The Grumpy Grandma and the Terrible Talking Truck

A grandkid just turning two ought to have a truck. A simple truck. A crawl on the floor and make vroom-vroom noises truck.

That was the premise I started with when I went shopping for a birthday present. I didn't have much time, which I didn't expect to be a problem. I would just drive to the nearest discount store, go to the toy department, pick up a truck, and be on my way.

Except that the store didn't seem to have such a thing as a simple, medium-sized plastic truck. There were little metal trucks—too small for a two-year-old. There were soft, squishy trucks—too babyish for a two-year-old. There were miniature monster trucks—too gorily decorated for a two-year-old.

Mostly, though, there were electronic trucks and cars. They roared. They flashed lights. They talked. They ran on remote controls (batteries not included). All of them seemed meant to be watched more than played with—too passive for a two-year-old.

With time running short, I finally grabbed a talking, engine-revving race car. According to the directions on the package, when it was shaken and plopped down on its wheels, it would race across the floor on its own, emitting NASCAR-inspired sound effects. It also looked as if it could be driven by toddler power. I figured it would do.

When the clerk picked the car up to scan it, it started shouting in a screechy automotive voice. "I'm Swifty! (Or Scooter or Speedy or whatever its name was.) The checkered flag is mine! Vroom, vroom!"

Shut into a shopping bag, it subsided while I carried it out to my car. It squawked once when I dropped it onto the back seat. When I started driving, however, it started up again. Every stop, start, and turned corner would set it off. "I'm Swifty! The checkered flag is mine! Vroom, vroom!" By the time I got halfway home, my name was definitely Grumpy.

Finally, I stopped at a drugstore, reached into the back seat, and picked up little Motormouth. Resisting the temptation to hurl it across the parking lot, I set it firmly but gently upright. Silence ensued. This toy was obviously intended to be parked carefully on its wheels on a shelf except when it was being played with, rather than being tossed into a toy box where it would start screeching and revving every time it was jostled. Since no two-year-old I have ever known keeps toys neatly on a shelf, this clearly would not do.

I went into the store, where I found a cheaply made but blessedly simple little plastic wagon filled with blessedly silent plastic blocks. It wasn't a truck, but at least it would allow the birthday boy to pull or push it. Neither would it scare him silly by bursting into full cry every time he touched it.

Loudmouth little Swifty is still parked in the back seat of my car. I need to return it to the store. First, though, I have to figure out how to keep it quiet long enough for them to take it back.

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Categories: Just For Fun | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “The Grumpy Grandma and the Terrible Talking Truck

  1. Frank

    You haven’t asked for any advise, but I have some any way. Why not keep the loud toy and give it to the child in a few years when it will probably enjoy it? At least it doesn’t seem to need batteries so the kid won’t be taking batteries out of the clocks or other battery powered devises in the home. They do that, you know.

  2. Ginny

    I was older than two when I remember putting doll clothes on kittens, and feeding them bread and milk on my doll dishes and being very frustrated because I could not control their table manners..babies are not supposed to stand on the table while eating. It was MANY years later that my mom told me how she and my grandmother laughed at my efforts to ‘mother’ these wayward kittens. Ginny

  3. Val

    By all means take the truck back! Two year old boys come with enough sound effects, they don’t need help!

  4. Kathleen

    I agree, Val, that two-year-olds have more than enough of their own sound effects. I finally did take the truck back. Oddly enough, the clerk didn’t seem at all surprised–it’s just possible they may have had one or two others returned. And Ginny, we also used to dress the kittens in doll clothes. They never seemed to appreciate it, and wouldn’t stay put when we tucked them into bed, either. Sometimes they disappeared under the porch and came out later, minus the clothes. I bet girls who play with Barbies don’t have that problem!

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