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My kid is one of the ones that holds on. I mean, he likes to keep everything: tiny scraps of paper, sticks and rocks from outside, and toys that he hasn't looked at or thought about for over a year. Currently I have two or three boxes on the go with toys that he has outgrown, but I have not made the time nor had the inclination to decide what to do with them. Options are donation to his daycare, to a friend's daycare, to a friend's baby, or to the Salvation Army. The best toys I can bring down to the consignment shop at the other end of town, along with his size two PJs and last year's winter clothes. I consider them all, and do nothing.

Since xmas we have been tripping over toys, old and new. Bean discovered one of the "hidden" boxes in the hall closet and was upset to learn that I was planning to give them away. He whined and said, "but I'll miss them ... I love them all" to which I frustratingly responded that he hadn't even thought of any of those toys in  months and months. I told him about my friends' new babies, and how much they would love his barely-touched baby toys, and he became really sad and told me he didn't want to part with them.

Meanwhile he has a box FULL of trucks and Transformers (and Transformers that turn into trucks) from xmas that he has barely touched. His favourite toys lately are his large-sized Legos and his Mega Blocks, with which he makes his own Transformers and his real favourites, Bakugans* (this was a whole lot of product endorsement for which I am not compensated). He also has a really cool V-Tech kids camera, and is enjoying running around taking pictures of life as he knows it.

Little kids need a lot of hype in order to convince them that something is worthwhile. Bean hates his swimming lessons but when he is in the pool I keep a huge grin on my face and whenever he looks over at me I clap my hands in applause and he perks up a bit. When I took him ice skating over the xmas break he cried in fear and I had to take him off the ice but as I was undoing his skates I told him that he did an amazing job out there, and now he doesn't mind the idea of trying to skate again. Maybe. When he came home from his dad's with his new camera I got a true brain spark and said excitedly, "I KNOW! Why don't you take pictures of all your baby toys, and that way you can remember them forever and ever!"

All of a sudden I was Mom of the Year (it's going to be a long year). So yesterday while we were snowed in we first picked up all the Legos and other toys that made their way into the living room, vacuumed the carpet, and set out the contents of one box of baby toys. We took pics of them all together and individually. As I packed them back up he got sad again and said he would miss them, so I let him pick out one toy to keep. He picked the stacking animal rings and I gave it some new batteries and he took it to his room and then ignored it for the rest of the day.

I still haven't moved the box of toys out, because now I am afraid that if he looks at his pics he will become sad and make me feel guilty for giving away a (very very) small part of his babyhood.

Seriously, Karissa


  1. Anonymous12:55 AM

    It is hard weeding out old toys... my basement is proof of that! I like to pack away a couple boxes and rotate them. So bring out one "old" box and put in a "new" box. You could pick out a toy here or there and donate it and i'm sure he'd be none the wiser though... ;) Small steps!

  2. Like anything it's habits. I started the habit that every 6 months or so we (the we included the kids) would go through every toy in the house and make piles. Throw away (broken), give away and keep. At first they did want to keep everything but I said that some of it had to go even if it was only one toy. After a number of years they pretty much go through their stuff themselves and they give away quite a bit. As they are getting older they are keeping less and less (of course the type of toys are changing, they now have ipods). A friend of mine got into the habit that if they got a new toy they had to give away an old toy this way she didn't get overwhelmed. Hope this might help a little


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