I have been really craving simplicity in our home, but somehow these children keep getting in the way of my goals. My daughter has a wonderful habit of taking toys from one room to another and if you follow the trail of blocks, you can figure out where she is now. My nephew is here so often that he has his own collection of toys. Right now he won’t throw away his three Lord of the Rings Lego boxes even though he has built the pieces and sets.
In all of this, I find a mess of stuffed animals. Plus Brian and I have our own collection of toys (board games).
Although I do realize this is all temporary (hopefully), and one day I will feel sad that I didn’t step on a stray Lego piece or pick up yet another basket of toys, it drives the orderly part of my mind crazy. I have been working with each child on picking up after themselves. With my nephew, it’s much easier because he is seven. I thought it would be hard to teach Bunny to pick up her toys, and although she still loves scattering them, she will pick up her kitchen pieces and put them back in a basket. If she does not get distracted too much, usually she will keep picking up the rest of the toys too.
I have been rethinking the rooms yet again and considering a purge. How much toys do these two kids need?
When I was at the toy section of the store the other day with the kids (just looking), I saw another mom with two kids. She had a baby that was probably eight months old in a stroller and a two year old little boy. She kept telling her son, “Pick out what you want! What toy do you want honey?”
The little boy looked around and grabbed the first thing nearest to him on the shelf and handed it to her. He promptly went back to looking at all the other toys. Then the mom stood there and turned to her baby and said, “Now I have to pick out a toy for you. What should we get you?”
It was pretty amazing. Here are these two kids, who are pretty much clueless (they weren’t throwing tantrums or asking for toys) and the mom spent another 10 minutes or so picking out a toy for the baby.
I wish I could see what their playroom/house looks like!
Brian tells me that as long as we’re not sweeping toys off the floor in order to make a pathway, then we are okay. The hard part is figuring out the balance between what I think is enough, and what everyone else thinks is enough!
How do you keep your house under toy control? Is it worth the battle? Hmmm.