For a while now I have had a suspicion that has been growing. I think that children’s toys must be infused with something which makes them irresistibly attractive to people over the age of twenty five and completely unattractive to little girls who are almost two. This suspicion has been confirmed to me by the visit of two friends this afternoon.
Our little girl has been singularly uninterested in her toys from a very early age. She will give them barely a glance whilst on her way to a book, or something that she isn’t allowed. It doesn’t matter how colourful, how much noise or how many moving parts a thing has, she will just totally snub it. Every now and then a toy will be picked up and examined, as though she has decided that today she is going to learn all about colourful xylophones, and then, once all the information has been sucked out of it, it will be discarded again, cast aside like yesterday’s news.
The only time that she is interested in getting her toys out is when time is running short to get the house tidy for guests. At that point she will be desperate to get everything out, and sit and play with them as it gathers in a pile around her ruining the effect of serene tidiness that you are trying to portray.
This means that when people come round it tends to be that there are a few toys still out which, having been put away three times already, manage to evade the final sweep and sit, sparklingly tempting, in the middle of the floor. At which point the guest will, almost inevitably, as demonstrated wonderfully this afternoon, swoop upon the toy, turn it over in their hand a few times and then fall to playing with it.
This applies to guests who are in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties or seventies. It turns out that, in the end, we are all just children. Drawn to the bright lights and exciting sounds of children’s toys no matter how old we are. Unless, of course, we are their intended audience, in which case just point me in the direction of the shelves where all the ornaments are.