It’s the middle of the night. I get up out of bed to stumble to my kitchen and grab a quick drink of water. My kids are both peacefully sleeping, which in my house, doesn’t happen in the middle of the night all that often. I step outside my bedroom, slip, and fall directly on my ass. I slipped on a book that was sitting on the floor outside my doorway. I did the whole banana peel schtick, with Bear’s New Friend in the dark. …and then my kids woke up.
Does this sound like your life? Have you ever plopped down on a plastic crown when sitting on your kid’s bed? Have you ever stepped on a Thomas the Train idol coming downstairs? Do you clean out the space under the couch when you want your kids to have “new” toys? Who’s with me? If you are, you know- these freakin’ toys are taking over. Sure, at the end of the day, we rock out to the clean up song. “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere…” It’s my jam, people. But, my kids are little, so sometimes a car ends up at the base of the stairs or a book ends up in a doorway.
What can be done about this toy overload? We rotate toys out, we try to save new things for a “rainy day” and then take something away to make room for the new thing. We try to have toys that allow for many play situations- blocks, art supplies, musical instruments. But, there is just this overwhelming amount of stuff. And some of the stuff talks to you. I mean, seriously, it talks to you. It can get a little creepy when you’re walking around in the middle of the night.
We are moving soon, and so I decided that we would thin out the heard. A few days ago, my daughter and I had a talk about moving to a new house…and that not all the toys would be making the move. She got a little belligerent at first…”sheep stays with me, mama.” She was clear- her animals stay. But as we have talked about the rest, she is ok to give up other things. Forgotten toys, lesser puzzles and books- she might be totally happy mind you, but she’s on board. We will still have our rainy day box, some toys, and a bunch of cardboard boxes. And hopefully less eventful late night trips to the kitchen.