It’s that moment that every parent dreads before Christmas, and in our case, a birthday beforehand..

The arrival of the Smyths catalogue through the door.

In my day, the Argos book was the kids bible. Smyths is worse. It is a whole book dedicated to overpriced toys.

Poppy opens the first page and points to the first thing she see’s.

“I want that”

“What is it?”

“I dunno, but it looks good”

She flicks over to the next page featuring some large dolls….

“Ooh these little dollies look lovely”

“What are they called?”

“Erm, I dunno, the writing is in the corner”

“They’re called ‘Our generation’ dolls”

“Oh. They look like Barbies”

“Our generation” dolls are about 10 times the size of Barbies….

On to the next page….”Ooh slime. I want slime…”

I glance anxiously at The Husband. In his effort to be “ the cool dad” last year, he brought Poppy some slime like substance.

“It’ll be fine” he said. “ You need to relax and let her be a kid” he said…

10 seconds later, this substance was all over the cream carpet. Stuck like chewing gum. It was in her hair. It was on the wall. It was all over her clothes. It would not budge. It remained on the carpet until we moved house.

Poppy still wants the slime. I ask what she would do with it. “ oh, I’d just stick my finger in it”

“Ooh mum. Shopkins!”

Hell no! Shopkins, if you’re not aware, are tiny little rubber toys that come in different designs like food, clothes etc. They are pointless. They get everywhere. They ARE everywhere in our house.

We have a playroom in our house. Prior to this, we used to sit in our living room surrounded by kids toys. Essentially, the sofa and tv were eclipsed by the amount of crap we had to endure around us.

Now we have a playroom. It is also another room I have to tidy.

Now, you should know, I have a form of OCD that means I cannot stand toys that are mixed together.

Play Doh is the worst. Why can’t kids just use the colours exclusively on their own without mixing them? Why can’t they see that the Play Doh needs to look “clean”??!

“ No Poppy, it is not cool to make a rainbow version”

It literally sets my teeth on edge when I see the colours mixed together in the same pot. I especially hate it when said “ rainbow” doh is smeared all over the carpet. It also pains me when it’s left to dry out and turns into crumbs.

Any parent that buys your kid play doh basically hates you.

If they buy your kid paint, they are basically sending you a death wish.

Anyway, in the playroom there are toys that my daughter likes to mix together. This causes me great pain and anxiety.

The Shopkins are currently being used as Barbie “food” this means that hundreds of these tiny annoying toys are mixed in with the dolls. The rest are used to torture me and left all over the floor as tiny landmines.

The Hungry Hippo game is mixed up with monopoly. Random bits of jigsaw are in the stationary box. This is enough to give me heart palpitations.

Why can’t children play with one item then put it away and play with something else??! Why do they need the Barbies out with the jigsaws?

This OCD extends to other people’s kids when they come over.

“ Yes Felix, of course you can play with the car……oh, you’re getting the dolls out…. and the games… and the pencils…Felix, what time are you going home?!”

Poppy is back to looking at the catalogue.

“Ooh look at the camera. You can take pictures and stuff. I really want that”

“Poppy, you have that exact same camera already”

“Yeah but it doesn’t work anymore”

“ That’s because you put it in the waterproof case then opened it up in the pool on holiday”

“ Oh yeah”

Gimme Strength!