Like Matilda, I’m considering a ban on toys made in China. From a moral standpoint, I should have banned all things Chinese years ago, but it is so difficult to be diligent about things like that when my daily life is filled with the adventures of real life such as teaching children to read and chasing naked toddlers through the neighbors’ yards.
But as much as moral reasoning may be brushed aside out of convenience (or inconvenience), when I need to begin scheduling product number checks on toys we own, thus taking away precious time from the creation of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or other highly important tasks, I begin to think that perhaps a bit of anti-China vigilance wouldn’t save me effort in the long run.
The latest recall includes the Little People Animal Sounds Farm which of course we own. Unlike the Dora and Sesame Street products listed in the last recall that we happened to have, the recall date on the farm goes back much farther than 2006; the date goes back to 2002. Dutiful Protector of My Children that I am, I go through Mattel’s “help me determine if my product is included” link for the farm and it shows me where to locate the codes that identify when exactly it was made.
I, and my computer, are on the first floor. The farm is in the basement toy room. But I’m procrastinating on laundry anyway, so I grab a notepad and pen and haul the waiting dirty clothes down the flight of steps as I go. That’s one trip down.
I notate the appropriate codes and then turn to the laundry. Fold the clothes in the dryer and add them to the already folded clothes sorted into three baskets based on ownership. Move the load in the washer to the dryer. Empty and sort the mesh hampers and add another load to the washer. Carry the basket of boys’ clothes to the landing halfway up the stairs. That’s a half trip up. And a half trip down.
Carry the mesh hampers up to the first floor. One trip up. One trip down.
Carry the basket with the girls’ and Pete’s clothes up to the first floor. One up. One down.
Carry the basket with mine and my husband’s clothes up to the first floor. One up.
Forgot the notebook. Another trip down. Another trip up.
Back at the computer, I follow the instructions related to the codes on the farm. The next screen wants another code from the same spot. I hadn’t seen this number, or I would have written it down “just in case.” Cursing Mattel for not telling me everything I needed to get from the beginning, I make one more trip down. And one more trip up.
Once again at the computer I briefly ponder whether I want the item to be on the recall list just to make all these trips up and down my basement stairs worth the effort, or if I would just be that much more annoyed with the hassle of having to return a product. Fortunately, my codes passed the test and we’re lead paint free.
The boys will fetch their own basket from that landing, but I’ve got to carry those other two very full baskets up to the second floor. Two up. Two down.
And then I think I’ll be ready for a nap.