2013 21/01

You can’t unbreak a broken toy

It’s a tough lesson for my kids. One we revisit often.

It happens almost weekly. First the crying, then the thump, thump, thump, thump with someone running up stairs.


A major catastrophe in the eyes of a little girl, but really it’s just another mishap. Barbie’s head came off again. A broken bead necklace or crown. Mini-Snow White lost an arm. Ariel’s mermaid tale fell off. A hole in teddy bear. 

Yes, all major catastrophes in the tear-filled eyes of my little girl, but nothing mommy can’t fix with a little glue, tape, string, or needle and thread. And a hug for her. Good as new.

The problem? Well, that toy won’t ever be as “good as new”. No matter how strong the glue or how strong the thread, that once-broken spot on that toy will always be a weak spot. Sure, the glue will hold Ariel’s mermaid tale on for a while but it’s only a matter of time before I find Ariel and her detached mermaid tale sitting on the counter, needing to be glued once again.

Add a little more glue. Let it dry. Hope for the best.

No matter how hard we try, that toy will never be the same. That break creates a weakness that will always be there. Making it weak. Making it vulnerable.

We’ll continue this routine until one day her tail just can’t be glued on again and she finds her place in toy heaven, aka the trash.

It’s a hard lesson for the kids. No matter how many times we revisit it. They really love those toys. They just want to fix them. They want their favorite toys to be back to normal. Like they were before.

It’s a hard lesson. No matter how many times we face it. Because once someone is broken, you cannot unbreak them. We want to fix them. But that weakness will always be there. Always.

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