Just Don’t Buy It?

Toys are so overrated. And expensive. And messy!

The kids play with them for about five hours less than the time they play with the box it came in. Our stomachs growl in hunger for the lunch we skipped to pay for that toy (and its box). Then, to add insult to injury, we find the toy and its brothers everywhere.

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And so, I have concluded that we need to no longer fund this operation. My husband decided that long ago, and continually reminds me of this resolve every time he has to walk in the house.

I’ll hear his voice from the boys’ rooms: Who left all these Legos on the floor! We need to put these all away till they learn to clean up!

Then there was the time of The Battle of the Art Cupboard. I’d hear everything from, Who painted the floor? to Who didn’t clean up after his papier-mâché? to Why is there confetti all over?

I tried. Sort-of. I limited birthdays and Christmases to number and cost. I encouraged thrift and order. I devoted about a decade to teaching (yelling at) our miniature houseguests the meaning of “Clean up.” I cleaned on my own; again and again and again.

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In frustration, I moved most of the mess out of general sight and set up a toy room in our unfinished basement.

As my husband and I snuggled in to immediately fall asleep all romantic-like, he said, We need to keep the kids’ toys in their closets. The basement is getting too messy.

Photo Credits:
Markus Spiske
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

A Poem About Socks

Hanes and co.
They have my sole
Or I have theirs
(It’s hard to know)
The point is that we’ve little dough
Because, although,
I tell them, “No!”
My boys will blow
Socks through the toes
Because they grow
And I can’t sew

Darn it.

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Garbage Bag Vampire

Today is the day I realized that Halloween is next week. NEXT WEEK!!

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Given my more lax (AKA lazy) approach to parenting lately, we don’t exactly have costumes picked out for everyone. My boys have talked about it, of course, but haven’t settled on anything. Our conversations have been more like:

Boy: I think I’ll be a knight.

Me: Well, you’re welcome to what we have.

Boy: Hmmm. Maybe I’ll be a ghost.

Me: There might be a clean sheet. Go for it.

While we were watching Casper as a family, I laughed at the father suggesting his daughter wrap up in tin foil and go as a leftover. Frankly, we’re at about that point. It’s probably a sign of how tired and laid-back (AKA lazy) I’ve gotten lately that I think, They can just go out in jeans and sweatshirts and our neighbors will still give them candy.

Heck, the kids will be warmer that way.

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Besides actually needing to do work and feeling burned-out at that idea, I feel averse to yet another holiday that is picking my pockets for every last penny. An event that used to have old ladies handing out inedible peanut butter taffies to kids in toilet paper has morphed into full-on haunted houses, king size candy bars, and working Transformer costumes.

My husband’s childhood go-to was throwing a black garbage bag over his shoulders, digging out the previous year’s fake teeth, and going as a vampire.

Those were simpler times; times when society knew expensive costumes weren’t worth $60. Times when maybe the old lady with the taffies also gave out delicious scones and knew your name and where you lived. Times when families went out together and had a good time.

This year laziness (AKA -oh, I finally owned it) may just be the motivation I need to make the better choice: creativity and fun instead of store-bought and expensive.

Maybe all the boys will agree to be ghosts.