The Toy Fairy: A frustrated Chicago mom’s best friend

Every couple months or so, the Toy Fairy visits our house. When I first told my children about the Toy Fairy, they automatically assumed that the Toy Fairy would leave behind toys. Perhaps they’d wake up one morning to find that the Toy Fairy had left them new bicycles, for instance. These optimistic kids of mine, however, couldn’t have been more wrong. Just as the Tooth Fairy takes teeth, the Toy Fairy takes toys. Except the Toy Fairy doesn’t leave any cash or glitter under the boys’ pillows. Nope, she just rounds up all of the most annoying, awful toys she can find, tucks them under her wine soaked wings, and flies them out the window to the nearest dumpster.

The Toy Fairy was devised as a way to explain why my children’s most beloved possessions kept disappearing. I couldn’t exactly come clean and say that mommy threw their things away in a fit of rage. What kind of mother does that? No, it wasn’t me. It was the Toy Fairy. She fluttered in last night while you were asleep and took all your junk. The junk is then converted to magic, and now there’s more wonder in the world thanks to you and your horrible toys. Now who wants an ice cream cone?

The Toy Fairy is particular about the toys she takes. Here is a list of items that the Toy Fairy currently has her eyes on.

1. My four-year-old’s “whistle,” which is really just my old recorder from twenty years ago. This thing makes the loudest, shrillest, most awful sounds. It’s not like my four-year-old is playing a moving rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” or anything. Nope, just long high notes. Toy Fairy, take note.

2. Their drum kit. It’s just one drum with two sticks. Somebody who I once considered a good friend bought my oldest the drum kit as a birthday gift. If you love your friends, don’t give their kids something that encourages obnoxious banging.

3. Alphabet flash cards. I keep finding these flash cards all over the house, and I’m tired of trying to keep them all together. Sure, my kids might take an extra month or so to learn their letters, but wrangling these flash cards is slowly eating away at my sanity.

4. Fifty piece fire truck puzzle. Same problem as the flash cards. I simply cannot devote more than two hours a day to hunting down puzzle pieces. Am I the only one in this house who cares?

5. Mouse Trap, the game. When’s the last time you tried to play Mouse Trap with your preschooler and toddler? Was that also the first time? Have you too had detailed fantasies about throwing the whole set right off a bridge?

6. Tiny Pool. So, somebody gave us one of those tiny pool tables, the ones with the miniature billiard balls, cue sticks, etc. At first I thought it was a brilliant, fun gift. Then I tried to actually play some Tiny Pool with my kids. Holy cow, what a horrible gift. They used the cue sticks as swords, ski poles, face-wacking sticks, etc. The tiny balls, when tossed (I’m pretty sure you’re not suppose to toss them), almost broke our front room window. The little cube of chalk for the cue sticks? What a mess. My little kids may never become tiny pool sharks, but that’s okay. We can take up other bar-related hobbies. Like darts. No, wait. Darts might be even worse.

7. Every single stuffed animal that they’re not already emotionally attached to. I’m going to have to build an addition on my house just to find a place to keep these plush fellows. And if I’m going to build an addition, it’s going to be for my indoor hot tub, NOT for the three foot stuffed lion we have for some reason.

The Toy Fairy and I have been really good friends. I invite her in after a long day of enduring toy-induced headaches, and she takes care of business. In the morning, the boys are semi-satisfied with the explanation of why a certain object has suddenly gone missing. But remember, the explanation only really works if you follow it with that equally magic question.

Now who wants an ice cream cone?

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