I’ve come to the conclusion that things I have always known since I was a little kid are still true. I must be some kind of genius! The tendency to completely ignore all of the big expensive toys holds true for my kids, just like it did for me and my siblings.
Living in Western WA, we get a lot of grey days, a lot of chilly days, a lot of rainy days. So we have the boys sleep in one room and have devoted the other room as a play room. In our play room, the boys are
spoiled rotten pretty lucky, with nearly a dozen bins of different toys, divided up by category (i.e. blocks, dress-up costumes, tools, cars, etc.), plus they have an awesome climber that looks like this:
And yet, they mainly play with the laundry baskets and an old exercise ball. they sometimes push around the furniture in their room, and they DO play with the other toys, but only long enough to scatter them to every square inch of the room, then come to sit and stare at me with puppy eyes like they have nothing to do.
On the rare dry and (at least a little) warm days, they have plenty to play with outside. There is a tricycle, a small bicycle with training wheels, a scooter, a toddler ride-on toy, a water table, and another climber, which looks like this:
Sorry about the size, I could only find a thumbnail of that one! But you get the picture. These kids are up to their eyeballs in fun toys. Up to their child-sized, spoiled little eyeballs, I say!
And yet today, when they were outside playing, they picked up some rocks, which they promptly began to throw all over the yard. I put a stop to that because I’m a mean mom who can’t stand happy children, or maybe because I don’t want the lawnmowers to catch a rock and send it flying through the window. Same thing. Next they found an old board my husband left on the back porch. It was about a foot wide, an inch thick, and three and a half feet long, maybe a little longer. You’d think this thing was a magic carpet.
They were “surfing”, balancing it on a step to make a sort of lopsided teeter-totter, even just standing it up and watching it fall, giggling like maniacs at the loud bang as it smacked the composite wood deck. They also splashed in, and then pushed over, the water table. Incidentally, the water table was filled with cold, dirty rainwater that was about 55 degrees at most. So a hunk of wood and a glorified puddle (albeit a very cute one, with little scoops and boats floating in it), are the only items that hold their attention.
Why are we buying them all these great, pricey toys? I’m pretty sure the things I get for them are items I imagine I would have loved to have, but clearly I am just a sucker, because actual kids are happy with those things for a few days and then go back to the old stand-by classics. From now on when people ask what the boys want for their birthday or for Christmas, I’m going to tell them to send appliance boxes, piles of dirt, and hunks of wood, all the better if they’re delivered on a big filthy dump truck that the boys can climb on for a bit.
…On another note, I know I mentioned the water was cold. It was about 55 or maybe 60 degrees outside, and yes, my kids aren’t wearing shoes. If you’re looking carefully, you’ll notice there’s a discarded shoe in the frame, and it’s because this really is warm-ish weather for us, and Dash swore his feet were “sweating to deaf,” after which he removed his socks and shoes. Ozzie saw this and cried to have his off as well. I swear, I am not some monster who turned out her children into the shivering cold with no jackets or shoes. I’m just the terrible mom who lets them be a little cold if they want to be cold that badly :)