“We both have a thing!”

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This is actually what Michael said to Lily last night in the car on the way home from dinner out.  They were fumbling in the dark, trading their book or random piece of wooden play food, when they finally settled on having something they could be pleased with in hand.  They always want a “thing” in the car;  a train, a sticker, a book, what have you, as long as they are busying themselves with something tangible.  It is one of the more aggravating features of parenthood, although I am certain I brought this one on without any help from them.  If they are never given it to begin with….yada, yada, yada.
I enjoy a little peace while I drive.  Refereeing two toddlers from the front seat (because Ella is light years past this stage) is quite enough to make a person want to drive into a small building, or large road sign.  When Michael says, “Did you bring me a ‘thing’”?, I have to wonder how this began and then I remember the insurmountable amount of “things” we call toys and how they are stacked, shelved and piled into nearly half the corners of our house.  I don’t mean to sound grinchy, but I am over toys.
At Christmas I felt like my head was going to swell up and swivel off when I heard one of our children open a gift and say, “Look! It’s that ‘thing’ I wanted!  Thank you!” (At least they are gracious).  Toys are space-takers and toe-busters and I can’t help but think about all the unnecessary environmental waste they will create once given up. I will also add that I was completely freaked out the other morning when I woke up and Lily’s blinky-eyed baby doll was staring at me from the foot of our bed.
I thoroughly enjoy playing with my children and seeing them play and interact with one another, however this occurs usually with a stack of pillows or blankets they’ve pulled out of their beds–very few “things” are required to enjoy this time together.  I will never wish away time, but I will also never miss the feeling of stepping on a hot wheels car in my bare feet either.

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