Saturday, September 16, 2006

Zack's Reward Toy

Ah, the joys of parenthood. Not the least of these is potty training. Zack nailed the first part just fine, but shall we say, the, um, #2 part was a bit more difficult. We tried bribing that child with everything known to man and had pretty much just given up and left it up to him (always a good idea anyway). When we finally got there, we were so excited (he was so embarrassed) that Rick took him out to buy a present. This is what he chose:
Just one problem. This Hot Wheels: Terror-Dactyl Track Set is a complete piece of crap (ironic, no?) First, it took over an hour to put together, including when we realized two pieces of track were mis-labled, AND when we had to take apart a "hard-wired" piece with a screwdriver to fix a flaw. At one point we told Zack we thought it was broken and we'd have to get another toy -- he put his little hands over his face and burst out in tears, and that broke my heart in a million pieces so we kept at it. We finally got it put together and quickly realized, there is no way in the laws of either physics or engineering that it will ever, ever work the way it is supposed to.

It takes no batteries, which Rick thought would be a plus, and relies on the child pushing a lever to propel cars forward and around the track. The track has two options (theroretically) -- to go all around the loop-the-loop, or shoot at the dinosaur and set the dinosaur into flight.

Yeah right.

If Zack were older and knew how it was supposed to work, he would have been sorely disappointed. But as he's three, he thought it was too cool that the cars just launch randomly into space, never once doing what they were supposed to do. If you push the lever too hard, they fly off and hit the cat. If you push more gently, they just whiz and fall off the track.

And the dinosaur? Total garbage. Try to hit it and it just falls off -- no majestic soaring whatsoever.

But the good thing is, Zack has no idea his toy is a nightmare and he's been happily pushing cars all over the track and launching them into space. In fact, when I just now showed him the picture of him with this train wreck of a toy, he said, "I was so happy!" which just made it all worth it.

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