As we prepare to move, we have been ridding ourselves of items we no longer use. Two weeks ago, I put one of Philip’s toys on the curb knowing it would get scavenged. It was a toy with a steering wheel and levers that offered numbers, the alphabet and songs in both English and Spanish. I had hidden it on the shelf of our front closet several months ago after Philip had become obsessed with it. Once he started playing with the toy, he was not able to stop. Bedtime would come and he would be exhausted, but Philip seemed compelled to keep pushing the toy’s buttons. In frustration, he would burst into tears and throw the toy. One night after he went to bed, I stashed it in the closet and promptly forgot about it.
When I found it as we were packing, I figured that Philip had probably aged out from the toy. I didn’t feel guilty about recycling it. I snuck it outside before Philip woke up.
Later that day, Philip and I took Roscoe for a walk. We were almost home when Philip tripped on the uneven sidewalk. He fell flat and tore a hole in the knee of his pants. I knew if the fall was hard enough to rip fabric, I could expect to see some damage to the skin underneath.
Sure enough, Philip cried. I tried to comfort him, but he pushed me away. It was then that he spotted the discarded toy at the curb. He tried to turn it on, but it wouldn’t work. Trying to avoid tears, I let him pick it up and bring it back in the house.
Philip spent the next half hour studying the toy carefully. He had recovered from his fall, so he didn’t cry even though the toy wouldn’t work. Peter finally took pity on him and replaced the corroded batteries. Philip has played with the toy every day since. He doesn’t seem as obsessed this time around, so I guess the toy has been officially rescued.
Since then, Philip has “found” three other toys that we had hidden for various reasons. He has played with them without any throwing, so I guess they are now saved from the Island of Misfit Toys, too.