I have a confession to make. I have a hard time with the 'stuff' that comes along with having a little person. Don't get me wrong. I want my daughter to learn. I want her to have fun. But, I struggle with having an abundance of toys. I don't mind the dolls or the books, but the toys...and how quickly they can multiply! I don't like clutter. I don't like picking up little pieces of this and that. I don't like stepping on things in the dark. I don't like paying good money for things that are likely to break, she'll quickly lose interest in, or never really play with at all.
We are definitely into hand-me-down toys or finding things at garage sales or consignment sales. Somehow, the recycling of the fun doesn't bother me as much. It is not that I don't want her to have toys. She's definitely got them - she's got plenty! For instance, at Christmas, we didn't buy her any toys ourselves because we knew that would be something family and friends would want to give her. She has gotten some super fun toys that she still plays with almost every day. We try to rotate them out. We have learned that a toy that has been put away for a bit is very exciting when it reappears in the future. She's got different toys she plays with at her different grandparents' houses. She's definitely not missing out.
It all feels like a really great balance until ...
I go to one of our friends' houses and they have all these varieties of toys. They have so much more than we do. Elyse goes wild. She loves it all! Last week at playgroup, we got to play in Elyse's friend Luke's new playroom. He has an indoor slide, art easel, basketball hoop, rocking horse and so many fun toys. The kiddos had a ball playing with everything.
Whenever I'm feeling guilty that Elyse is missing out on fun or learning by not having one more toy, I'm reminded of something very important. Kids turn the funniest things into toys.
Case in point. Kirkland Brand Canola Oil.
There's a story behind the canola oil. When Elyse was only a couple of weeks old and my exhaustion was still getting the best of me, Marcie asked me if I needed anything from Costco. Canola Oil! I need canola oil! Marcie said she wanted to ask why I'd need so much oil, but she knew better. Don't question the new Mama. So, when she showed up with our goodies, I saw that huge jug of oil and we both laughed out loud. Yep, Elyse is 18 months old and it is still around. I'm actually pretty impressed we've used as much as we have.
There's one person here who is glad we still have it. She knows how to open the pantry and every chance she gets, she pulls it out and lugs it around. She thinks she is such hot stuff carrying it around. We make sure the lid is screwed on real tight and let her go. It makes her so happy.
And you know what - that's all that really matters these days.
Stay Tuned for ... Elyse plays with the broom. Ha!