My latest gripe is toys for infants. Not the toys themselves–it’s the batteries that bother me.
First of all, I understand that all those lights, sounds, laser beams and chain saws require a lot of power. But if we’ve had solar-powered cars since the 1970s, couldn’t somebody have figured out how to run all that kid toy stuff on a normal sized battery, like a double A? I’ve had cars whose batteries were smaller than the ones for Wolfe’s play mat.
The other thing that makes me crazy is how they hide the battery compartments. I get it, kids are nosy and at some point every child will swallow a battery. The toy manufacturers want to make sure that battery doesn’t come from their toy. But could they give Dad a clue on where to put the darn things?
I recently spent half an hour unscrewing part of one of Wolfe’s toys (while trying to hold a gigantic battery without pulling a muscle), only to discover I’d taken apart a very important control component. I had to enlist the help of a mechanical engineer to get it back together the right way.
The batteries, it turned out, we’re hidden in a giraffe. Of course, it required one of those star shaped screwdrivers to open…and after I’d driven to the store, bought the right tool, and disassembled the giraffe, I found out I had the wrong sized battery.
I did finally get Wolfe’s toy working. And now he’s sitting happily in the middle of the floor…playing with an empty cardboard box.