Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Toy Box

Do you have in-laws with great intentions and poor execution? I do. My mother- and father-in-law mean so well. They have the best of intentions. They just don't always check in with Nate or me before executing these intentions. Which is why Laura has a plastic kitchen (rather than the wooden one I was planning to buy her), a purple Tinkerbell foam chair (rather than something a little more neutral and a little less... garish), and a big, wooden toy box.

I never intended for Laura to have enough toys to warrant a toy box. Maybe a small basket, with a tub of rotation toys in the basement to switch things up. But never a whole toy box. Imagine my surprise when I came home from work a few weeks ago to a mammoth toy box sitting in my family room. "And it's in cherry! To match the other furniture! Because [I] wouldn't have liked the white that [MIL] wanted to get!" Very good intentions, thank you very much, I'm going to go seethe in a corner now until I can get a grip.

No really, I'm quite appreciative of the gesture. Laura's toys (of which Nate and I have bought maybe 3) were running rampant all over the room. It was a disaster. The toy box really does speed clean-up. In a way.
The toys all have little accessories. The Little People have a whole township of crap that goes along with them. The duplos - OMG. And have any of you heard of "Flat People?" These flat plastic people were resurrected from my in-law's basement. They have little outfits that snap on, and actually Laura loves them since even a toddler can change their clothes. I'd never heard of them before, I'm guessing they are vestiges of my SIL born in 1989. As "cute" as they are - they have pieces. Lots and lots of pieces. And the toy box was filled with hundreds of small parts belonging to a greater whole.

All those little pieces, lying loose and scattered in the toy box, were giving my palpitations. Laura couldn't really play with anything in its entirety, because the entirety was spread all over the bottom of the toy box. Enter: GENIUS.

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Stacking boxes. I got four in two sizes: two larger and two smaller. They are already filled. I have one for Little People. Another for the Flat People things. A third for zoo animals. And a fourth for Care Bears and My Little Ponies (vestiges of my childhood, c. 1982!) The stacking boxes fit so neatly in the toy box, like they were meant to be in there all along.

The family room is tidier. My brain is tidier. Sanity has returned to our house. I have made my peace with the toy chest. Everything is going to be alright.