Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nineteen to the dozen

Out of the blue the other day, the spud, sitting with a pile of bricks, counted clearly to 10. Well. Almost clearly.

There must be some sort of song that goes with the counting because, as with 'Twinkle Twinkle' he has the beginning and the end part nailed but is a bit woolly in the middle, so we get ONE TWO THREE, ffo, fff, SEX, seh-het, NINE TEN and then we get 'nineteen nineteen nineteen nineteen nineteen nineteen nineteen' Today he added 'sixteen' to the mix, possibly because, just as 'boo' is his favourite colour, 'sex' is his favourite number. Combined with his constant use of the word 'bugger', which I think means 'bigger' and the frog thinks means I need to watch my mouth, we're having a wonderful time out in public as he points to car number plates and shouts 'SEX' really loudly and then sits back and says 'bugger bugger bugger'.

All preparation for the trials and tribulations of grown-up life, I suppose.

We've also discovered puppets. If you want to make my son fall over laughing, put a sock over your hand and make an animal noise. Lunge for his nose a couple of times and he's helpless - gods, if I'd known toddlers were so easy to please I'd have saved a fortune on all those christmas presents cowering on top of the wardrobe. Seriously, I'd have just gone to Primark and lurked around their hosiery division with a needle and some buttons.

Actually, I already knew he was easy to please - we've had over a year of fun and games out of the cardboard box his carseat came in and yesterday he entertained himself for nearly an hour with nothing but a plate of paint and a pad of paper. He plopped both his hands in, waved them about on the paper then pointed to the resulting splodge and said 'Airplane!! Airplane!!' I did the dutiful Mummy thing and nodded wisely. 'Very good' I said. 'Airplane!!' he said and promptly wiped it into oblivion counting 'one, two free, nineteen nineteen nineTEEN!!!'. I was hoping for some masterpieces to hang up but as I wasn't policing his use of the pad, most of what he did got stuck together. Given that paint and paper cost me £1 each and we've got enough left for many more hours of mess, perhaps I can take a break from eBay.

I may be showing the rapid advancement of my years, but I don't remember anyone I knew as a child having as many toys as some of the children I know have now (untangles tongue). Piles and boxes and storage containers and rooms of the things. Spud has two wicker Ikea boxes that pretty much everything fits into and sometimes I feel badly for him that he doesn't have more - but mostly, I look at what he does have and wonder if it's too much.

My sister in law is spending Christmas in India working at an orphanage with Families for Children, a private, non profit, nonsectarian agency operating homes that care for hundreds of destitute children and women in India and Bangladesh. She's taking donations of clothes and toys out to the orphanage and in the run-up to Christmas, I'd like to support what FFC do by asking anyone who reads this to buy one less present for someone who already has a lot of stuff and donate the money to a charity, perhaps even this one which does a bang-up job of caring for kids who rarely get their own toys to keep.

To donate to FFC directly you can get information from their web site here http://www.familiesforchildren.ca or you can donate to them through http://www.canadahelps.org/


The spud, for his part, isn't going to miss out on much. Frankly, he already thinks he has nineteen of everything and so one less won't make a difference. Pretty much all he ever plays with are his wooden and his Thomas trains anyway.

I know. A train puppet! Get me a pair of tights. And your credit card - Christmas is coming and folks need help.

.

16 comments:

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

I feel the exact same way about my children and their toys - they seem so deprived compared to some of their friends! I despise the clutter and hope to teach them to be happy with what they've got, so our rule has always been that when new toys come in (generally via the grandparents), toys that they have outgrown or are no longer interested in are donated to charity.

Don't forget the cardboard tubes that toilet paper and papertowels come on - those provide hours of entertainment around here!

Lola said...

I agree about the overabundance of toys - one of our neighbours has pretty much a whole room full of toys. Thing is, his parents are the same - their toys are mostly electronic, though. New phones, computers, Wii, Xbox, DVDs... no wonder they do the same for the kids.

Jen said...

Work as a nanny, and then you will know what "too many toys" looks like! It is crazy! What got me was the job with a play room overflowing with toys that the parents asked me to "organize". I wanted to get out a Physics book (would that be Physics?) and a pad of paper and draw a diagram. "THIS will not fit in THIS".
Sex and bugger, bugger, bugger cracked me up!

Michelle said...

Toys seem to appear out of nowhere at our house. We have more than we need and I love the idea of just one less toy equals a donation to charity. The Spud is counting already! So advanced!

Shell said...

Hey Sis,
You Rock! Thanks.

Jennie said...

Sounds like an excellent charity. Instead of X-mas gifts to the family, I try to scrape whatever money there is and donate to heifer international, or something of that ilk, instead.
I'd keep your potty mouth if I were you. Just look how overused the f-word is. Doesn't mean a thing nowadays, so might as well send all the other expletives that way as well!

darth sardonic said...

we regularly go through and pitch stuff (and by pitch i mean donate) from our kids' toybox here. legos are a huge deal at our house right now.

SAVanVleck said...

Great post! I have two teen grandsons and I started to pick up a $5 DVD for one, for his stocking and then saw the $5 bags of food they were wanting people to purchase for food baskets, so I put it back and got the food instead. It's a little thing, but we do what we can and it's an important lesson for him too.

I have a niece whose son, literally has more clothing than I have had in his life and he hasn't started school yet. He has a room cram packed with toys, a basement and backyard the same and in the garage he has six motorized vehicles. His mother says to me, "But, they are all different." I think it is mommies problem with security and feeling important or rich than his. However, some day it will be his problem when he thinks the world owes him, "everything."

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Here in Nelson we have a lovely tradition. 5 or 6 of the stores downtown set up decorated trees from which you can buy ornaments. The ornaments are all handmade by local charities. You buy the ornament and then make the donation as requested on it. For example you buy a wee wooden angel and on the back it might say 'wool sweater size 6'. You then go buy that thing and bring it back to the store. In our house we give each other the ornaments as gifts.

Rose said...

You're definitely on the right track Sparx. We were like you, in the beginning, and I only got a few good toys, knowing that others would give us more, and I haven't given any of them away yet since we knew Lauren would use them too. Now, I have a little house that is absolutely brimming with toys. I may have bought a few of them at the start, but not many. I think they breed at night. And that's not counting the crafts and artwork and experiments that Ella does now; there is literally not a squre foot of bare wall in my kitchen right now. Someone may have to come dig us out in a few years.

Moley-Bloke said...

Rosies odd words included...
BigDick... Biscuit
Lellow... Yellow
Dod..... Dog
Bistick... (See BigDick)

These days its...
Pipples... Nipples
Groked... Broken
Kritty... Pretty
Gred... Bread

Yesterday in Tescos She pointed at a woman and said loudly... "Look Daddy. That lady's got big boobies!"

The Good Woman said...

Bambi is highly annoyed that the stream of large boxes that the move supplied has now dried up. But as she's just had a birthday there are now more 'real' toys in the mix.

Will definitely be making donations. 'Tis the season to count one's blessings... fa la la la la.....

DJ Kirkby said...

We are doing a 'secret santa' at work and everyone has to buy a gfit from a charity shop.

Jonny's Mommy said...

Jonathan had so many toys at his birthday we took one and hid it in the closet for Christmas I agree that I don't remember anyone having so many toys when I was growing up...except my two best friends whose grandparents spoiled them rotten, but other than that...no one else.

I love the idea. Just great. Maybe we'll donate one or two or three or even SEX of Jonathan's gifts to charity this year!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I enjoyed this post so much. I know what you mean about all the presents. My kids used to get as much as I could cram under the tree, then forget who gave them what. Not this year. This year I'm buying presents from charity shops or making them (except for the laptops, which they do need).

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