“It’s nursery rhyme time.”
Those words echo from this Fisher-Price toy at 6 in the morning in a daily routine that somehow became the norm in our household. Every morning when our daughter wakes up, she joins us in bed for a little toy time. Her toy of choice: this plastic beast.
Its name is the Fisher-Price Laugh ‘n Learn CD Player. It looks nothing like a CD player. The Fisher-Price Chatter Box Telephone at least looks like the mutant toy version of a rotary phone. This looks like the illegitimate lovechild of the Wheel of Fortune wheel and Chris Farley.
Why is this toy so hateful? Let me say those three dreaded words that no parent wants to hear – no, not “it’s been recalled” –rather “it needs batteries.” It needs batteries because it plays music. “Music.” This is the kind of toy only bought by grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, enemies, people who don’t spend hours a day with the baby. They can see this flashing, singing, battery-operated annoyance in action once or twice and then leave. They’re not stuck with its daily existence. At 6 in the morning. Again and again.
For the music to play you press on the large nose button. The “CD” spins and randomly plays one of six nursery rhymes. The rhymes are based around an animal; cow, dog, cat, monkey, sheep, or mouse. Mathematically speaking, that gives you a one in six chance to hear any of the nursery rhymes. This morning my daughter pressed the nose button 5 times. The result? The sheep nursery rhyme every time. She bounced up and down in approval. I quietly begged for the batteries to die.
To experience what that’s like sing the following:
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
Now sing it again six more times. Now sing it every day when you first wake up. Of course, you’re missing the true musical stylings of this toy. The toy sings the lyrics like this:
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any woo –oo –oo –oo -ool?
The singer is female, the genre they’re going for with the music is a cross between rock opera and Japanese pop, with an elevator music meets synth backup track. The nursery rhymes are catchy. You’ll hum them all day. You can’t stop humming them. They’re on a continuous loop in your forehead. They won’t go away. That being said, it’s still much better than getting any Black-Eyed Peas song stuck in your head.