Toys “R” Everywhere

Perspectives from the playthings that fill a home.

hermitGreetings! I’m Hermit the Dragon.

The name’s a bit ironic, no? That’s what Tommy chose to call me — I was a gift to him, see — but my life here with him and his little brother Seth is anything but solitary. As you can see, I’m here in this basket with quite a few other toys — Gaga the Brachiosaurus, Blebleh the Stegosaurus, a large stuffed brown bear, a fluffy dog puppet, a talking book, a floppy flying disc, and a rotary telephone, among others.

We toys easily outnumber the humans in this home 10-to-1 — maybe 200-to-1, if we count each Lego brick separately.

The big humans — the ones they call Mommy and Daddy — try their best to keep us under control, returning us to our baskets and bins and shelves and drawers. They even try not to add to our numbers — most of us were loved first by older friends or cousins or even by Dad himself when he was a little boy.

But it’s not really a fair fight — they’re up against two energetic little boys with powerful imaginations, plus an army of us toys ready to help them out.

And, really, can you blame us? There’s nothing better in the whole world than stomping around with Tom, or having Seth pick me up, flap my wings and roar along with me.

pirateArrrrr, matey!

I be one of the many pirates that be invadin’ this scurvy abode. Our crew be at least two dozen strong, and we’ve been in every nook and cranny in the livin’ room, the bedrooms, the bathtub and even the kitchen sink, arrr.

Behind me here is the great fish Concert — a timber-shiverin’ sea dog, I tell ye. I’ve spent a fortnight with this one here in Davy Jones’s locker.

The one they call Tom dunked me in the drink — said it was to keep that salty fish company. Then me crewmates took their turns after me in the briny deep.

Why just today, Tom picked me up and walked me off the plank again, blimey! So I’ve been practicin’ me dead man’s float all evenin’ — if there’s a buried treasure down in that thar fish’s bowl, I’ll be the buccaneer that finds it!

mauriceHey, Maurice here. Yeah, I know — weird name for a fish. What can I say — the kids’ dad thought it’d be funny, and then it stuck. Could’ve been worse, I guess. Earl. Jebediah. You get the idea.

I mostly hang out here in the bathtub, but I’ve been known to venture into the boys’ bedrooms, too. I used to be one of Tom’s favorites — he took me to bed to snuggle at night more than a few times. I usually ended up on the floor behind the bed, where everyone would forget about me for a few weeks, but, hey, it happens.

Lately, I’ve been getting along real well with Seth. He just loves fish — all kinds of fish! So I’m always glad to see him at bath time. Sometimes he even reminds his dad to put me away afterwards, with all the other bath toys — handing us over to his dad, one by one.

Good kids. Real good kids.

mantisHello. No, over here — down — yes, I’m that one! The praying mantis. How do you do.

Life as a plastic insect or arachnid is somewhat challenging in this household. My compatriots and I joined this family during one of its excursions to a park in Virginia — young Thomas was rather taken with us, and we were most eager to contribute to his education about our fellow land-dwelling members of the phylum Arthropoda.

All members of the household seemed to greatly enjoy our presence, though I admit that our small size and our great numbers — there were, indeed, more than a score of us — caused a great many of us to be inadvertently overlooked under the coffee table or within the deep crevices of their automobile’s interior.

For many weeks we regrouped, as often as we could, in our original package. When that grew too cumbersome, a rather larger box with a lid was selected as our abode. However, I am saddened to report that, more recently, we have been heaped in with a seemingly random assemblage of other creatures and artifacts, as you can see from the above photograph. Rather than being carefully sorted according to our purpose and habitat, we have been jumbled in with an assortment of miniature marine creatures and reproductions of ancient Egyptian artifacts — seemingly on the grounds that we all are of approximately the same size and material composition.

But, no matter. It is still a home, I should say. Though there are days when I wonder whether I shouldn’t mind another chance to enjoy the peaceful solitude of the space underneath the bookcase.

truckHey, howzitgoin. Fiuh Truck heah.

The mom pik’d me up at a yahd sale a few yeahsago, but this heah is a real nice place. That kid Tom? Real good wit a wrench. See, my whole body comes apaht — the wheels come off, the ladduh comes apaht, and all dat. Pract’ly before he could talk he knew howz tuh use a screwdrivuh to take apaht the pieces. Yeah, well, sow ’is Dad had tuh put me back tugethuh, but the kid’s learnin’, yuh know?

Anyways, I’ve been spendin’ a lottuh time in the basemunt lately — Moms t’inks the kids should only have a few of us toys out attuh time, so some of us always get stuck down deah. No problem. I’m up heah now — and I heah dad kid Set’s a pretty sharp cookie too, yuh know?

rockinghorseWho am I? Well, I’m the Rocking Horse. I guess you could say I’m the oldest of us. The man Tommy and Seth call Pops made me, back before their mother was even born. There are a few other toys here almost as old as me, but none have lived longer in this house.

Yes, I’m in the basement now. But just a week or two ago I was upstairs with the boys —helping Tom imagine himself as one of the cowboys in the stories he loves so much, riding across the prairie; giving a ride to Seth, who loves horses so much that it was one of his first words.

Right now the Legos are upstairs, along with the art table the boys use for their watercolor painting and their coloring with crayons. I’m not worried. I know little hearts and imaginations won’t forget me.

Whenever a little knight needs a trusty steed, or whenever a cowboy needs to ride the range, I’ll be right here.

Article © 2008 by Michael Duck