There are moments early in your child’s life that will define your family — forever. Like the time I discovered the sinister genius of children’s toy manufacturers.


It started innocently enough. Our oldest had reached an age where he was remembering what he saw on TV, and while performing our weekly Target walk, he squealed in delight upon glimpsing a shelf of Paw Patrol figures. I mentioned it to my husband on the phone later that afternoon.


That night when he came home from work, Hubby unveiled a simple car and pup combo for the lead Paw Patrol, Marshall. The next night, he brought home another.


This continued until we had a total of six pairs. I was incredulous.


“This is ridiculous — you don’t even know if he’ll continue to like this stuff!!” I remember shouting dramatically.


And here we are two years later. Buried, I tell you, in Paw Patrol paraphernalia. And the worst part? Every toy IS. THE. SAME. But with small variations. We have three figures for each pup: a “sea” theme, a “mission/spy” theme and the plain old version. We have a Paw Patrol plane, a Paw Patrol bus, a Paw Patrol mission van thing, a Paw Patrol submarine and a giant Paw Patrol boat.


We’re living the textbook definition of insanity.


The other night I searched for something for my 4-year-old to watch, and he of course directed me to old faithful Paw Patrol. Navigating to the latest episode on our DVR, I suddenly felt sick. The title wasn’t making any sense. “Mighty Pups,” I read, feeling my heart race and forehead start to sweat.


As we pressed play, I saw a new horror of Paw Patrol fly and run across the screen – “superhero” pups.


Time to order some more storage bins.


Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and mother of two boys.

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