Long ago, before daughter was born, I remember going to Toys-R-Us and going a little crazy myself.
We had just found out the gender of our baby. No, not illegally, we were in the UK then, and was overjoyed to know that we were to have a daughter. I wanted to go and buy all sorts of stuff, but somewhere, the cautious me, stopped the frivolous me. And I had read of people who had been told the wrong gender, so decided not to jinx it. Yes, I know, I am a little crazy:-)
We ended up buying gender neutral beddings and nursery accessories that day. Since that day, Toys-R-Us has been a regular haunt, but we never bought too many things. Most of daughter’s toys are gifts. We do buy her stuff, but it is very controlled. And truth be told, she is perfectly happy too. She’s happy enough to window shop, and come home empty handed. Although, I have to say, the one place where it gets difficult to get her out without buying anything is a book shop. But, that’s a different story for a different day.
We realized quite early she was more fascinated by mundane things than her actual toys. Pieces of paper, cardboard, ribbons from gift wrapped presents, a shiny piece of gift wrapping… And she could play for hours with odds and ends. She once made a picture of a friend of hers with her assorted odds and ends. If you knew her friend, you would admit that there was a definite likeness.
We would find thermocol ripped into pieces, paper cut into tiny pieces, driving us crazy sometimes. Why couldn’t the child play with regular toys for a change? She would, but in her own way. The dolls house would have all sorts of inhabitants, the toy laptop would become the check-in desk at the airport.. All sorts of stuff.
I have to admit, it makes me glad that she lets her imagination loose. That she finds can think beyond what the toy manufacturers must have envisaged fir their toys.
We had been to a lake in Wayanad. As we walked the path by the lake, daughter found ways of entertaining herself. Jumping on the uneven pathway, she created ‘levels’ and rules for herself. She went up to ‘Level 4’:-)
Watching her play, finding ways of entertaining herself, I feel so grateful. Grateful that in the midst of technology and toys of all sorts, she(and most other children) still plays games that are so natural and so intuitive. That anything can become fun, if we let it.