The Toy Story effect

January 13, 2015

We’ve been in our new house for exactly a month now, and most of it is pretty much organised. I’ve unpacked, decluttered and everything has its place.

Except, that is, for No 1 Son’s stuff, which stubbornly remains in boxes. I’ve resorted to stuffing it into his wardrobe just so I can vacuum because I’m NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH IT.

A lot of it is schoolbooks and old video games that have been gathering dust since his first XBox/Playstation/Gameboy was laid to rest. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to sort those out. Plus countless Pokémon cards.

Forgotten ToysBut then there’s these.

The forgotten toys.

They lived in the loft in our old house and haven’t been played with for quite a few years. In an attempt to force No 1 Son into taking some sort of decisive action, I took them out of their boxes and put them in a heap on the floor of the spare room so that he could divide them into ‘keep’ and ‘recycle’ piles. I didn’t mean to make it sound like Sophie’s Choice, honestly, but judging by his reaction I’m asking him to throw away an ACTUAL Jar Jar Binks/Action Man/broken Buzz Lightyear. Like they’re made of flesh and blood, not plastic/rubber/metal. (I mean, what actually IS Jar Jar Binks anyway? An alien/giraffe/rabbit hybrid? Who knows.)

I think it’s down to the Toy Story effect; like many kids his age (and their mums) No 1 Son is a massive Disney/Pixar fan, he grew up with Andy from Toy Story, watched and laughed and then cried as Woody and Buzz and their friends desperately tried to cling on to their children. And like Andy, I think there’s still a part of my son that can’t bear to admit he’s never going to play with these toys again, and let his old friends go to another home (or, you know, to be recycled *cough*), even the broken ones *looks at Buzz Lightyear*. So for the time being they are staying in their pile in the middle of the spare room, along with what appears to be an entire Playmobil hospital staff, Transformers, various bits of Lego, marbles, plastic soldiers and so on. The cat occasionally bats them with her paw but otherwise they stay as they are (I think. Who knows what they get up to when we’re not around.)

Anyway, I’m sort of getting used to it now. It’s like a Tracey Emin art installation. No 1 Son’s Forgotten Toys.

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