Toys. We've got a ton of them. We tried to resist being overtaken by toys, but slowly (or not so slowly, the kid is only 10 months old) we've accumulated quite a few. Most are hand-me-downs or thrift store finds. When we do purchase a new toy, we try to choose one that is imagination based, made with high quality materials, made by a socially responsible company, and won't break the bank. We are big fans of the Melissa and Doug line and Folkmanis puppets.
Leapfrog and Baby Einstein have a lot of bilingual toys that are easy to find (even second hand).
Well, one of Leo's favorite toys recently began malfunctioning. It's an octopus that plays music and says the colors in Spanish (and English and French). Well, the yellow tentacle got stuck somehow and was constantly repeating, "Amarillo. Amarillo. Amarillo. Amarillo." It was driving me freaking crazy.
Honestly, I would have just tossed it in the giveaway pile, but Leo adores it and the music it plays almost always makes him dance. (The dance that I keep swearing I'm going to catch on video to share with you - he puts one hand up and kind of bounces. It's freaking adorable.) So basically, I felt I had to do all I could to salvage it.
My first attempt, while somewhat violent, seemed like sound logic. Destroy the button inside the tentacle and the "Amarillo." would stop. So I took a hammer to the thing. I felt the button break into at least four pieces - but the "Amarillo." was still repeating.
Finally, I used a seam ripper to open it up, yanked out the button and cut the wires. Sweet silence followed.
All the other buttons still function (including the dance-inspiring music) and after I sewed it back up you could barely tell it had recently been brutally bludgeoned and stabbed.
Don't mess with mama.