seems to me like Duracell, Energizer, and Rayovac have teamed up with the makers of children’s toys in an attempt to make us purchase, replace, and figure out how to properly dispose of (apparently the trashcan isn’t the right place?) as many batteries as humanly possible during the growing years.

The toys they make, I mean, if you’ve got kids you know, they just HAVE to have those effing toys.  Even if you, like me, refrain from such purchases, someone is bound to gift countless battery-operated mommy torture devices to your little ones.  It’s just the name of the game, it would seem.

The toys themselves come with those crap-tastic generic batteries that don’t last more than a week, but you as an aspiring wise parent assume that some super brand batteries will make the toys run perfectly for years.  That’s what those commercials will lead you to believe, right?  Yeah, you’ve just been punked.

Your options then, as parents of these incessantly-pressing-the-same-effing-button-nonstop-for-two-and-a-half-effing-hours darling children, are to either replace said super brand batteries every month or so (each one, we’ve got at least six current noise and light machines, each with whatever magical combination of AA or AAA they might have, and you know you always have plenty of the wrong type), carefully hide the toys when the batteries reach critical mass, or just let the batteries run their course and hope the children lose interest in the toys.

The latter is our typical go-to response, but Doodle apparently has an affinity for the demon noises that emanate from these plastic hellish devices when the batteries are almost dead.  And, though these batteries start dying around the 1-month mark, the remaining charge can somehow produce those demon noises for at least two more years.  I’m not kidding – we’re still conducting this experiment, and he got this damn toy for his first Christmas.

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We have never replaced the batteries in this toy, save after that first week of generic battery death, and it’s never been temporarily retired to a closet or the garage.  Still makes all of the lights just fine, there’s just been a demon inside of it who sings ABC’s and plays a terrifying version of How Much is That Doggy in the Window on some kind of devil-instrument since the February after that Christmas.

And somehow Doodle still loves this toy.  It’s his absolute favorite music machine to dance to.  I’m not even sure if he can hear the underworld ABC’s, though, since his own version is sweet and darling, just as it should be, yet he’s been listening to this fiend trapped inside singing for much longer than he’s known the alphabet.  That’s how bad the batteries have been this whole time, and somehow they’re still not 100% dead!

So obviously I am not in a “sane” state when it comes to batteries, likely because of this dying battery experiment we’re still working on.  But really, were I to have replaced the batteries every month (or every few months for those of you whose children press buttons appropriately) I would have probably spent a good thirty or so extra dollars on batteries and wasted at least 3 or 4 total hours of finding, unscrewing, taking out, putting in, rescrewing, “properly disposing of”, and putting away.  That money and time that I’d never get back!  That I’ve probably invested in the several other toys to keep from having too many demons in the house driving us mad.

What ever happened to lincoln logs, legos, action figures, dolls, cars, and books being the only things little ones played with?  And who decided that most of those things that used to be perfectly fun on their own now need batteries as well?  When did kids stop playing with toys and start watching toys play themselves?  And when will a child’s energy be enough to keep their toys’ batteries charged?

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5 responses »

  1. I guess we’ve been lucky! Sure, we’ve had some demon toys (Beelzebear most recently which was banished) but not many. The others have either disappeared *poof* in the night or have magical batteries.
    One toy- a Fisher Price laugh and learn puppy- was, in fact, from hell. It even declared its love for you or someone spontaneously in the middle of the night. It was “rotated” into the closet, which is the appropriate banishment for such things.

    • We have a mirror laptop toy that does that, too! In the middle of the night it’ll just go off “I love you!” or “You are my friend!” Even creepy with fresh batteries, but he just adores the thing!

      I guess Stella has just been more appropriate about not incessantly pressing buttons? If so, you’re crazy lucky, if not, what kind of effing batteries do you use?!? 🙂

  2. Every year Lowe’s puts AA batteries on sale – Black Friday – 48 batteries for $4. It’s a promotional deal apparently, as I’ve never seen them for that price any other time. I normally buy 2 – the $8 on AA batteries is so worth it – I never have to buy those during the year. When Mr. T was younger, I’d just explain to him that the toy doesn’t make noise anymore. Now, he knows better (didn’t take him long to figure it out!) and those wireless XBox remotes eat batteries like candy!

    • Wow, that’s an awesome deal, I wish we had a Lowe’s and I had the courage and motivation required for black Friday. 🙂 Doodle is perfectly comfortable with the idea of a toy being broken and having to get rid of it, I just don’t want to take toys away that he still adores, and I’m really effing curious how long the one toy’s batteries will actually last. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      For the Xbox controllers, for like 20 dollars or so you can get a set of battery packs and a charger. No more throwing out used batteries, just charge one while the other’s in use.

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