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Posts Tagged ‘toys’

I believe that girls should grow up playing in the dirt as much as their male counterparts, that boys should have play kitchens and strollers. If we treat everyone equally, they’ll be equal, none of this sex-stereotyping, right? I might have believed that before having a boy-child of my own. Now I understand that L is a species entirely separate from me in his boyish interests, boyish antics, boyish energy and boyish sound effects. He makes shooting noises while eating. Explosion noises while coloring. He wants to fight, play with guns and swords, run like a wild thing and get as dirty as possible. He is all boy and he was just born that way. So why fight it?

T and I don’t own guns, don’t like guns. We make it clear to L that we feel this way. So far we’ve kept guns and swords and other toys that L would love out of the house. But does it really make a difference? This is a child who turns his own hands into guns, web launchers, swords. What good am I doing by not allowing admittedly fun toys like water guns, Nerf shooter thingies and the like? As far as I can see, I’m not doing any good.

But no one has these toys. Where I live it’s like an unspoken rule that we, as parents, must frown upon all play violence. So we just deal with our sons wrestling, throwing non-gun objects at each other, and pretending any handy item is a weapon. I’m starting to think that we’re just being silly. Now that I see how my son is, what is really in his nature, I realize that these games are genetically coded into him as a male of our species.

Boys wrestle, pretend to shoot, and play fight because they’re practicing for being full-grown cave-men. Just like puppies and lion cubs wrestle, fight and recognize alpha pups as practice for being grown wolves and lions. Because my child wants to shoot everything, does not mean he’s a violent person. If I handed him a toy gun I doubt his games would change much. His prop would just look better and not fall apart like the Lego guns he constantly constructs.

There is some overlap in what L and S show interest in. They will happily play together in the play kitchen, roll around wrestling on the floor together, argue about whose turn it is with the doll stroller, (by argue I mean L snatches it and S hits him as hard as she can until I pull her off,) but invariably their play ends differently. S can play with a doll and stroller and never think to run as fast as she can and crash it into things while creating loud engine and crashing sound effects. Her games pretty much never end in explosions or traps or bad guys being arrested, and L’s always do.

So, maybe I’ll go ahead and get some water blasters this summer. The good machine gun variety. I’ll just deal with the unspoken disapproval from the other moms as their kids run around like wild people having the time of their lives with toys they don’t normally get to play with.

What do you think about toy guns?

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There is something fishy going on here. We’re losing spoons. I admit I don’t run the tightest ship and things can be misplaced/buried on a counter or shelf. But these spoons are seriously dwindling, and none were recovered in a recent deep clean.

Top suspects: S and L (I bet you could have guessed that.)

L swears he knows nothing about it. He said that he never, ever plays with real “poons” and that he knows better. But does he really? When I asked him recently to grab me a spoon, he went to the play kitchen instead of the real one. So, have my spoons been used for play food? They aren’t in the play kitchen now, but that certainly could have been a first stop in a downward spiral of lostness and oblivion. The play kitchen is like a gateway drug. Once a non-toy finds a home there, chances are good it will move on to worse toy locations.

S can’t reach the spoon drawer. There is no way that she could get a spoon and make it disappear. She can’t even reach most of the table. However, she can reach some of the table, and spoons have been known to fall to the floor (thanks, L) from time to time. She also has a habit of trying to tidy up by throwing things in the garbage. These things range from actual garbage to a mitten of mine to who knows what else that I have missed. Could she be finding and trashing our spoons?

From a set of 12 that we received as a wedding gift, we are down to 7. We had all 12 until recently. I’ll give $10 to anyone who gives me information that leads to the whereabouts of the spoons.*

*I actually probably won’t give you $10.

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Purge!

Purging is the name of the game. I just donated a car-full of baby gear – infant bath, vibrating chairs, playmats, Bumbo seat, clothes, etc. I also recently sent home a dinner guest with a bag full of shoes that haven’t fit since I got pregnant with L (4 years ago). And if you live locally to me, go check out the Salvation Army store for an entire business casual wardrobe in size 6 which I’ve been wistfully holding onto, and have now packed and moved 2 times since last wearing any of it. If I have another baby, if my feet go back to a 7.5, and if I am a size 6 again and want to wear early 2000’s fashions, I’ll buy new ones. I’m figuring that all of those scenarios are unlikely, despite my ovaries going “ping!” whenever I see a newborn baby.

I’m moving on, ready for the next stages, the next stuff. Out with the infant chair, in with the frisbees and kites and early walking toys. Some of it was almost hard to part with. In her first 12 weeks or so, S could only be found in two places: in a sling on my person (as I bounced and swayed without stop), or in a vibrating chair in our pitch-black bathroom with the extractor fan blasting. So, I felt a little sentimental about the chair. For a second. Then this wonderful ruthlessness took over and I just saw all the stuff as STUFF and it all had to go. I’ll remember the chair. Or I won’t and one day I’ll think my daughter-in-law is a weird and horrible mother for making her poor baby vibrate, bounce or swing at all times. (For more about my hopeful senility see The Upside of Senility.)

It feels good, all this moving on. And I don’t imagine that I’ll have any occasion to miss the stuff. If, by some miracle, I am one day a size 6 again surely I will not be pining for my black Banana Republic pants that I bought in 2004. Are you kidding me? I’ll be shopping! A new baby? (Relax, T, this is hypothetical.) He’ll get a new vibrating chair, no biggie. And my feet? Well, I’m afraid that they are now a size 9 forever. That’s OK. I’m accepting it and even see a bright side – I’m not easily knocked over with such a sturdy base.

My hope is to have a monthly run to the Salvation Army with a carload full of stuff. I have blissful visions of a tidy, organized, minimalistic house. Nothing like what I look around and see at the moment.

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