My Toys

egore911-bulldozer-800pxMy wife called down the stairs, “Put your toys away.”

Gosh, I hadn’t heard that in so many years,  I doubted whether I heard it correctly.

“What?” I called back.



“Come up here so I can talk to you,” she called.

So I trudged up the stairs.

“Why?” I repeated.

She waited patiently for the irritation of being called upstairs to subside.

“Because,” she explained, “the grand-kids are coming over and I know how upset you get when they play with your toys.”


I have lots of toys.  So much so that parking space on my desk is at a premium for all the cars, trucks, tractors and heavy equipment I have.  The entire basement is littered with plastic models, stamped replicas and iron castings of every form of transportation known to man.  Steam engines jostle with boxcars for track space on my bookcase and airplanes threaten to throw themselves off my shelves…   And into this mix, my wife wants to introduce children?


It is not that I refuse to share – but like most boys there are some things I am willing and other things I am unwilling to share.

I don’t mind if the kids take my tractors off the desk or trains off the bookcase. These things are inexpensive to replace and the kids get the same kick out of them that I do.

I only get upset when they leave them scattered around the basement. The last time they came over I asked if they had picked up and they swore they did. The next morning I stepped on a tractor while walking to my desk in the dark.

Even that I could forgive…

It was the next step with the ball of my foot landing squarely on my sextant that I cannot forgive.   A sextant is designed to locate a ship’s position on the globe, it is not designed to be stepped on – but when stepped on, it is designed to aggressively defend itself.

There are a few other things I do not want the kids to be messing with. My pistol for instance. The pistol is real enough but it is a working replica of a 1858 Colt; a weapon that requires black powder, lead ball and percussion cap to fire; none of which are to be found in our home – but it is still a weapon and knowing the grand-children, they will probably pistol whip each other with it.

But no matter what they do with it, children have no business playing with any gun.

So I did what my wife said I had to do and I put away my toys before the grand-kids came over – which annoyed me to no end.

So I talked to a friend about this business of wives, kids and toys.

His experience is quite different than mine because his toys are a whole lot bigger than mine. Whereas I have small scale replicas, he has the real thing.

We were in his shed admiring an old steam tractor he had recently purchased. The thing was amazing. No, make that majestic. The firebox glistened red and I could see my reflection in the polish of the frame.  The all metal wheels stood taller than my head and had an authority unmatched by even the largest modern tractors.  Whoever designed it was not only a top grade engineer but an artist as well.

“Does it run?” I asked.

“Not around here it don’t,” he said.

“Why’s that?” I asked.

He motioned toward the house.

“What?” I asked.

“I haven’t told her about it yet.”


Author: Almost Iowa

53 thoughts on “My Toys”

  1. My grandma used to have a lot of porcelain dolls that the grandkids were not allowed to play with, and while I never played with dolls at home, for some reason the allure of knowing I couldn’t play with them was enough to make me always try and sneak in playtime when my grandma was out. I was caught a couple times, and I’m sure she knew what was going on, but still… it was worth it.

    1. When the grand-kids come over, I always bait them with “toys they are not allowed to touch under penalty of death”. These are usually low-value, indestructible objects that I spend a lot of money replacing because they are so adept at destroying them… but it saves the things I cherish.

  2. My husband was so upset when I mentioned the neighbor man had had a garage sale the week before and he missed it. He had been driving by coveting his stuff for years. It looked like pure drap to me.

  3. We are never too old for our toys, or too old to have a few special ones we’d much rather not share. At least yours are small enough to be put away!

  4. OMG pistol whipping… yup my daughter would end up hurting her older brother that way.

    You remind me of the Lego Movie, where the dad (Will Ferrell) won’t let his son play with his lego city, and the kid does anyway. (Everything is AWESOME) – he gives up and ends up playing with his son. Maybe that’s what grandpa should do? BTW: Kids will always swear they picked up all the toys. That means maybe 1 item.

    I’m guessing the neighbor’s wife must have some sort of clue, because I’m thinking a chunk of change had to come out of the banking account to purchase the steam tractor? Unless there’s some bartering system going on…

    1. “I’m guessing the neighbor’s wife must have some sort of clue, because I’m thinking a chunk of change had to come out of the banking account to purchase the steam tractor? Unless there’s some bartering system going on…”

      He might have disguised it as a “farm equipment purchase”.

      I hear there is a clandestine business around here called, “Midnight Delivery” that will sneak your purchases into your shed without being detected by the spouse. It is a very pricey top-end outfit.

  5. Clearly, my mother considered my computer a toy when it arrived. “Are you still playing with that thing?” she’d say.

    I do have a toy, in a box, waiting to be assembled. There are plans to do it with a friend, over the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be a report.

  6. I’m jealous because I didn’t keep any of my toys. I’m sure someone is enjoying them after the yard sale 30 years ago. I could kick myself for letting them go along with all of that vinyl. I’d buy a turntable to play that stuff.

  7. When our two nephews come over they want to play with the two black fly metal sculptures I have on my desk. They are 3 and 4 and my wife can refuse them nothing. One time when I wasn’t home she let them take home my commemorative anniversary Kellogg Cereal trucks. Sigh, I’ll probably never see them again. But they are wonderful little boys so I can’t even get mad really.

    1. Yup, grown men and their incredibly expensive toys… Just lucky I don’t own a bass boat. I saw one at Cabellas for $33K. Me? I would be happy with a 30 year old 16′ Lund and a 10 hp engine.

      1. I’ve often been told the best day is when someone buys a boat. The second best day is when he sells it. Must be an interesting relationship..:)

  8. Most of my toys (Hot Wheels…don’t judge) are out of sight in the storage room in the basement. I got tired of the “disagreements” over displaying them, and that was that. As for grandkids, well, we’re still waiting…another sensitive subject, unless you’re one of those types who likes to poke a hornets’ nest with a stick.

  9. We had a brief discussion this morning about putting away our things. Decided we were lucky to not have too many things to hide when kids show up. Except for the pricy quilting machine. That door gets locked.

      1. Truth: we could lock the door, but did not last time all the kids were here. They actually were good about the quilting stuff. I’d put all the sharps out of reach, and we did close the door on the heavy equipment. Instead I found the 6 year old and 4 year old rolling dumbbells across a coffee table, and the 9 year old riding the elliptical. !!! “Who thought this was a good idea?” I asked. Fingers pointed in several directions. But no bad thing happened, only by accident.

        1. “Instead I found the 6 year old and 4 year old rolling dumbbells across a coffee table, and the 9 year old riding the elliptical. !!!”

          We need something just like Newton’s Law’s for parenting and grand-parenting.

          Rule #1: For every potentially dangerous situation, there is an equally eager child.
          Rule #2…

      1. Your stories remind me of a Norman Rockwell painting with their Americana Slice of Life.Like his art I am drawn into the story.

  10. Agree with Dave! Another post on the topic. Loved this one! Grandkid proof your study! They have no idea the value of stuff, even if you tell them, it doesn’t register! Chryssa

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