I'm a 'stay at home Mum' this year. And before I go any further I need to add a qualifier or two.
1. We very rarely stay at home
2. I COMPLETELY hate that title, but am at a loss to come up with anything better. Its loaded, its misleading, its patronizing, and devalues what actually happens during my day.
So... that said, due to my..um...current status I spend a fair amount of time with toys.
When J was born we were zealously committed to the developmental superiority of non-plastic, non noise making, imagination feeding toys. As you can imagine, 5 years, and an additional boy later we have let things slide a little. We steer clear of violent toys (guns in particular), computer game machines, and still noisy toys (for may sanity as much as theirs) and well, plastic junk. We feel like the boys have LOTS of toys, but in comparison to many we seem to be lacking.
At a recent play date a little boys asked Jamie 'is this all the toys you have?' and went on to wander around looking bored, despite poor J's best efforts to entertain.
This is a new thing for us (well, for me really) - the judgment of other children. It seems to happen on a fairy regular basis in the world of Kindergarten, where I can't go and protect (insert angst here). Why are you wearing that thing that's pink? I have better Lego's than you. I know more about x than you. My bike is faster. I've seen this, done this, have this, and its all better than you.
Its hard, you know? Hard to hear it, hard not to intervene all the time, to jump and protect, hard not to fall into competition, and hard to find the line between our values of less stuff, less consumption, outdoor natural play, and well, giving the kids some funky stuff, and some social capital. Somehow we manage it in a way that feels OK to us, and for the most part OK for the boys. We thrift things, in and out. We do say no. Big gifts are for birthdays and Christmas, and Jamie saves his own money for other things. And sometimes they get a treat.
So.. all of this because here at Shutter Sisters they are asking for pictures of toys. To lighten the day. And I like to play.
So, here are some pics. I'd love to hear what you do about any of the above!