Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Simple Toys

Like many American families, we have too many toys in our house. I am constantly tripping on them, organizing them, passing them off to other families, and just when I think I've got the chaos under control (key words: I think), we have a holiday or birthday, and I start the process all over again. This week, I was tempted to throw all the toys into a huge ceremonial melting pot in the backyard.

For three reasons.

Red plastic disposable cups.

A three-foot long wooden board.

A ladder.

Forget the beautiful baby dolls or mechanical bulldozer. All my children have played with today were these three items. If you are suffering a rainy day in the near future, might I humbly recommend you pull out one or all of these things.

The disposable cups have been stacked repeatedly, loaded into a dump truck, stacked repeatedly, filled with jewelry, used as trumpets and megaphones, stacked repeatedly, then finally, smashed with feet jumping from a couch. Wasted? I think not.

The three-foot long, one-foot wide wooden board was leftover from a set of shelves dear Gil made me. This piece of plywood has more love in it than Shel Silversteins Giving Tree. Today, it was a ramp for Hot Wheels, a bridge across twin beds, and a slide. It was also a stage for Sleeping Beauty to dance on, and a dog bed for stuffed animals who were sick.

The folding ladder. Sigh. I know I am not supposed to let my children play on a ladder. But this is a sturdy one. And it only goes up about six feet. That's what I'm telling DCS. It is the perfect place to sing, dangle strings, sit under, play pirate, and...well, just hang out. We don't have great trees around here, but doggone, I have a ladder. Do you? Don't tell anyone I recommended it. Especially for three-year olds. My only rule: you must take your princess dresses off before you attempt the climb. Because that's reasonable ladder safety, right?

Resting Tonight,

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