Saturday, 3 May 2008

Damned by Playmobil

We are learning to live with a Roman arena in the house.

Lions are in right there now. I have forbidden them to eat Christians. On the upside the lions are being lashed to within an inch of their plastic lives by Tiger, appropriately enough, who has got one covered in a net and has a Roman gladiator stabbing at it with a spear. She has photographed the moment and is about to compose it, together with a hundred other shots of gladiators stabbing animals with spears, in a book that should be called How to Slaughter Wildlife in the Name of Sport but will probably be called something like My Roman Arena.

This bloodbath is, of course, the consequence of weak and idle parenting. This is the sort of rubbish parenting that takes feeble recourse in bribery, when we should, I know, provide firm guidelines and boundaries and whatever else they are called the moment an irritating kid comes into the office while mummy is typesetting a book on Nahuatl commas to earn a measly few quid, and will get mad if you ask her about toilet rolls again when her finger is hovering over the comma key. Then, because she is desperate, and the crying doesn't work and neither does the yelling, she will say, trying to keep a pleading note out of her voice, 'Stay out the office and you get a Roman arena'.

And I regret it. Of course I do. I may be weak but I have a super-ego parent somewhere about my personhood and I know they have a conscience.

Well, add guilt too. Because now it seems to have brought out Tiger's evil psychosis. At any moment I expect her to be taking to the garden, fashioning spears and shouting Kill! Kill! Kill! when she clocks the neighbour's cat pissing in the vegetable patch. And aside from that dilemma, I also have feet, hands, eyes, ears and a brain, and soon enough all those body parts will be bleeding with pain, thanks to my irresponsible 12-year old approach to problem-solving combined with the curse that is Playmobil.

First off, Playmobil parts disappear, don't they? And any poor gullible parents out there who have ever been conned into buying micro pieces of plastic that pass for toys but which are basically micro pieces of junk capable of making themselves invisible while simultaneously being drawn to the dust bag of vacuum cleaners, you all know what I'm talking about. But oh my god, squeals Tiger, if we cannot find the micro pink flower that just has to sit here HERE on this bush which is to be eaten by that horse, now this instant, because otherwise life is not worth living, and if mummy you sucked it up the vacuum cleaner then there'll be trouble, and it'll be BIG because I will SQUEAL and say you did that DELIBERATELY. As if I would do that, knowing what's ahead. Replace me with Hercules why don't you, and I bet he won't weep when he finds out what's under the sofa in a five-hour search for a plastic pink flower.

But if we live past the trauma of the missing Playmobil bits the size of a gnat's elbow, then we have to live with the rest of the Roman arena strewn across the house. This is not some erudite recreation to celebrate the glory that is Modern Rome. This is Mummy! Don't touch that! It must stay there one more day! Just one more day! We are playing with it! What? Not only have you not touched this particular construction for 24 hours, it is in fact a piece of plastic wall with a bit of string tied round it and a scrunched up piece of paper next to it with the word PO written on in crayon. But mummy! That is where the brave gladiator horse who has eaten the bush must shelter for the night on his way to deliver the secret message about the invasion of the watties!

For this pain and punishment, Mel is someone I get no sympathy from. She tuts at me. But why must you do eet? she says, rolling her eyes. Ze plastic rubbish is zere because you buy eet. Do not buy eet. This is because she is an uber parent with a pure and simple outlook on parenting that magically works, and not because she has a European accent. I blame her lack of comprehension on the fact that she sends all her 99 kids to school. She simply does not understand the necessities of work deadlines and hollering kids at 2 o'clock in the afternoon while you have told them to be quiet and in a blind panic equipped them with bottles of shampoo, vinegar and Teach Yourself Chemistry.

Well that is that. I am now cursed, doomed and damned. The Christians will be laughing. And I deserve it. Maybe there is a pit of Hell specially reserved for parents who bribe their kids with plastic junk. And a special section for those of us who give in to Playmobil.

And I'm sure it was not my mouth yesterday that said 'Yeah. And if you are good, I will get you the zoo.'


obeerg said...

Dear Grit
Playmobile and superglue were made for each other.
They hold each other so tightly, it is a perfect match.
I should know, for I am the mother who 14 years ago spent endless hours looking for the 14th firemans helmet for the 14th fireman. He now looks like an extra in the "are you my Mummy?" episode of Dr Who...
But - Hey he still has his helmet!!
An added bonus is my younger child fails to mention the missing peices of her new sets...I wonder why??

Brad said...

When my niece was 7 I bought here a barnyard set with hundreds of pieces for Christmas. At 8 it was a toy electric guitar. At 9 it was a toy keyboard with microphone for sing-a-long.

My sister doesn't call me often. ?.

Michelle said...

This summer the Egyptian stuff comes out. I want it for me :-)

Kelly Jene said...

Oh, yes, Obeerg has the right idea. Glue em down, mummy!

We've seen many a Playmobil item come and go and it's my philosophy that if they are found lying around when the vacuum comes around, they are willing victims. Yes there are two or three chances and much wailing and tears if it is a sword or some such important piece, but I try to stand firm.

The zoo is fun. :) That didn't help did it?

Frog in the Field said...

The best way to find small plastic 'toys' is to walk around in bare feet, then get someone to take you to A and E.
Voila! the 'toy' will be found in perfect condition and retrieved from your body with tweezers and scalpels!!

the mother of this lot said...

I said this was a bad idea from the start. And I agree with frog in the field - there is no pain like standing on a rogue bit of Playmobile....well, possibly Lego.

Suburbia said...

I love Playmobil!! But not when a stray piece finds it's way under my foot when I get up for a wee in the night!
However my Small Sprog is 'doing' the Romans this term and I bet he'd love to learn via the Playmobil method!

Suburbia said...

PS I hope you don't mind but I've added you to my Blogroll :)

Grit said...

hi obeerg, we need a support group!

does she call you at easter brad when the chocolate starts flowing?

i have to confess michelle to a fondness for lego and meccano.

i agree kelly jene, i say 'if you leave it lying around on the floor it means you do not want it'. then i go round and pick everything up.

yes, frog, this is an excellent way!

oh dear motl, i know you are right. so far the worst has been an upturned computer plug that Dig has left in the hall where it is nice and dark at 6am.

hi suburbia! you are very kind, and i hope i do your blogroll justice.

Merry said...

I steal all the small bits while they are still umming with the map and the big bits. I say i'll give them back when they are old.

I won't. I will give them to my grandchildren and say "there, you can take that home if you like....."