My four year old is obsessed with marbles. Not sure why exactly, but it's his thing. He watches marble run videos on the iPad and asked me for MONTHS to get him a marble run set. We laid out some easy four year old friendly chores for him to do to earn some of the money for it, and after he completed them we picked out a set and ordered it from Amazon and he waited somewhat impatiently for the UPS guy to show up with his marble run. Right away, I knew this was going to be a major toy FAIL and almost immediately I started thinking how I was going to get rid of this thing ASAP.
First of all, marbles? Really Jenny? Did I honestly just give my four year old a toy that contained TWELVE MARBLES?! Lapse in judgment number one. Then I realized the set contained approximately eighty billion plastic pieces, most of which disappeared under furniture mere minutes after the box was opened.
I tried to sequester the toddler in another room while my four year old played with it, but again, major lapse in judgment there. "Oh hey here's a super fun toy your brother is so excited about but you can't touch it!!!" Try telling that to an almost two year old and see how successful you are. Add in the fact that that toddler is a major screamer, especially when she doesn't get her way. SO FUN, right?
Bonus points for the set being impossible for a child to put together alone (Amazon reviewers, YOU LIE!) and we have a perfect storm of Get This Toy the Hell Outta My House.
I started with the slow toy death: moving it to the garage. Out of sight out of mind, right? WRONG. Every day he would ask "Mommy where's my marble run?". I deflected and distracted like a pro, but this kid wanted his marble run. Meanwhile marble run pieces seemed to be procreating and littering every surface in our house. I found them in the kids beds, in the bathroom, little plastic marble run tubes were underfoot everywhere, and no matter how diligently I tried to collect them inevitably I would be cleaning and find yet another one and would silently curse the day I ever decided to google "marble run sets". Not to mention the bag of marbles I had collected that sat in my underwear drawer like a stash of contraband. And regardless of how many jokes we could come up with about "losing our marbles", this thing needed to GO.
Finally, the last straw came when I stepped on one of the marble run tubes on the basement stairs and momentarily feared for my life as it rolled under my foot and I slightly slipped on it. I picked it up, marched up the stairs to the marble run hiding place in the garage, shoved the piece into it and tossed the entire thing into the recycling bin, wiping my hands together half in anger and half in triumph. Triumphant anger. Angry triumph. BYE BYE MARBLES.
My four year old still asks for it, completely perplexed as to where this thing went. Sure, it's my fault for thinking a four year old could handle this totally age inappropriate toy, but I had visions of him becoming an engineer and thinking back fondly, "It all started with that marble run that my loving mother got me", so see? My intentions were good! I wasn't planning on dumping it in the garbage! Yet, that is where it needed to go. That was the journey this marble run needed to take. And so I will dance the dance that parents before me for generations have danced when they throw out the annoying toy that they can't stand: the white lie.
In time the memories of his first marble run will fade, and maybe, just maybe (read: probably not) I will get him another one when he is older. Until then, consider it BANNED.