As a mom of soon to be 4 kids 5 and under I know a thing or two about toys.
I know that toys can be a lifesaver. Nearly every afternoon Gus spends an hour at his Lego table happily playing in silence while Bernadette and Dominic nap and I pray/do the dishes/clean/blog. And that is a little slice of heaven. In the same way, Dominic can happily crawl around the kitchen with a tractor while I make supper instead of begging to be held. Once again, heaven.
Because of this, I hope to never live a life without toys.
I also know, however, that certain toys are obnoxious and life with them is torture. We used to have a walker (just donated it!) that sang such an annoying song every time it was touched/knocked/looked at that it would ring in my ears for hours. It was the soundtrack of my nightmares. Literally.
Another category of toys that diminish my quality of life is toys with a million pieces. Maybe your kids excel at cleaning up messes and putting things back, but mine do not. And, as a result I either have to nag at the kids to clean up or do it myself…over and over each day. Yuck. Super yuck. Many toys in this category might also mysteriously disappear in the course of our upcoming move.
So in this spirit and with this knowledge my husband informed me that 2 of the kids’ aunts were planning on getting our kids a HUGE, RIDICULOUS ball pit for Christmas.
And we told them to go ahead. Bring on the madness.
This might seem crazy. I personally love reading blogs (a little too much) and have seen lots of posts describing the types of toys their kids don’t need–and for the most part I completely agree. I think all moms are irritated by the same things and we all probably have the same types of toys in our homes that we hate.
But here’s the thing–I’m not only a mom, I’m also an aunt. In fact I was an aunt for years and years before I became a mother and being an aunt is a sweet and wonderful thing.
Aunts live for that ecstatic smile–even if it is followed by wailing and gnashing of teeth. Aunts get to be crazy and fun and disregard the rules. Aunts get to spoil and leave before the meltdown or aftermath. Aunts get to hold and snuggle a sweet little baby to sleep and then hand the baby off when he or she poops or starts to cry.
Aunts and uncles get to give their nieces and nephews absurd ball pits that will take up an entire room and come with a million balls.
My kids already have 2 parents; 2 parents to give them reasonable, educational toys this Christmas. Parents that give them an orange instead of chocolate and put broccoli on their plate and stick to a bed time and make them share everything. For better or worse they have us, every day, every meal, forever.
Sometimes what kids need on Christmas, in addition to us, is an aunt or two. And, it is important to me and to my kids that an aunt gets to love them as only an aunt can. Who am I to stick my nose in and tell them how they can and can not love my kids?
To my kids, I’m their mom. It’s a good gig, but so is being an aunt.
Thanks for being here!