As recalls continue to plague Mattel, America's largest toy maker, parents everywhere are struggling to find excuses to reclaim their children's most prized possessions. Susan Johnson of Kansas City says her experience is indicative of what many young parents are facing. "Anna's favorite toy was her polly pocket play set. We tried to steal it away while she was asleep, but when she woke up without it, she wouldn't stop crying".
To discover how parents are coping with the stress of explaining the recall to their children, the Carnegie Institute for Good Parenting surveyed 1,400 couples on their preferred explanation. According to the study, the most popular excuse used by couples is simply to tell their toddlers that the tooth fairy went insane. Despite the seemingly draconian nature of the excuse, it has apparently worked wonders for parents struggling to get their young children to behave.
According to the Allison and Jeffrey Jackson, "We, er, the 'tooth-fairy' left Robbie (3) a note on his pillow saying that the reason his actions figures are missing is because he didn't finish his vegetables, and if he doesn't pick up his room and behave, his parents are next! We spelled that last part out in blood-colored red ink so it would look extra frightening. Some of our neighbors have questioned our methods, but it was all harmless fun, and boy has he been quiet and downtrodden ever since. We've slept great!"
The study found that other popular coping methods included bribing children with new toys, leaving ransom notes from Al-queda, and hiring actors to impersonate psychologists to convince children that they suffer from paranoid schizophrenia and never owned any toys to begin with. Owing to their vulnerable young minds, it turns out that children believed just about anything.
One couple, the Cheneys, who asks that we not identify their first names, said, "We told our George that his toys came alive in the middle of the night and enlisted in the army, just like he should do when he turns 18...and he's already 61! He's so silly, he'll never learn the truth!"
Conspicuously absent from the list of excuses was explaining to toddlers that their old toys were not safe, but would be replaced with newer, more fun toys. When asked why they had not attempted similar, more couth methods, couples routinely responded "Are you kidding? By now our kids have consumed so much lead, it's a wonder their brains are even functioning, much less comprehending complex global marketplace issues".
Battling the waves of condescension, Focus on the Family, a leading faith based organization based in Boulder, Colorado, has condemned parents who craft elaborate lies to deceive their children. According to a letter posted on their web site, "The bible clearly tells us that lying is a sin, even if our intentions are good. Although we can relate to the struggle parents are facing, we cannot encourage our members to blatantly mislead their children. Instead of blaming other people, we feel the best thing to do is to tell children the truth: Santa Clause is a dirty Jew."
James Dobson, Focus on the Family's leader, elaborated, "This latest recall is only the beginning of a liberal-led effort to steal the focus of Christmas from Jesus Christ, our lord and savior"
Despite the myriad of excuses, it's clear that neither families nor businesses stand to gain from the latest wave of recalls. That dubious honor is reserved for another set of children: the Chinese workers staffing the plants that make lead-based paint. And for them, business is booming as usual.