You may remember it as the place in everyone's beloved holiday special, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, where broken and unwanted toys were sent. Around here, The Island of Misfit Toys is also known as my son's closet.
Sad is the mother (me) who frets over the perfectly selected toys for her children, only to find them in pieces at the bottom of a toy bin, six months later. Grumpy is the mother (again, me) who sends her husband to the store for milk only to have him return with not just milk but - "Oh, what's this? Lovely - a tchotchke for each of our three small kids."
So there I was this morning, with caffeinated enthusiasm, looking at all the tiny islands of misfit toys spread around my sons room. Eager to rid our household of the dead weight, I got down on the floor, and began sorting, untangling, reassembling, cleaning, taping and gluing every last toy in sight. And if no good could be made with any one part - I tossed it in the thrash.
The experience was cathartic, the end result, streamlined.
Sometimes, I wonder why we have any toys at all. No one toy ever seems to get used the way it was intended. My son got more mileage out of repurposing an old brown shoestring during his third year of life than any toy since. The three year old has filled hours upon hours with the taping and stapling of napkins and scrap paper. And yet here I am, about to shower them with a few more toys come Saturday morning.
But I'd like to believe that this is the Christmas when I will finally get it all right. With great restraint, I did not fall prey to the brilliant packaging or the clever looking toys we like to call "one hit wonders". No, this year I am only giving what I am certain they will love and adore - toys that promise to engage each of their unique personalities.