I was recently in for a rude awakening when I was flipping through a toy catalogue. Toys? They’re expensive! Since when did a Leggo set cost upwards of $50? Am I already a stingy old fart at 27 years old?

I was most surprised when I got to the toy kitchen section. Remember those? Mine was all wooden and I loved it, but I remember a lot of ones similar to this:

Simple, right? A couple of plastic burners, an oven door, a fake pie on the front. Throw in some plastic fruit and you are good to go. But now…NOW. Do you know what they have now?

Well, will you look at that. Stainless appliances. Decorative tile detail. High-end molding. This toy kitchen it chic to the max. And how politically correct! Boys AND girls in the kitchen — how novel!

But wait, we’re not done yet. A kitchen isn’t a kitchen without solid surface counter tops. And cordless phones. And DOUBLE OVENS.


And what’s this? A matching grill? (Wait, now wait just a minute. I thought we were being PC here. Why can’t one of the girls be grilling, hmm? Who says little Bobby can char a piece of steak better than Lizzie or Jenny? Equal opportunity, people!)

But the best kitchen, the one that boasts granite-style countertops, an ice maker, dishwasher and realistic outdoor views, according to the ad — is nicer than my own kitchen and costs more than I spent on Owen’s crib. Those appliances better be Energy Star rated for that price.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we are in for some serious trouble. Think Owen will be interested in one of those old school toy vacuums with the popping balls?

Or bubble wrap. I mean, it’s practically free, after all.