Dec. 27, 2006
When we were kids my brother and I had a spring horse which we loved. We bounced on it, we rocked on it, we broke the rules and both rode it at the same time.
We were farmers, we were jockeys, we were cowboys and Indians (it wasn’t politically incorrect back then), he was a knight in shining armor, I was a princess riding side-saddle, we were circus riders. We pinched our fingers in the springs.
That particular horse was great. It wasn’t made of the hard plastic like the ones you find today. It was softer, slightly pliable, but sturdy enough to hold kids. Rubber maybe? Also, it looked very realistic. It was not pink, purple, blue or any other color that just looks garish for a horse. Unless you live in Oz. The saddle was brown, the horse was gray and dappled, the mane was a creamy tan, as was the tail. When we were too old for it, it became my sister’s horse. I don’t remember her riding it a lot. Then it became my younger brother’s horse. He rode it until there was no where for it to go except the Spring Horse Glue Factory. It was sad, but it was time.
I have always wanted a spring horse for my own kids, but couldn’t bring myself to spend our money on some rainbow hued, pastel confection of a butt-bruiser. So you can imagine my elation when I found this at Back To Basics Toys. It’s not really like the one we had, but it also doesn’t look like something from a nightmare that would include scary clowns, randomly, eerily floating balloons, and carnival music in a minor key. In case you can’t tell from the picture, this horse is not only somewhat realistically colored, it is also plush. You can also press it’s ears to make in whinny and clip-clop. What more could a kid want?!?!?
Hmmmm . . . how about a handle on both sides of the head rather than one on one side and an exposed bolt on the other? Maybe all of the nuts that are supposed to hold it together? Perhaps a base that isn’t cracked? And, if it isn’t asking too much, all of the washers that are supposed to be on it.
We’re teetotalers around here, but we understand that it is the holiday season so some of the Back to Basics elves might have been joyously hitting the sauce, and we don’t hold that against them. It would have been nice, however, if we’d gotten the horse earlier than the day before Christmas Eve so the omissions and breakages could have been addressed prior to Christmas.
But, alas, there we were on Christmas Eve making the tough decisions: Do we just pack it all back in the box and tell the kids another present is forthcoming in a few weeks because it just would not fit on the sleigh this trip? Do we assemble it as is, so it is by the tree Christmas morning, and run the risk that we will have to disassemble it later to send it back?
Well, Husband assembled it and there it was Christmas morning, in all its broken glory, when the kids came down the stairs. They oooed and ahhhed and didn’t mind a bit that we would have to call the Elf Workshop the next day to get some replacement/additional parts. Midge and Tank Boy bounced on it to their hearts’ delight (yes, even with the exposed bolt where the handle should be and a missing nut — somewhere along the line we have become that kind of parents). L~ sat on it and took a little nap, her head snuggled against its neck. A~ spent quite a bit of time on it backwards, reading of course.
Husband called the elves the next day and explained that we needed a handle, a nut, some washers, and a new back leg because the base attached to it arrived cracked. The elf with whom he spoke said no problem, they would sent us the parts. Yay! No disassembly required! Then another elf called back to clarify:
“Now, which leg is cracked. The horse’s leg or the frame leg?”
Hmmmm . . . Let’s think. Which leg is attached to a base which is made of plastic and capable of cracking? Which leg is plush, has no solid parts and could rip, but technically not crack? Obviously the hot toddy is still flowing at the workshop. They are probably celebrating because the Christmas rush is over.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.