Culling them with kind­ness

TRAUMA OF THE TOY BOX CLEAN-OUT

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Mi­randa Mur­phy is a mother of three and a jour­nal­ist at The Aus­tralian

WIN­TER has come to the toys in our house. It is time for a cull.

In pos­si­bly the fi­nal in­dig­nity for our over­looked play­things, we’ll be foren­si­cally sort­ing through the fun stuff and weed­ing out the out-of­favour and the for­got­ten.

There are three young kids in this joint so there’s a lot of junk to get through. We have to be bru­tal - think Toy Story meets Hunger Games.

Now, whack­ing toys is an emo­tion­ally fraught busi­ness and - as is cus­tom­ary with par­ent­ing - tac­tics are cru­cial.

Do you do it with the chil­dren present, and wit­ness scenes of such heart-rend­ing tragedy as to make Bambi look like a birth­day party?

Or do you wait un­til the kids are out of the house and then spirit away tar­geted items, only to be eyed with sus­pi­cion when they no­tice the miss­ing and won’t be­lieve you were bur­gled by crooks with a taste for Dora mak­ing it an adorable lit­tle emo­tional ball and chain. There’s eight years’ worth of mem­o­ries and thus it’s im­pos­si­ble to sim­ply off the lot into a miniskip.

The ex­tent of my lit­tle prob­lem be­came ob­vi­ous when one of the kids de­vel­oped a dust mite al­lergy and we were told to ex­ter­mi­nate the bugs from the soft toys by boiling or freez­ing them.

A ra­tio­nal per­son might des­ig­nate which toy re­ceived which treat­ment ac­cord­ing to fab­ric type, colour­fast­ness and so on. But when I found my­self sort­ing them by habi­tat - the po­lar bears and pen­guins got sent to the freezer, the rest to the wash­ing ma­chine - I re­alised it was time for in­ter­ven­tion.

It’ll be tricky and there will be tears - prob­a­bly mine. But I’ll tell the kids those that don’t make the cut are off to live on a lovely farm.

It’s the only way to get this pink fluffy mon­key off my back.

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