Tuesday, September 20, 2011

RIP Slinky Dog

Grandma V. buys MiniMac a Slinky Dog toy from the Toy Story movie trilogy. He loves it. He decides to take it to school one recent Friday for "show and share" time. There are two versions of this story: The short version and the slightly longer version.

Short version: RIP Slinky Dog.

Slightly Longer Version: This is how it all went down. MiniMac is in a mixed age class at his private school. Last year he was the youngest (and really, the actual youngest child) and now he is in PreK and "graduating" to Kindergarten in June. I was asked my his teacher last year to be the room Mom this year. (More on that to come.) I agree against sage advice from other Moms I know, older wise parents and of course, you know JohnnyMac rolled his eyes and shot that down stat. BUT, I wanted to do it. This gave me the benefit of some insight from the teachers about the kids in the class. The insight was 97% positive on all the incoming kiddos. Except this one: BratBrat. BratBrat is considered by most of the teachers to be "the worst behaved child in school." REALLY? So having him transition in our class is like winning the Lottery. Or the opposite. And after interacting with this child for small increments of time, I would rather listen to 24 hours of Justin Beiber. And that is just hurtful.

So Slinky Dog goes to school. I pick up MiniMac later that day. Ooops. SlinkyDog has a kink in him. MM's teacher had to put Slinky away and "hopes we can fix him." I see Slinky and because his middle portion is an actual Slinky, somehow one coil is completely reversed. I ask MM what happened and he explained, "I was letting BratBrat play with him (no my son does NOT actually know or employ this nickname) and BratBrat broke him." I immediately set about to fix Slinky. Guess what? It is no easy feat. Did BratBrat go to MIT? How in the hell did BratBrat get the very center coil reversed??? So I set about to engineer a total reverse. BOO. Wrong plan. That doesn't work either. Guess what I don't want to do at the end of a hectic day:

1. Listen to Justin Beiber
2. Unravel a SlinkyDog

But I commit to the second thing. I literally sit in the car for ten minutes straight trying to McGyver my way to a balanced Slinky Dog. NO SUCH LUCK. During this process, I explain to MM that NO in fact you do not have to share your toys with every single person in your class. If people do not treat your toys respectfully, you have the right to say NO THANK YOU when they ask next time.

Finally, I pull into the gas station to fuel up and not completely waste all of my time. While I am standing outside, bending and prying this toy as my son looks on, I pull Slinky far apart and remedy is close at hand. And what? Whooooops. Slinky Dog's tiny string inside breaks in half and he basically flies apart and is now about two feet long. Guess what happens next?

A. I dust my hands of it and explain to MM that Slinky is beyond repair.
B. MiniMac sees this happen and bursts into tears all the while wailing loudly with his car window down "YOU HURT SLINKY! YOU BROKE HIM AND NOW I THINK HE IS RUINED."

Option B my friends. Option B took place much to the delight of about 10 other patrons at this very busy gas station.

I try to explain that in my effort to fix the previous inflicted damage, yes, in fact Slinky is now broken and needs to be thrown out.

Thrown out? Just like the mean kids did to their broken-hearted toys in Toy Story I, II and III? Uh oh. WRONG choice of words.  I finally calm MM down (even though I am super irritated with BratBrat the source of this shenanigan) but I finally calm MM down with my soothing voice and logic.

We arrive home with ruptured Slinky Dog in town. As soon as MM opens the door and sees Daddy, he says, "Mommy hurt Slinky Dog." All that soothing logic straight out the window.

Good friends of ours came over that night and saw Slinky on top of the garbage cans (NOT to be thrown out mind you but properly "buried" later. KR asked JMac what happened to Slinky. JMac replied, "Two words: BratBrat." KR smiled and KNOWINGLY laughed because he knows all about BratBrat.  Ironically, these two men have this philosophy: Don't take it to school if you care if it gets broken. Really gentlemen? Yes really.  But for now, we will just marry my philosophy with that idea. Sort of. The good news, BratBrat was bothering MiniMac last Friday to which MiniMac replied "GET OUT OF MY FACE." No, I didn't teach him that.  In fact, I don't know where he learned it. Perhaps he is secretly watching the Sopranos.

RIP Slinky Dog. And once MiniMac explained his sad story (which I have asked him to leave my name out of ) his Grandma V has already replaced Slinky 1 with Slinky 2. NICE work. That toy is NEVER going to school again.


brokenteepee said...

I fell sorry for that child because obviously his parents are not caring for him. Or they are the worst people in the world.

I sincerely hope that he is not in class next year

Unknown said...

Great story. And every kindergarten has a BratBrat, I'm sure!

Ed said...

I know some people.

For the right price, BratBrat can go the way of Slinkydog.

Just sayin'

I think you handled it the best you could.
You know, being a girl and not a good thing-fixer and all.

SmartBear said...

Holy crap! BratBrat in my son's pre-K class is making me nuts. It's like every class has to have one.
Poor slinky dog...he never stood a chance.

Brian Miller said...

iamsorry you hurt slinky...ugh on bratbrat...yep we got one too...

ipenka said...

I'll pretend "soothing voice and logic" didn't include bribes with candy/new toys, pleading, and unlimited t.v. for a week.

Great story!

the walking man said...

The thing I learned when foirst starting out as a mechanic was in order to do the job I had to research the manual. I mean JennyM (How are you by the way) really would you go to court without having researched precedent?

Notice first the difficulty level

"Moderately Easy"


Anyone with a small child has experienced the frustration of a twisted slinky. Frustration, however, often leads to a stretched out, unusable toy. Fixing a twisted slinky doesn't need to be frustrating, though, because it is actually very easy to do. It just takes a few patient moments to untwist a slinky, which is better than having to explain to a crying child why his toy is destroyed.

Moderately Easy


1 Place your four left-hand fingers inside one end of the slinky and place your left thumb on the top, outside of the coils.

2 Stretch the slinky out slightly until you see the backwards coil. It is usually easy to detect since one coil will be sticking out a little further than the rest of them. When you stretch the slinky out, the backwards coil will look like an upside-down "U."

3 Grab all coils up to the backwards coil in your left hand and hold firmly.

4 Hold the slinky from the other end with your right thumb on the top, inside of the coils.

5 Turn your wrists in opposite directions until your left thumb is on the bottom, outside of the coils.

6 Include the newly twisted coil with the other coils in your left hand by grabbing it with your left thumb and fingers and removing your right hand.

7 Continue twisting the coils this way until you have reached the right end of the slinky and all coils are twisting in the same direction

I would have sworn you wrote the first line to the introduction

janis said...

Hilarious! And in BratBrat's defense, they can get the kink anywhere so easily. As a Mom/ Preschool Teacher/ Babysitter/ Day Care Provider... I have seen too often Slinky's be put down rather quickly.
My advice tell MM its going to the Toy Hospital & replace it with another as quickly as possible :)

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...


;) Been there, done that, got the appropriate sentence (which involved shopping and dropping more than the murdered toy cost in the first place).

Unknown said...

@Walking Man: Where were you the 24 years I was raising my kids and attempting to re-wind the roughly seven thousand slinkies that passed through our house on their way to the landfill?

@Priscilla: Until ten years ago I would have given two thumbs up to your comment. But I have a wonderful friend - smart, committed to her kids, married to the same kind of guy - who has five children. Four of them are great. And one is BratBrat. No rhyme or reason. No way to look at the parents and say, "Well, THERE'S the problem." Just a kid who arrived on the planet wired for complete brattiness.

We should pray for those parents. They're in for a lonnnng ride.

@JMac & pal: I'm with you on this one. Don't take anything to school that you don't want reduced to rubble by lunchtime.

And @Jenny: I've been absurdly busy, but it's so fun to be back here, catching up on your doings!

Maria said...

Slinky's suck. Broken slinky's royally stink.

BratBrat had clones in EVERY primary classroom on God's green Earth. I know. I have had several variations within a classroom on any given year.

Of course, you would be the one to inflict the final blow to poor Slinky's life. No good deed goes unpunished. I should know.

Room mother is a holding pattern for people in purgatory. Good luck to you. I know. I have been the Parent Teacher Organization President for the Preschool my kids have been in (and my youngest is graduating from this year) for the last 6 years. Purgatory lasts forever...

Slamdunk said...

Sorry to hear about your loss and your unsuccessful attempts at saving him. The Mrs. would never have allowed me to touch a kid's fav toy--it would have caught fire in my hands.

Nice save by Grandma V.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Ugh. I am so sorry. i saw slinky in the title and I knew something bad happened! you know i have a theory that M. C. Escher invented slinky.

MommyLisa said...

at my nephew's birthday parties when he was younger it was INEVITABLE that whatever toy he was allowed to open up and play with during the party would be broken by one particular cousin. NOT my side of the family. ;)

Chain Stitch Crochet said...

Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you want to look at it, MiniMac learned a very valuable lesson about BratBrat and others like him. It's a lesson I'll bet he won't forget about.

You did the best you could as a mother. I bet it's very hard to hold your tongue when BratBrat is around doing his brattiness deeds. I have a hard time holding my tongue but you can sure see the look on my face of how I feel! :o)

JennyMac said...

Pricilla: His Mom is pretty intense but the Dad is one of the nicest guys in the world. Somewhere in the middle, is BratBrat. haha.

JennyMac said...

Eva: I think every kindergarten does have a BratBrat. Every kindergarten, elementary school, jr. high, high school, college, job, neighborhood...haha.

JennyMac said...

haha Ed. I rewired a dryer once! But yes, Slinky did me on. Damn toy.

JennyMac said...

Tina and Brian: of course every class has a BratBrat, and like I told Eva, those BratBrats are actually everywhere and certainly not limited to toddler age.

JennyMac said...

Ipenka...I will vouch that we are so far from the bribing type. We are hard arses...lol.

JennyMac said...

Walking Man: I love this...and it reminded me that it was toooooo late to get these fantastic instructions. Oh, and I lack the "patient moments" part. Clearly.

JennyMac said...

Janis...you are so right..however BratBrat is like a tiny demolition ball. And constantly in trouble at school. BUT, oh look, we have another Slinky already. Lets hope he lasts. haha.

JennyMac said...

@Jenn: haha...poor plastic toy! And yes, they certainly arent free anymore. lol.

@Denae: Always great to "see" you and hear your insights.

JennyMac said...

@Maria: I know..the BratBrats abound. I have this one to deal with in my purgatory of room mom this year. LOL

@Slams: oh you know it doesnt take much for the Grandmas to come to the rescue.

JennyMac said...

Absence: AMEN!

@Mommy Lisa: There is always one deviant! haha.

@Hookin it: I have no poker face either so that is going to be one "opportunity" I have to work on. Forever.