In Praise of Plastic

I have seven toy catalogs stacked on the end table. Every year, about this time, we have stacks and stacks of them, but this year I couldn't quite figure out why these catalogs were making me so anxious.

And then I remembered - The Search for the Perfect Kitchen. Last year we got the kids one big gift of a kitchen and set of dishes and toy food (rather a disappointment for St. Nick, sorry bub). I put a lot of thought into it. Way too much thought.

Of course it had to match, it had to be gender neutral, and it absolutely could not be plastic. Because, as we all know, wood is so Durable! So Aesthetically Pleasing! So Natural!

So, we ordered a cute little kitchen and got grandparents to add a bunch of sets of Melissa and Doug wooden foods and dishes.

You know, a wooden turnip looks an awful lot like a baseball, except it hurts more when it hits you. And wood is painted. What happens to painted baseballs, um, turnips when they're piled into a dump truck with toast and watermelon slices and oranges (or maybe those were tomatoes) and sausages (at least I hope they were supposed to be sausages) and backed to the top of the stairs, and then unloaded?

Last week I packed up all the hard, chipped wooden playthings. They're in the attic now. And over the weekend we picked up the biggest, cheapest set of plastic food and dishes we could find. Mud Pie and Little Fish love it. I love it too, though I'm giving the cardboard boxes of Hamburger Helper a week, tops. But, that's the best thing about plastic. So Lifelike! So Colorful! So Disposable! What could be better?

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