I’m not sure how it happened. Was it overnight, or gradually? Was I hoping it wasn’t happening, or was I simply too tired to noticed it was occuring?
The stuff. Mounting, multiplying, and breeding in corners.
Oh the stuff. Goodness gracious, the stuff.
When did babies come with so much gear? Oh my heck, who thought up all these things?
I was so so very careful when I was pregnant. I ate the right things (after five months of throwing up crackers and ginger ale, the “right thing” was anything that would stay down), I exercised, and I told people “oh we’re not buying plastic toys with flashing lights and music. We prefer calm homemade toys”. And those same people just laughed in our faces. At some point, I simply gave up, got a shovel, and started making piles of toys, gadgets, gear and all the other expensive items people insisted on buying for us.
Finally, after I had slept for more than 90 minutes at a time (which did not come until 13 months. Dude, how did I function? How did I not crash my car in to telephone poles?), I woke up one day and realized that my place was overrun with so much unnecessary junk. I could no longer take it, so I started making piles. One pile for stuff for my sister, one for Goodwill, and one for the trash. I was sorting, I was organizing. I was free.
I tell this cautionary tale to warn other soon to be parents to not let lack of sleep and ability to produce coherent thoughts, put a damper on their ideals. If you don’t want plastic noisy toys, video games, or (fill in the blank of an item you would rather not see living in your home), stand up for yourself. Stand up for your child. You get the final say in what comes in to your house. You get the option to say “thank you very much” to a gift, and then return it for books, blocks, or something you want your kiddo to play with.
I’ll close with this. My son Jack’s first Christmas came when he was 8 months old. He was the first grandchild on either side, so let me tell you about the mountains of toys and gluttony that was waiting for him under various grandparent’s Christmas trees. Shiny boxes, musical instruments, train sets and more!
The little stinker spent the entire time playing with tissue paper. The ENTIRE time.
Kids recognize that they don’t need simple things to have a good time. It’s time for us as parent’s to follow their cues, and eliminate the clutter of the unnecessary.
About the guest…
Sarah writes Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity from the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband and their 3-year-old son. She started blogging as an outlet to share frugal ideas when the economic downturn hit her family personally in 2010. Her focus is fun, delicious, healthy, and local/organic (when possible) food at a low price point. And sarcasm. And chocolate.