Wednesday, June 27, 2007

George is 30!

I have a good friend who told me early: even if you don't have one, you have to admit you have a toy problem.

We have one (but you should see his. Talk about problems!)

We are showing the signs of a house with too many toys. That is to say, in our house, toys are everywhere you can see. They are also in the invisible place, between the joists, and under the foundation. This is the house that toys built.

It wasn't always the case. I was all wicked witch with my daughter and gave her nothing her first Christmas, because I'm like that. I let her play with wax paper, balpeen hammers, and tupperware almost exclusively till we got sucked in on the daycare track and we discovered all the great plastic horrors. The granmpother with the dollar store addiction. Never mind the endless streams of fuzzy germ factories our friends and other relatives have made as certain as death and taxes...

My son turns one next month and I am seriously thinking about not having a party for him for fear of the stuff.

There must be a solution, beyond rejecting any new stuff, which addresses the old. I have heard some good ideas but I am always on the look out for more. I want to teach the kids to let go of their stuff early. I have tried to prime my daughter to give things away but it isn't going too well.

Must I suffer these beasts forever? I write moments after tucking the girl in with George the Giraffe, a stitched and restitched stuffy from 1977, hmmm where did he come from?

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Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

Do you have a monsterousily large plastic kitchen play set in your basement? Does your living room look like a page from a Little Tikes catalog? Do you have a fleet of Step2 wagons, cars and trikes in your backyard?

If yes, than you need help.

I'm also struggling with the too many toy issue. I've only recently reclaimed my living room - which is now devoid of toys. Yee Haa! Mostly we make midnight runs to the Sally Ann with deposits.

And my second son is named after my Cabbage Patch Kid. So yeah, I'm a hypocrite.

10:15 p.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

You figure it out, you let me know. We're over-run, and it's not as though we often buy anything. But between gifts and hand-me-downs and (ahem) some of my own old things, it's pretty crammed in here.

1:02 p.m.  
Anonymous MaryP said...

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but with my three kids, toys, with very few exceptions, all ended up being communal. Thus giving toys away was never a big deal, because they didn't really belong to anyone...

When a toy-accumulating event hove into view - Christmas, birthday, grandparental visits - I'd take the kids into their rooms and tell them they needed to clear some space. What toys could they give to someone who didn't have any? It generally worked like a charm, and any resistance? I totally used Maternal Guilt: "But if you keep ALL your toys, some poor little Poor Child won't have any! We don't want to be mean to that Poor Child!" I don't recall any huge struggles, really.

However, even with full cooperation, they were rarely as efficient and uncompromising as I'd like, so I'm was never above midnight runs to the Sally Anns, either...

By hook or by crook, this mama gets her way.

1:17 p.m.  
Blogger Crunchy Carpets said...

I do toy clean outs when the kids are away.

I also have the living room as a toy free zone...they can bring stuff down..but it goes back up.

We will ignore the barbie castle in my work area.

6:22 p.m.  
Blogger mamakie said...

My daughter is a little toy lover and we seem to spend ages every day putting them away in baskets. Drives me crazy. I too do a "cheap toy" sweep every few months for the garbage bin. I'm also lucky to have a sister who has a daughter younger than my two so the "little kid" toys get passed along.

As for the stuffies that never go a recent packing session at my mother's my 30 year old stuffed seal surfaced and is now firmly planted in my daughter's bed. Some things are meant to be shared.

8:20 p.m.  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

Good luck.

We had a second birthday party at which we specifically requested that no one bring gifts. It didn't work. I was too freaked out by the fallout of our wedding (long story) to ask people to give money to a charity on our behalf. But I did hear a good idea once from a parent who says that to get new gifts, her kids have to donate old ones.

This, of course, is all hypothetical. Someone at Joe's work recently saw a photo of our daughter in our kitchen and said, "Oh, is that her daycare?" That just says it all, doesn't it?

12:41 p.m.  

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