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All the kids want tapeworms these days

August 13, 2009

We have this obsession in my house.

I suppose I could call it M’s obsession and refrain from calling it our obsession.  But I do think the whole family is involved.

It’s an obsession with little plastic animals.

You know.  Those Schleich animal replicas you see on display in toy stores (including the toy section of Target).  Those “toobs” of animals that sometimes appear (strangely) in craft stores.  The gazillions of plastic animals that populate our house.

giraffe

Those animals.

Now don’t get me wrong, I happen to enjoy M’s animal collection.  Or menagerie.  They have been wonderfully entertaining and educational toys for him for two years straight.  (Those of you who have children will know that any toy that holds a child’s interest consistently for, oh, an entire week is pretty astonishing.)

M lines his animals up from biggest to smallest.  He arranges them in alphabetical order.  (Start with the aarvark, then the blue whale, then the cat, etc.)  He organizes them by habitat.  (Yep, he can tell you which ones live on the African savannah and which ones live in the Arctic and which ones live on the North American plains.)  He even makes “zoo exhibits” in my mom’s kitchen and takes great pleasure in taking each family member on a tour of his exhibits.

The animal collection has spawned a love of animal books (including an animal encyclopedia, which was his “bedtime book” for about six months), animal-themed outings (the zoo, farms, etc.), and animal movies.

In fact, at this very moment, M is reenacting The Lion King with those little plastic wonders.

So yes, I love these toys.  Because they hold his attention for more then fifteen seconds and they teach him a thing or two. 

Hell, he’s even used  his vast knowledge of animals to teach me a thing or two.  Did I know that emu eggs were green when first laid but black right before hatching before M was born?  No.  No I did not.

But entertainment and education notwithstanding, the obsession with these animals seems to have gotten out of control.

M wants to include all, I don’t know, two million animal species in his collection.  And his grandparents–and, admittedly, sometimes his parents–are happy to oblige.

Because we cannot live without a narwhal.

narwhal

We cannot go another day without an okapi.

okapi

Our very survival depends upon the inclusion of an Arabian oryx in M’s collection.

arabian oryx

And yesterday, as M perused his newest book on animals, I knew that this obsession had gone way too far when he pointed to a photograph of this white squiggly ribbon-looking-thing and exclaimed,

“MOM!  MOM!  I KNOW WHAT I NEED!  I NEED A TAPEWORM!!!”

Chuckling, I said, “Oh sweetie, I don’t know if Mommy wants a tapeworm in the house.  You know, I’m not even sure if they make little plastic tapeworm toys!  Let’s just look at the picture of the tapeworm.”

It was as if I had told him that Santa Claus just killed Elmo.

“BUT MOOOOOOOOMMMMM!  I WANT A TAPEWORM!!!  I NEED A TAPEWORM!!!  I REALLY.  WANT.  A.  TAAAAPPPPPPPPEWOOOOORRRRRRRMMMMM!

And right after he and I had a little talk about greediness and gratefulness and disgustingness, I said the following silent prayer:

Dear God,

Thanks for not letting this conversation occur in public.

Amen.

tapeworm

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. renbeth permalink
    August 13, 2009 11:21 am

    Oh, good . . . we’ve been wondering what to get him for his next birthday . . .

  2. aunt kinsey permalink
    August 13, 2009 6:13 pm

    yeah. so, sorry about the new animal encyclopedia. with the big picture of a tapeworm.

    love,
    aunt kinsey

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