I think parents do get annoyed with having to deal with little toy objects that are easily lost, fought over, or cost extra. Stikeez are a case in point. (I see my husband is now a big Reluctant Mom fan) However, I do have a positive story to share: when one tiresome group of objects can be redirected to another. In my case, the Stickeez have long been forgotten and he is back on the trains, but for a few brief moments I had some relief.
When you have a son who loves to drag various little toys around with him, and half the time they are special ones that should not get lost, you welcome any reprieve from the constant search these little train and car figurines cause.
Maybe it’s because I only have one son.
Maybe it’s because we only go to Pick n Pay once a week.
But mostly it’s because the Stikeez are a great distraction ploy from whatever else I am struggling with that day – the begging for chocolate, or the stress of looking for his more expensive toys. Stikeez can be replaced. Thomas the tank engine figurine? A lot more expensive.
On Friday Nicky insisted on taking as many trains as his two little hands could carry on the shopping trip. And, horror of horrors, he refused to put them in a bag, as I had successfully managed to persuade him previously.
Do not judge me for letting him take these trains with. I do not wish to separate him from his objects of affection as they appear to be some kind of security for him throughout the day: he even sleeps with them.
The trip began well enough at the fruit and veg shop when he dropped two of them as he left the car seat. This is actually a good thing, because leaving two in the car and only having to keep track of four is a bonus.
He insists “No walk!” and I have to carry him and push a trolley. (These trolleys are not very comfortable). At the till I have the relief of putting him down on the counter while he positions his precious trains up all in a line.
Off we go to the next stop, Pick n Pay. We are temporary distracted by eating strawberries but not enough to forgo taking the trains into the shop.
I am grateful that Nicky agrees to sit in the Pick n Pay trolley today. (We actually had a good night’s sleep the night before. I think I’ve figured out why: I cut the salt out of the food, it makes the shopping experience a bit more bearable). But he still thinks it is hilarious to freak me out with Disappearing Trains.
He posts them down the trolley, and fortunately they are caught at the bottom.
We are about to leave the bread section and I do a quick train count: one, two, three, oh no… where is four?
This means I have to go back and forth through the past few aisles looking for a train.
I am about to despair when I see a little green figurine on the floor in the juice section. This is the point where Nicky chooses his “juicy”! I guess he thought it was also a great time to throw a train.
I get through the rest of the shop and it is when I am heading for the final section for yoghurt and milk that I notice Nicky is smiling sneakily. I immediately know something is up. I look and discover those blasted trains are gone again.
Fortunately they have only taken a trip to the bottom of the trolley and I leave them there.
We get to the till and pay for our groceries, and the magic Stikeez are handed out.
An amazing thing happens.
The trains are TOTALLY FORGOTTEN.
I calmly put them in my pocket as Nicky demands then and there to unwrap all the Stikeez. (We unwrap a few). As a bonus as we leave the shop, some random woman, seeing my son’s excitement, offers us her Stikeez too, as “What am I going to do with them?”
The cashier at Pick n Pay has given us a little packet for the Stikeez, for which I am very grateful, because by the time we get to Woolworths I am not in the mood to be looking for more dropped toys. Although, these ones are cheap and replaceable, so there’s that. Also, by some miracle, my son has actually consented to putting them in the packet, so that’s fantastic too.
So thank you, Pick n Pay, we’re grateful for these toys, but proabably not for the reasons you designed them for.