Flying Monkey, Why Do You Scream So Loud? My ongoing war with noisy toys.
Christmas brought a few new toys into our home, and refreshed the passion I have for my ongoing war with noisy toys. One toy in particular, “Let’s Dance”, got me labeled as “grumpy” after it was unwrapped (I will now only refer to it as “Toy 0” since it prompted this
manifesto post). In my defense, Toy 0 ended up being so loud in our living room that you cannot hear anyone talking if it’s on. Another new toy happens to be a set of flying monkeys that I told my mom to order, not realizing they had sound. They are so cute, little slingshot hands, masks, capes (nothing will get hurt with those, right?). Then I saw a white tab sticking out of their back and instinctively removed it……and the screaming began. Not just an excited little “hey, look at me–I’m flying!!!” kind of noise, it was more of a screaming banshee kind of noise, only less charming. WHY, WHY, WHY???? Why would a manufacturer do this to a stuffed toy? Even the 5 year old said “it’s so loud” and pointed out that since it is a flying monkey that it doesn’t need to scream because “it’s already a superhero”.
So, the day after Christmas, I took scissors, a screwdriver, and a needle/thread to the poor little flying monkeys. Each one had 3 button batteries–I guess it needed 3 to achieve the most annoying level of decibels. Which brings me to my question….who designs these toys? Clearly not a parent and clearly not anyone that can hear within normal ranges. The best solution should not be to place packing tape or glue over the speaker (as was found helpful by the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota). Maybe a better approach would be to not make them so flipping loud in the first place? Whaaat??? (LOL)
As if parents everywhere need additional background noise in their homes. Between the 24/7 game of 20 Questions that goes on, the occasional (haha) screaming/tattling, the coveted sweet play time (complete with unicorns), the arguing over lego wheels (literally just happened), to toddlers expanding their vocabulary and pulling you into a never ending conversation surrounding the phrase “I’m sorry, what?”–the baseline noise level is already ridiculously high. There is a reason I work in complete silence when I am home alone and why I find my work cubicle peaceful instead of “eerily quiet”. I hate you, noisy toys.
The noisy toy issue is not a new one. The Sight and Hearing Association releases a naughty list every year. It’s got all of the “warm and fuzzy, I truly care about your children” brands on it. Why are there any toys still on this list? For comparison’s sake, food blenders and garbage disposals are in the 80-90 dB range, just like the level Fisher Price’s Puppy Piano hits at distance of 10 inches (82.6 dB). That’s nice (said in the most sarcastic way possible).
I can only imagine what the grump-inducing Toy 0 puts out, even at it’s low setting. I’m going to guess it’s similar to a newspaper press at 97 db. Not enough to make your ears bleed, but definitely enough to get you good and pissed off.
And, after writing this post and seeing the decibel numbers and comparisons, I’m keeping the packing tape gun handy–my superhero power will be silencing toys.