MUM’S THE WORD: Forget hi-tech – traditional toys are the future

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FINALLY, the batteries in the world’s most annoying toy have gone flat – and unbeknown to Nancy, they are not going to be replaced!

I know it’s a little harsh, and yes, it was something I bought her for Christmas last year – so you could say I’ve only got myself to blame, but in all honesty I don’t think my sanity could stand it if they were renewed.

To look at it, it may seem a harmless little toy – a V-Tech nursery rhymes book – complete with four plastic pages for little hands to turn, accompanied by a ‘sprinkling stardust’ sound effect as you roll each one over. While an electronic voice, which can only be described as camper than a row of bright pink tents, blasts out ‘classic favourites’ such as Humpty Dumpty, London Bridge is Falling Down, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and The Wheels on the Bus.

Now as I said it all sounds harmless enough – that was until it got into the hands of Nancy, who is somewhat obsessed with books and magazines. Leave one lying about the house and she’ll find it and sit for hours continuously turning the pages backwards and forwards, over and over again, until she gets bored and then starts ripping and shredding them to pieces.

Well thanks to the robust nature of the V-Tech book she hasn’t been able to destroy it (more’s the pity). And it’s not want for the want of trying – it’s been chewed, dribbled on, dropped and stamped on. Plus there’s no ‘on/off’ switch with which to silence it either.

So she’s been endlessly flicking the pages, not allowing the songs to play, just getting the ‘twinkling’ sound effect and it’s been driving me absolutely potty.

I have to admit I did sneakily remove it from the toy box a couple of times, just to get a bit of respite but somehow, it always managed to find its way back in.

Nowadays (God, that makes me sound old!) toys seem to eat batteries like there’s no tomorrow – in fact we need shares in Duracell just to keep up.

Before Nancy came along I didn’t think twice about buying noisy, all singing, all dancing toys for friends’ children, I suppose, because I wasn’t the one having to put up with them; after all they weren’t bothering me.

Now I’d just like to take the opportunity to apologise to all those I inflicted with my poor, misguided choices!

And if it’s any consolation I’ve been paying for it these last few weeks!

I think it’s safe to say we’ll be sticking to traditional, wooden toys from here on in!