It’s no secret: one of the reasons I wanted to have kids is for the toys. It’s so much more socially acceptable (and fun) to buy Legos and light sabers for your kids. But the irony is that kids don’t want toys, they want the real thing. Sure, they’ll settle for the cardboard box fashioned to be a car, but if you turn your back and they have access to your keys, watch out!
My son loves the idea and the practice of vacuuming. I’m not sure why–perhaps because it is such an unusual and rare thing to see in our house. He’s not alone in that. I spoke with a janitor at the American Natural History Museum who noted that kids come from around the world to the museum and the they universally are drawn to his broom and dustpan. They think it is far more awesome than some stuffed black bear or 6,000-year-old dinosaur bones. (I got that right, right? Carbon dating is just Satan’s Tivo?)
And there is a whole market of vacuums for kids that “really suck”! And when I say really suck, I mean that they have some sort of weak sauce sucking mechanism that makes it seem like they are some kind of vacuum.
So, faced with the possibility of spending well over $100 on a toy Dyson, we did what any sane person would do, and bought our two-year-old a cordless vaccuum. He vacuums, and actually manages to help clean up the house.
Is it dangerous? It’s not like we are giving him his own blender or microwave, but yes, I’m sure somewhere on the box it says something like “not appropriate for children under 4.”
And even though he loves his toy power screwdriver, he runs around the house saying “screw everythiiiiing!” and attempting to do just that. So, it may be a year or two until we turn over a real power screwdriver. But we will, and probably not before he is all that much older.
Because in a world full of toys, the best ones are also tools.