Tag Archives: Toys

Perfect Planet

You didn’t know we live on two different planets, did you?  No.  Thought not.

This is not an advertisement.  At least it isn’t a paid advertisement.  Not an advertorial, gladitorial, or any other sort of ‘push’.

It is a recognition of brilliant service.

Which Planet is that?  Planet Kids, of course.

Now those of you who aren’t in the Comox Valley… well… you miss out.  Your bad.  Two stores, both here.  Wonderful stores.  Exciting stores.  Kids stores that kids feel welcome in.  Aladdin’s caverns of childish wonder.  Well.  OK, it is a store  A toy store.  But why the whole blog post?

Well – apart from the wonderful toys – Planet Kids also has:  teacher resources, teacher tools, French teaching resources, Special Needs equipment and information/books, hands on stuff, imaginative stuff, science stuff (and how), dress-up stuff, and some mighty wonderful staff.  Plus the divine Ms. Pam, owner/operator/Pied Piper of Comox.

There have been several good toy stores in our area – we’re blessed that way – and I miss the ladies at the Avon boutique very much – they were nice and I could pick up a gift for a child there and know the odds were such that it would be unique.

But then there is the store that carries great goods, inflated prices, and glare sternly at you, whilst delivering a lecture, that “their toilet is not for the children to use”.  As a mother to children with special needs – children that haven’t always been good at timing their bathroom breaks – this always irked me.  I was a regular enough customer that they remembered my name but I still got the “we’d rather you didn’t” talk about the toilet for the kids.

In contrast, Ms. Pam not only says “Yes” she or one of her staff will often accompany the kid, standing nearby for reassurance, while the parents are busy.  How cool is she?  I mean, really, she understands not just kids but parents, too.

Anywhoodle, I love our Planet Kids.  My kids love our Planet Kids.  Planet Kids loves our community and always volunteers/helps wherever and whenever possible.  Long live Planet Kids and Ms. Pam (and her gorgeous family)!!

(no, no, truly, it is okay Ms. Pam, no, don’t send me a little something, truly, I accept nothing on this blog, no, no-one will think you paid me, no, no, no, this was from my heart, not my wallet).


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So we move from the hooray-causing reading Mr.D. to today’s Mr.D.  It is only lunchtime and I am posting already.  You can tell that whatever is coming isn’t good, can’t you?

Mr. D. wakes this morning – early-ish for a Saturday when they normally all walk up to the bakery, leaving mummy to have a slight sleep in but not weirdly early – but he wakes with a bang!

Screaming, slamming, thumping, jumping.  “I won’t take my tablets.  I am not taking them ever.  I don’t like them.  I don’t like taking them.  I will not.  Nooooooo.”  Screamed in my husband’s face whilst we were still lying in bed.  Ms. E. starts crying – we don’t know why, yet, because we are trying to get out of bed while trying to medicate Mr.D. as quickly as possible.

We stumble out.  What a sight.  Bedroom is trashed.  Strangely, although done by Mr.D., most of the mess is Ms.E.’s stuff, strewn about.  Then we find the music box.

When I was a wee snippet of a lassie, my beloved Daddy gave me a music box.  You’ve seen them – fairly tacky really but delightful to little girls who love ballet – all pink and white with ribbons and ballerinas.  You open it up, and there is space for your treasures and a little ballerina pops upright and when you turn the dial, she spins in front of her mirror to some random piece of classical music.  I kept that music box in pristine condition for years, playing “her” every night.  So at Christmas, when I saw an almost exact replica, and I now have a ballerina-mad four year old, it was a given.  It was the only gift specifically from Mummy to daughter.  As I had hoped, Ms.E. fell hard for the box and had to be given lessons in not over-winding, etc.

Then Mr.D. played with it and Ms. E. didn’t like that so it went inside her top dresser drawer to live for a while – out of sight out of mind being good sense around here.

Seems it didn’t stay out of mind for long enough.

This morning we discovered the ballerina broken in half, the mechanism that holds her and turns her was pulled part out and bent severely, and the lid no longer closes.  None of this damage was done by Ms. E.

I can deal with my disappointment without projecting it too far; Ms.E. is upset but she’ll live – she is four and doesn’t always feel things as keenly as Mr. D. and I.  But what to do as, well, as punishment?  Really the only appropriate word because this behaviour is just indicative of his inability to see Ms.E. as a real person rather than as his personal doll.

In my mind, I believe the permanent confiscation of one of his toys is merited (even though I am as sentimental and soft-hearted as he is).  I find it very hard to do.  Whereas, at the other extreme, Daddy is just about happy to remove every toy.

Is there another way out?  This is NOT a rhetorical question, I really would appreciate some advice.  What would you do?  What have you tried?  Any ideas at all as to appropriate redress?



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Power Play!

Mr. D. received a remarkable ‘toy’ for his birthday last year – a new ‘toy’ called Snap Circuits from Elenco.  Why ‘toy’?  Well, I don’t think there is anything toy-like about this system for creating electrical currents – see what you think.

We had our eye on this system for a while and the lovely Pam, toy retailer extraordinaire, from Planet Kid, stocked up on them after we inquired so there was nothing for it but to buy the BIGGER kit for Christmas.  The nice thing?  They integrate so each kit just provides more and more options when they are all combined.

Savvy kids get to learn how to make a circuit, how a circuit can make things work (buzzers, alarms, light bulbs, etc.), how to break circuits and how to apply resistance in a circuit.  Whew!  That’s a whole lotta learning going on.  Some very bright person has designed this system in easy snap ‘bricks’ not unlike a building system and some of the plates are clear so that all the ‘action’ can be seen.

Mr. D. did a lot of these post-Christmas but hadn’t touched them for a while.  He was feeling fairly hard-done-by this morn when we expressed our dissatisfaction with him getting up around 4am to watch cartoons when TV isn’t to be used before 6.30am so while my temper cooled (and I got the classroom warmed up and computers on) I asked him to make me a difficult circuit that used the bulb.  He did.  He even used multiple bulbs.  He created circuits with it for over an hour.  Here are the photos so that Mummy may show off.  *g* Who says FASD/ADHD/etc. etc. kids can’t focus? OK – maybe hyperfocus?

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