Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I spent some time today and yesterday trying to make space for all of Lennon's (awesome!) birthday gifts. In doing so I realize that this kid has WAY too many toys and there are a few that are just plain junk. I always thought that there was no such thing as having too many books. I was wrong. It turns out there are as many crap children's books as there are crap toys. It's becoming too difficult for her to keep her play areas neat and she seems to be getting overwhelmed with having too many things around. Therefore: out with the (tons of) old and in with the (fewer, but better quality) new!

In the past I have been accused of being a control freak because I don't like Lennon to have certain types of toys. Mainly toys with bright lights and lots of sounds. I must admit that when she has gotten toys like this as gifts I let her play with them until the batteries run out, then tell her they are broken. I guess I have let people assume that I do this because the toys are "annoying". If this were the case would I seek out and give her drums, harmonicas, xylophones, etc? No. The reason is because I want her to play with things that will inspire her to be creative, use her imagination, and that she can play with alone or with friends (once we work on sharing a bit more). Instead of poking a button and waiting to see what her toy will do next, she gets to prepare us a pretend meal, sell us some books from her store, take care of her babies, cut out little bits of paper and glue them to a bigger piece of paper (her favorite activity!), hear classic, stories and then flip through the book and retell the story in her own words. She fixes everything with her tool kit and heals owies with her doctor kit. For Christmas we gave her three different sized playsilks and I cannot even begin to list the many things Lemon has imagined them to be.

I have also been called a control freak because I prefer that she doesn't get a constant stream of gifts. It's difficult for her to really appreciate when people give her gifts on special occasions when there's really no break from the receiving throughout the year. Fortunately, sometimes when she plays with a toy (or looks at a book, or puts on an article of clothing) she will ask me who gave it to her, and when I tell her she thinks about it for awhile and tells me how nice it was for the person to give it to her. She also has started to really appreciate things that were handmade just for her.

So, YES!, call me a control freak! But, know that I make these limits because I love my daughter. (I found this article about children being overwhelmed by toys.)


Anonymous said...

I think that is awesome! If more people cared what their children play with instead of just trying to keep their kids occupied with anything shiny, I think people would be much more creative and well adjusted.

You're amazing :)

-Sarah Rodriguez

Anonymous said...

Control freak > NO.

Good Mommy who understands quality over quantity > YES!

Under your tutelage, LB has a good chance of NOT becoming a mainstream, consumer-driven, use and discard, crap-quality of life - LOSER.

Instead, she may have opportunities to hone people skills, enjoy an expanse of fine/fun literature, become increasingly excited about exploration/new discoveries and have an understanding of the world well beyond her realm.

That's a smart kid you've got there. But will she use her gifts for good, or be enticed over to the Dark Side?

You're doing great, Mommy!
Keep up the excellent work.

jessierose said...

Thanks, y'all!