it’s all empty bags and boxes….

as we approach our daughters second birthday we ponder what would be the most awesome present for her….a little trampoline, maybe, or perhaps some musical instruments. I have been closely monitoring her activity of late to try to get some clues as to what might take her fancy and it turns out that what I need to find is a shop that sells empty boxes and bags. clearly with all the advances in technology little has changed in over 40 years in the wants of a two-year old – my father will attest to that. as a toddler, after opening the many presents I had received and no doubt my parents had saved hard for, I ended up playing in an empty beer carton. upon watching this I bet my folks wished they had a full carton to help them ease the pain of buying me toys only to find they could have wrapped up a carton instead. anyhoo, so yesterday I spent the rainy day just hanging out in my tracky daks, hiding under various blankets and watching little boss walk around the house with a variety of objects on her head….a washing basket, an Ikea shopping bag and her empty toy box – she up-ended it to get the toys out and then put it on her head. so I thought I would try to get some other activities happening…. “would you like to do a puzzle?” “no” “would you like to play with the doll house?” “no” “let’s go outside and do some painting” “no”….and on and on it goes. so I say “what would you like to do?” and I get a blanket thrust in front of me and told “hide”….turns out its me that gets bored, not her. I am the one that would like to mix things up a little, maybe a bit of reading, some dancing and the occasional bang on the tambourine…

so I am left to ponder what life would be like if we cleared out all the plastic toys and just left the blocks, books, puzzles and introduced some boxes and buckets and a few cushions and blankets….and in writing that it sounds just peachy to me. no more batteries or toys that haunt you while you try to sleep. maybe it’s us that want the cool new talking teddy and while we expect to get a reaction of joy from our children we are disappointed to find that what they really want is a pair of tongs, two cups of dry pasta and a bucket. we should be freaking thrilled that they want to play with stuff found at home – sure it makes a mess and there is a slight risk of choking on dry pasta – but the upside is they are learning, experimenting and using their imagination – no talking teddy can give you that. so I think this birthday we might go a bit Montessori and just get some baskets and trays with different activities on them – I know I will have a fight on my hands cause no one loves a gadget more than Mr B – well, maybe his sister – so I will have to make a good argument for my case but, hey, at least if we do end up getting her some overpriced, battery operated latest and greatest it should come in a nice box that will keep her entertained for hours.