When I was a small child I had this doctor’s kit. I loved it. Not because I wanted to become a doctor, not because I liked giving shots or handing out Band-Aids. No I loved this case and the instruments because inside that brown case each of the instruments had its own individual spot. As you can see inside had a fitted plastic piece that each instruments fit into. I loved that they all fit so nicely inside and I could shut the case and tot it around open it and they would all be still there in their own place as if smiling out at me. Displayed so nice and best of all nothing got lost because when I was done they all went safely into their place. I think that brown case from 1977 has made its mark on my life. My children like things to be in their place. I am quite certain I have made them that way. They will happily tell you not to lose the magnetic shapes from the magnetic board or that toy will be incomplete and will need to be tossed out. What fun is playing with a toy that does not posses all its pieces?
I don’t think my mom was very anal on this subject so I can only blame that doctor’s kit.
I recently went o a play date at a friend’s home. She does not share my views that all toys have a “spot”. Now granted all her kids toys were on shelves or in toy boxes but not in baskets or cases or anything. The little people, cars, trains, games etc were all living happy lives inside the toy box, all mixed together.
She laughed at me at the several times I glanced over her shoulder while we were talking. What I was looking at was her Leap Frog Fridge Phonics® Magnetic Set. All the letters were all over, holding up papers, some on the floor you get the idea. By the end of the play date she was looking under the stove and inside cabinets to “see” if they still had all the letters.
To my (and hers) complete astonishment after about an hour she did find all the letters. I asked her how could the children properly play with that toy if all the pieces weren’t together? In essence it was just taking up space because without all the letters ready and available no one could learn from it. She just said that she couldn’t worry about that. While at times I wish I weren’t…. well… wound so tight and could let things go but then it comes back to why spend the money on things just to have them become useless.
She is a sweet girl and we all have our priorities I just don’t want to teach my kids that it is ok to not take care of their things. Maybe I am completely screwing them up but I want them to understand if you don’t take care of your belongings you won’t have them anymore. I for one do not want items in my home that aren’t played with because pieces are missing. Plus how on earth do you resell toys with pieces missing?