To buy or not to buy new toys?

Every parent faces this dilemma as kids demand whatever they fancy

In Summary

• My vow not to buy any more toys for my child barely lasted a week

A mum helps a child play with a toy
A mum helps a child play with a toy

It's 2am but I'm on several websites, trying to find a toy that my son has seen online.

He's been watching the video over and over. And just before I could fall asleep, I thought it wise to search for this toy on online stores.

Here's the kicker, though: I don't know the name of the toy. So my online searches read something like this: ‘toy car track’ ‘spinning car in track’ ‘self-driving toy car track’, et cetera.

Alas, through all the coded search words, I managed to find a similar product. I have ordered it, much to my husband’s amusement.

You see, at the beginning of the month, I sternly warned and promised there would be no more toy buying for at least one month. Yet, for some reason, I have probably bought more toys this month than in any other month.

With the toys piling up and running out of space in the storage bins, I have been feeling prickly about my son's accumulating toy collection. Since I am the designated organiser and clearing-up lady, I am responsible for all these toys at the end of the day. A job that is tiring enough as it is, without more toys added to the mound.

There’s nothing that says “I think my child has enough toys” more than a night-time clean-up. When you return to the living room all alone while everyone is asleep to find every possible surface covered in toys. It’s in that moment as you bend and straighten up and pile toys into overflowing containers that you vow to get rid of half the toys and to never buy more toys again.

Then there is the other side of motherhood. That sees the little smile and chubby cheeks excited to play with toys. The side that sees the messy living room at the end of the day as the construction site of your child's development. That the rationale behind the mess is a child who had fun. A kid who played and explored his own little world to the fullest.

Do you see where the problem is? As a person, the mess and the messy toys are an angry trigger for my personality and go against my desire to have the perfect home. However, as a parent, the toys and the mess are the joy and light of my child’s life.

His ability to turn the living room into a zoo in less than 20 minutes after waking up is why I pick up after him every time he goes to sleep. I want him to have an empty canvas when he wakes up so he can start over and choose what to explore.

Much to my own disappointment, it looks like the parent in me will keep buying toys and keep picking up toys twice a day for the foreseeable future. The only thing that matters is my child's happiness and his eagerness to explore new things.

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