Friday, September 11, 2009

Ode to the Matchbox Car

Oh, Mothers.

Banish the thought of that handmade wooden toy that will teach your child how to multiply and must be purchased at that charming, overpriced toy store. Embrace the painted metal, made in China, that will teach your child how to do nothing, except say "
vroom," and can be purchased in every charmless store...and even airports.

Your two year old boy will never find more joy in any toy. And you will celebrate the inflation-free price! Every thing from childhood seems to cost ten times more, but the lowly car still hovers around a dollar. Buy ten, buy twenty! And hear the joyful "
vroom" in the car, in the plane, while you're enjoying your ten minutes of "me" time. The car will turn post-vaccine cries into tears of joy. And you can lose half your collection under the fridge and it will be okay - you'll have so many you won't even know that one is permanently wedged in your dishwasher. Into the bath, into oatmeal, into your fancy lotion that is the last vestige of your pre-baby life the cars will go, but they will still last for your next child.

And then, you will step on the hook of the tow truck that you thought was so cute in its smallness. And the love affair will lose some of its luster. And then you will pass that box in the grocery story, and your child will spot those wheels. And you will weigh the cost of ten minutes of your screaming child or a week with a hole in your foot. And you will choose the car and your pain and get a precious smile. And all will be well with the world.

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