Saturday, August 18, 2007


I have a confession: I have always been, and still am, a fanatic when it comes to keeping toys together. Somewhat of a Toy Scrooge. My Barbie's hair was never un-brush-able. I didn't lose her rings (though sometimes my mom rescued a mini high-heel from near vacuuming). My doll's clothes were never lost. My play-dough colors were NOT mixed. I did not waste my water-colors, spreading reds and greens pell-mell across the browns and yellows. It's pretty safe to say that I lost very few pieces of my toys in my growing up years, and the toys were very orderly. Nobody taught me this.

I babysat all the time and always wondered when I went to read a book, how a mother could miss her kids coloring all over it. How could she not have noticed her kids ripping the pages up? Now I know the answer. She was probably trying to make herself presentable and decided that the sacrifice of one little book was worth it.

Now I'm a mother, and I am still the perfectionist I was as a child. Do you want to know how long I have kept some stickers before finally calling enough, enough? Too long. I quickly gave up on keeping the play-dough the same color as the lid. And I let Charles do whatever he wants with the water-colors, even though that means that the yellow is almost completely gone, while the other colors will live to paint many more pictures. These were huge challenges for me.

Our books are no longer what they once were. Some are ripped. Some are bent. I have a lot of respect for whoever invented "board books", but they still can't last forever. And I get a little upset with myself inside: "Christy, how could you let the boys do this? Who gave us this book? They spent money on it, and now it's got no cover!..."

I'm learning to let it go, but I do have a catalogue of toys MIA. I'm keeping my eyes open for...

one Elmo/Cookie Monster phone
a puzzle piece
4 Hot Wheels cars
and a pair of blue swimming goggles

where can they have got to?

and if you see Thomas' orange pajama shirt, drop it by - he threw it over the balcony this morning and it's making me crazy to only have half of a set.


Monica said...

I did not know this about you. This is quite intresting! Where you an only child? I would like it if my kids were a little more organized and me too. We try but like you said the playdoo still gets mixed together in the end. And I have been trying to teach the girls to not walk on books and take care of the things they have but we are not quite there yet.

joysnatcher said...

No, but I only had one brother. And he was younger, so I could boss him around about "toy care". :)

be_a_Mary said...

HA! you are so funny! you know, i had to let this go too. last night we arrived home (leaving the kids for a night out to celebrate our anniversary) to find glitter ALL OVER THE HOUSE. the babysitter had allowed them to play happily with all the craft supplies, and we now have glitter in our hair, beds, and clothes.:( but it makes me laugh because i almost am too regimented this way. so what? its glitter. it was fun for them. so what if the playdough is mixed? what, it costs 4 bucks to get new playdough (or make your own for barely $1). so what if Zach wants to color his astronaut green? what's the big deal?

i do notice that R is far more concerned with 'little' things, like shoes for her little petshop toys, and necklaces and things. i wonder if girls care more about the 'accessories' of toys than boys do?

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