Guilt-free Play

Having stayed away from my boys for three days, I wanted to surprise them. Hamley’s personnel recommended a duck that quacked, a chicken that lay eggs and an Alien that repeated what you said. 

I picked the alien. I also picked a football for my older one and a hover ball for the two of them to share. 

The adorable Alien that needs three batteries

Guess what, between the three things and the frog my mom them got them also from Hamleys, I need 12 batteries. 

I had screwed up bad!

Now, we have moved to rechargeable batteries. But between the remotes and the toys, our current stock is never going be enough. (I am quite tempted to request family and friends to send an annual stock of batteries rather than toys as birthday gifts.) 

Yes, I agree. 
I am responsible for the junk I am creating. 
I must take responsibility for the stuff that comes home. 
And I should choose to not pick up stuff that is going to fill up the landfills with more toxicity.  

Personally, I feel that I have improved from the over-excited first-time mom and I attempt to make more careful purchases. We encourage more time outdoors and luckily books have been their haven. But we are far from where we should be ideally. 

Also, I have limited control on what comes to them as gifts. And when I walk through the toy stores, all I notice is a surge in the toys that need batteries. 
Every piece that has come home over the recent year needs three – four batteries. 

Ok let’s get real, I don’t expect the local market to wake up and become environment conscious. 
But could I not expect a slightly more nuanced attitude towards the environment from leading stores especially one like HAMLEYs? 

I have nothing against Hamleys, let me clarify. Except they are the most accessible store and the one influencer in my circle. Everyone I know shops at Hamley’s and it is cool to. Also, my kid and his friends tend to drag us moms to that store at every mall we go!

So am I being unfair when I ask Hamley’s, if they are not capable to research and change the market dynamics enough to ensure that you and I play with toys that do not require a constant supply of batteries? 

A part of me feels I am exaggerating. 
So I decided to google this. I selected toys for upto two years. And if its not a pull-toy or a soft toy, my choices involve only battery operated stuff. FisherPrice needs two each. 

Hamley’s Woody Bear needs 3 and Funny Hen also needs 3 batteries each!

I take responsibility, more than I did yesterday. 
But I want you too Hamleys to help me parent responsibly and guiltlessly. 
To help me buy my kids stuff that involves longer lives and lesser batteries, more doing and less watching. 
To help us at least in play to add less toxic waste to the already outflowing landfills

On my shorter trips, guys on the local train sell me some curious stuff. Like a ten rupee dolphin that spins when I wind it, a pokey ball that lights up when you throw it and once I got a little booklet that you flip through and becomes an animated action figure.  

Guess what, no batteries, minimal cost, they are still at home and continue to entertain. 

So why can’t the bigger stores, with bigger profits, with more access, and more of everything be also expected to do much more!

They are after all in their own words – The Finest Toy Shop in the World!

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