101 Things My Kids Have Taught Me: Lesson 99

99: The Best Toys Are Not Toys

Being pregnant, not feeling well, and having two toddlers with the flu has rendered us homebound for the last couple of days. While my kids would be perfectly happy curled up on the couch watching movies all day, I can’t help but feel guilty about doing that, so I’ve been trying to think of new activities to occupy us. Lately, my kids have been getting bored easily and quickly with toys. Maybe it was overload with Christmas, and did I mention my husband and I took the kids to Disney World right after Christmas? But that’s a whole different story. Traveling with kids is always interesting. Anyway, toys haven’t been doing it for my kids; however, non-toys – pots and pans, my spice cupboard, the mudroom junk drawer, and water – have been occupying my kids for hours. Seriously. I’ll give Jack three different plastic cups, fill one with water, and he’ll pour it from cup to cup for and hour. Mix in some spices, give him a spoon, and the next thing you know he’s “cooking like Daddy.” The same goes for Charlie as well. She’s at a tough age (15 months) in terms of not being able to comprehend what’s a toy and what’s not a toy, though. IE: the battery basket in our mudroom. As much as she wants to play with all of those, I just can’t let her sit there and lick them. While nothing is really off limits to my kids in my house, when it comes to hazards, it’s all off limits. I don’t keep “nice things” away from my kids because I want to coexist in a house where toddlers know not to use my crystal bowls as bathtubs for their little critters. I also don’t want my entire house occupied by all of their stuff. For the most part, Jack knows what he is allowed to play with and what is absolutely off limits. For instance, my bedroom door stays locked at all times for safety reasons. Also, I don’t want my jewelry flushed down the toilet…literally. Like the backs of both of our remotes. The other day Jack looked at me, pointed at my door, and said, “what’s in there, Mama?” I replied, “Jack, you know what’s in there.” And without hesitation he said, “Mama’s toys” and walked away. So yeah, to kids, everything is a toy and sometimes the best ones aren’t meant to be played with and that’s ok – as long as they’re safe.


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