Annabel is an extremely lucky little girl in a lot of ways. But, like a typical kid, the thing that is most important to her is her toy collection. She got all of Maddie’s old toys, and then was generously gifted many more when she was born. As she’s gotten older, her toy collection has become more vast…frankly, too vast.
Every night for the last few months, I’ve walked around our living room and play room, looking at what toys are on the floor versus in the cabinets. I started slowly culling the toys she’d outgrown and the toys that weren’t getting any attention. I put the removed toys into storage containers in our garage, and with two exceptions, she hasn’t even noticed they were gone. My plan was to donate everything before Thanksgiving.
Our garage is also our laundry room. With a toddler and a Mike, there is laundry to be done almost every other day. When I do a load of laundry, I make sure Annie is busy because I don’t want her following me. Besides the toys, the garage is full of stuff you don’t want a toddler playing with – tools, Christmas decorations, poison, things like that. But over the weekend, Mike distractedly went into the garage to throw something away and didn’t notice Annie hot on his heels. She followed him into the garage.
Her mind was blown. There was a broom for sweeping! Our Christmas Snowman! HER TOYS.
When she saw her toys, she started screaming, “My toys! My toys!” Mike scooped her up and brought her back into the house, but the damage had been done. She began standing outside the door to the garage, asking to get her toys. I told her that her toys were actually going to go to a new family with kids who didn’t have any toys. She contemplated this, then said, “Mama, can I get just one little toy? Just for a minute? Please?!”
I let her pick out one toy from the bin. To her credit, she played with it for an hour straight, an amazing amount of time for a two-year-old. But later that evening, I found the toy laying lonely in the middle of the floor. That night, I returned it to the storage bin (which had been relocated to the back of my car). She hasn’t asked about it – or any of the other toys in the bin – since.
I’m donating the toys this weekend, and Annie seems to be totally fine with this. That doesn’t mean that she’s forgotten about her trip to the garage, though. This morning she asked, “Mama? Can you get the snowman? Please?” Sorry, kid. Mama doesn’t do Christmas in October.
Lynn Kellan says:
Oh, I remember going through toys to cull the ones no longer used. We found that doing this before Xmas was a good time – as the kids get older, they’re willing to give away toys in favor of new toys arriving at Xmas!
Awww poor Annie!! Actually I think it is GREAT that she knows what is going on with her old toys…never too young to instill charity in them! And by the way she handled it, it appears she has a charitable heart already!
At least Annie’s understanding of why her toys are no longer going to be her toys — smart girl!
We’ve been culling Coraline’s toys of late, too, to be given to her baby cousins. The hubby and I are going to REALLY emphasize to our family members that for Christmas, they should make a donation in Coraine’s name or give her a savings bond or something. She’s certainly not wanting for any toys!
You know, I’ve totally done this – put toys away and they have never been missed. Except by me. I tried to give them away. I really did. But then I thought about the memories and the pictures and the ‘what if we have another baby, he/she will need little tiny baby toys’. So. the toys sit in boxes under my bed…
You’re not alone. I can’t seem to part with any of my daughter’s baby toys. Each one of them has too many memories attached to it, not to mention that aside for a couple of them, they’re totally toys that can be recycled with another baby.
Moreover, the kiddo is stealthy, and has found her way to the old toy stash twice already. The last time she did that, she decided she wanted her wubba nub, even though she never used it as a pacifier (or probably because she’s always seen it as a toy), and now she drags it around everywhere!
I’d at least keep the toy she picked out last week. It’d make for a good story to tell her in 15 years: “Hey Annie, remember this? We decided to donate your baby toys when you got too big for them, but you wanted to keep one, and this is the one you picked!”
Oh Amy, I hear ya. My little daycare kiddos play with a TON of toys that belonged to my 22-year old son. So many of them held up over the years, and some I just could not part with. It’s nice to see them still being used and enjoyed!
I always did the same with my kids when they were little right around Xmas. It taught them about donating their gently used toys / clothes.
Except I have all of my daughters Barbie’s and my sons Ninja Turtles in the garage.
Too bad Annie’s a little young to understand the concept of giving to those less fortunate. I have a feeling she would be happy to donate most of her toys if she understood. And I’m glad SOMEONE doesn’t do Christmas in October. I visited two stores today, both replete with Christmas decorations. Puh-leez. I haven’t even gotten through the harrowing evening of answering my door for trick-or-treaters with three dogs barking and prancing around, one of which would love to shoot out the front door. Looking forward to that. Not.
Brandon McBride says:
Aw, that’s adorable!
When I ask my stepdaughter to clean out old toys, she inevitably puts things in the bags that I want to keep because she loved them so much. The kid is going to make me a hoarder!
the garage is full of stuff you don’t want a toddler playing with – tools, Christmas decorations, poison, things like that.
That is the best line ever!
When we moved here to Seattle Maya found a bin filled with Christmas books and toys. I had to read Christmas stories and listen to Christmas carols for a whole day in the middle of September. When she went to bed that night everything found its way to the very back corner of our garage.
You’re good…being an aunt who was followed in to the garage by my niece who was still pissed at me for “putting baby Jesus in a box” when she saw the nativity set (a PlaySkool set) in the garage w/the rest of the Xmas decorations, it somehow moved permanently into our playroom. Yeah, that was in July! LOL