•  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

I’ve always loved Halloween; my mom would always make us fun costumes to wear, and when I got older I loved handing out candy to the kids. I love the creativity that people show on Halloween. I also love things that are spooky but cute, like the Nightmare Before Christmas.

Here’s a spooky story for Halloween:

It’s a quiet evening at home, I’m alone, the kids are in bed and Matt’s still at work for the next hour or so. I’m sitting at the kitchen table, knitting and listening to a show on tv, when I hear a strange noise coming from my dark living room. I stop, pause the tv and listen again. It’s muffled, but something is going on in there. I walk over quietly and peek in through the doorway to see…

 

That one of the boy’s toys decided to start making music at random.

Cute, right? Sure, when It’s not actually creeping me out. 

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve had a terrible fear of animatronics. I always dreaded going to Chuck E. Cheese and seeing them; and I hated those holiday toys where you can push a button and they sing and dance. I find them creepy and disturbing, and long before Five Nights at Freddy’s, (not spooky and cute by the way, just plain disturbing) I had actually had a nightmare about being killed by animatronics in a children’s pizza joint. 

While none of my boy’s toys actually creep me out during the day, those occasions when they start up when no one is playing with them are downright creepy. It’s disturbing the same way animatronics are. We have creaky floorboards and I sometimes think our old floors are the cause of spontaneous toy triggers. 

I could put them into  a haunted house. I could just line them up and set them off.  The lights and the cacophony of bad jingles and sounds would be terrifying. I could make millions! 

Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but the sheer number of toys on the market that have these electronic voices and lights is staggering. I got the first one at a baby shower. And I have yet to see, with a few notable exceptions that these sounds actually improve my boy’s experience. A lot of these toys are using the lights and sounds to be educational, but as a rule, I think the kids tune them out.

But, my mom recently came up with a suggestion: take the batteries out. If we removed the batteries, silence would reign, and my geriatric cat could walk across the floor without setting off a demon hoard in the toybox. If you’ll excuse me, I need to raid Matt’s toolbox for a screwdriver. 

I’m joking, but we did remove batteries from some toys before giving them to the boys, especially if the electric effects seemed unnecessary, and I may institute a regular toy rotation. That’ll make it easier to switch off these toys during clean up. That way I never have to turn a corner to this again:

Well that’s one less thing to worry about this Halloween!