The 5 Toys I Love and Also Hate

10/14/2011 10:37 am ET | Updated Dec 14, 2011

I am a Los Angeles mother of two little boys. I started Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures late one night to avoid going crazy. It seems to be working. And now, I'm on The Huffington Post.

Here are the five toys that I love. And also hate.

#1 The Prize Ball (aka: a superball with eyes)

This isn't just any superball, this is what we affectionatly call "prize ball" because my son got it four years ago from the prize box at the doctor office. You know, that filthy treasure chest they let kids dig through at the end of appointments to spread germs more effectively.

Anyway, the ball has two eyes. Which means it isn't just a ball. To my kids, it is a "guy" with hopes and dreams. This is why I love it. I love that such a simple object can inspire imagination.

But this is why I hate it...

It is a superball.


A gentle toss causes it to bounce on a destructive and unpredictable trajectory of pain and suffering.


And after it calms down, it always rolls to the same hiding place.


And I have to fish it out.

#2 The Sandbox


We have a sandbox in our backyard.

This is a beautiful thing, because it allows me to do this while they play in it:

I get to lounge on a patio chair and just watch them. I watch them play happily together. They make sand pies and build castles and do all the wonderful things I did as a kid in my own sandbox. This is why I love it.

And this is why I hate it...



The thing that sucks about a sandbox is that it is a box filled with sand.

Sand that you have to eventually replenish because...


it all winds up in your house.

#3 Puzzles


I love puzzles only because I'm supposed to love puzzles. They are good developmental toys. Good for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Whatever. They suck.

When they are missing pieces it bothers me. And they are always missing pieces.

I put them out for the little guy and he eagerly takes all the pieces out.


And then walks away. I know he is a little too young. But I can't wait until he grows into puzzles.

Why? Because when my eldest grew into puzzles he grew out of puzzles a month later.

I'm so close to donating these I can taste it! And I'm sure immediately after donating them all the missing pieces will turn up.

#4 Playdough



Why do I love it?


Pretty much the same reasons as the sandbox. They play together. Nicely. And I don't have to.

I think my source of hate for playdough is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case:

That oughta do it.

#5 Books
I know what you are thinking. How could she say she hates books? That is against the law!

My booksy friends are shifting uncomfortably in their seats right now. A few people are angry, because books aren't even toys. Relax. Breathe.

You'll see where I'm going with this.


I love children's books. Like super-duper love them. Which is why I hate them.

I can not get rid of any.


Already at age two, my son follows the proper safety precautions of book selection.

You pull one out...


And then quickly exit to avoid the book avalanche.

As a bonus, no matter how many books there are to choose from...


he really only wants to read the same one over and over and over again anyway.

What toys do you love and hate?

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