Monday, November 9, 2009

What I'm Up To

On Friday, Grace had a post that really spoke to me. She wrote about this book, Simplicity Parenting. It was all I could do to keep from clicking on the "buy" button on Amazon. The library doesn't have in stock yet either, but I did find it on the shelf at the bookstore, and I skimmed a couple of chapters on Saturday--all the while telling myself that I didn't need to spend $25.00 on a book that was going to tell me to buy less stuff. (I think that's called "irony".)

Anyway, I skimmed the chapters about toys and books. I have always thought that fewer toys was a great idea (and yet our house is full of plastic crap), but I hadn't ever considered fewer books. But the same logic applies--with fewer toys in a space, the child is free to actually see what's there and will tend to play longer with what's in front of her instead of getting distracted and moving on to the next thing. And with a basket stuffed full of books, same thing.

I usually go through a big purge right before Christmas (you know, to make room for more junk), but this year, I'd like to think of this as a new beginning--less toys and stuff, period. I'd like to keep it pared down all year. I feel Grinchy--it's not that I don't want my kids to have things, I just think we can all do just fine without so freakin' much of it! This year (and I know I say this every year), but this year, I really want to be mindful of what comes in the house and not just buy "one more thing" so they can unwrap it.

I spent most of this morning going through the kids' rooms thinning out the collections of junk. Gone are the eight (eight!) Nancy Drew books that were sitting completely unread after almost a year. Junie B. has moved to the bookcase downstairs. The collection of books in each child's room has been cut by about two-thirds. Most of those moved downstairs to the kids' bookcase; some of them have been passed on to Goodwill.

I decided to try toy rotation again--since Bobby is finally showing interest in the 400-piece box of K'nex he received for his birthday over a year ago, I have left that in the playroom. I moved out the giant tub of Tinkertoys and the two containers of Lincoln logs. All of the stuffed animals (except for that handful of loveys they sleep with) are taking an indefinite vacation in the basement--they'll be moving into Goodwill next week if nobody complains that they're missing.

They're about to come home from school, and I'm a little nervous about how they'll react. Hopefully it will go well. And maybe next time I'm here I can show you some crafting. I'm going to need some Advil later for my back--all that bending and stooping and picking up has taken its toll today!


HappyYogaMama said...

Same thing over here - too many toys & too many books. I find it more difficult to ditch the books though.

Hope this afternoon goes well!

Dimple said...

Good for you! I hope they react well, or not at all!

HappyYogaMama said...

Big box of toys ready to head off to Goodwill. And I took 3/4 of the books away. I'll rotate them seasonally and cull ones that don't keep his attention. (The book is pretty awesome...)