How to Trash That Hideous Old Toy in Your Kid's Room ... and Totally Get Away With It

old doll toy
iStock.com/Martina_L

It's been scientifically proven that the moment you throw away a toy your child hasn't touched in a year, in 98.99 percent of cases, he or she will ask for it within the next 10 minutes, even if (hypothetically speaking) it's the Peppa Pig Treehouse he or she covered in black Magic Marker two Christmases ago and hasn't played with since.

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So I've developed a suggested protocol to help -- a safe, effective, non-controversial method that's guaranteed to work ... well, with 98.99 percent accuracy.

UP-TO-DATE TOY-TOSSING PROTOCOL:

1. Seven-Day Waiting Period
Start with a seven-day waiting period to make sure no one notices the toy is missing. When you've identified the plaything that needs tossing -- theoretically, that now-filthy teddy bear someone gave your daughter when she was 6 months old (who gives anything white to a 6-month-old?) or that owl nightlight that ran out of batteries in 2014 -- store it high in the closet until it's time for the next step.

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2. Death Row
So seven days have gone by and your child hasn't noticed that Teddy's gone or Woodsy's missing. Congratulations! But you're not out of the woods yet (get it?). You don't want to wind up in a situation like when you were 4 years old and your family's basset hound was suddenly gone -- and your parents told you he was "sent to the farm." (Of course, you promptly demanded to visit that farm.) That's why this toy must now stay on hold for an additional seven days to be sure no one asks about it. Whatever you do, don't open the closet.

3. Good-bye
It's been two weeks. Hooray! Time to discard the dead weight! However, do not, under any circumstances, remove the item while the child is a) in the house, b) just outside the house, c) coming back to the house within the next eight hours, or c) within 60 miles of the house. He or she will see it in the trashcan or in a garbage truck, maybe tied above the front bumper as trash collectors do these days. It's best to wait until your child is visiting a relative, at camp, or on a class trip to the moon.

More from CafeMom: 17 Genius DIY Toy Hacks to Keep Toddlers Busy for Hours

4. Distraction
Keep your child busy the next week in order to be on the safe side. Avoid mentioning anything related to the toy, or showing any movies involving woodland creatures, or going to the park, or heading to the zoo. In fact, stay inside and watch the local traffic and weather.

5. Extreme measures
Occasionally, this protocol fails. (Remember, I did say it was 98.99 percent accurate.) You know what you're going to have to do, cowgirl. You're going to have to find the same toy somewhere else and pony up your hard-earned dough. And then rub ice cream and Goldfish crackers all over it so it resembles the original.

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6. Ultra-extreme measures
What if they've stopped making the item in question? No one warned you about this when you went off birth control, did they? You know what you really have to do now, cowgirl. Book a trip to Disney World to distract your child or children. That's what my parents did when I asked to visit our basset hound on the farm. In fact, they waited until I turned 27 to tell me the truth, and so should you. Incidentally, while I never got over my parents' betrayal and lies, I did feel much better about accidentally losing my mom's dentures last week.

So with that, I hope the protocol works. Good luck, godspeed, and may the trash be with you.

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