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Toys and mess…

October 27, 2008

The two go hand in hand, right?

Toys obviously are what children use to make messes, to avoid cleaning them up and to distract themselves in the middle of one. I remember like it was yesterday when messes were created at my parents’ house. My brother and I had a fairly large closet in the basement that was full of toys. It had doors on it which were handy for hiding the toy mess inside. There were times when guests would come over and we would take out all the toys in the closet. We said it was to play with them, but really it was just to make a (you know). So that was the fun part of it – the nasty bit happened when there were deadbeat guests who scooted out the door before the toy mess was back behind closed doors. This of course was something that my own parents never allowed. We were always excellent house guests. We never left a house without putting the toy mess in its rightful place. So I remembered being really ticked off by guests who left mess behind – my brother and I stomped around huffing and puffing, while we put all the toys back. Some things never change. I try to make my kids clean up the toys at other people’s houses, but I must admit that sometimes I bolt before I can get them to do that. At my own house however, I get irritated by anyone who deeks out early on the cleanup. How can that be, right?

My own children are not that good at putting their toys away, although they are getting better. Lu takes the lead on that one. He will put away shoes left anywhere that someone took them off and he will pick up various other toys and throw them back into their box. We have a little space under the stairs for their toys and we recently cleaned it out by putting a lot of the toys up in the attic. Now each kid has 2 boxes of toys only. They can now get in the space and use it as a micro-playroom. Chichi was happy about the “new” space and so was Lu. However, she expressed it in words. After seeing all the toys out of the bathtub too, she said: “Mommy, this looks so much better. This is so much better. The toys are so much better. Our life is so much better. The only bad thing is that Lu, Daddy and I still have colds.” It was all I could do not to just completely bust up laughing.

This goes to show that a little goes a long way in terms of toys and that purging is something liberating for children too.

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