Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ol' Skool

My husband and I finished Isaac's Christmas shopping a few weeks ago. Thinking about going near a toy store or department store anytime around the holidays in this metropolitan area when I worked 5 years of retail gives me anxiety and makes me want to hide in the closet until January. I wanted to get it done, and I didn't mind spending a few extra dollars for my sanity. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to get him, so we left him with Uncle C and set off for the dreaded TRU and Tar.get (Note: normally I love Ta.rget. Just not at the holidays).

Ben and I grew up without video gaming systems and without TVs in our rooms. We didn't have alot of electronic toys. What we did have was something called "IMAGINATION." This is one of the most important things I want my son to have. We chose our gifts based on that concept.

It was kinda difficult. While I appreciate the educational aspects of some of today's electronic toys, I feel a lot of them are unneccessary. Sure, Le.ap Fro.g is a wonderful concept, but I grew up without it, and hey, I can say my ABCs forward and backward. I can count. I know my colors. I can't speak for him, but I am pretty sure my husband can too... :)

Even some of the newer versions of toys we played with as children are all jazzed up. It some ways, it was kind of sad to see what they had evolved into.

I just don't really know why it's necessary. Sure, some of those toys are downright cool. And I am not saying that Isaac doesn't have some of them. If one day he asks me for that 3 foot robotic dinosaur, I just might buy it. I guess it's just to keep up with the market, right?

I guess it just makes me a little sad. It makes me sad to think that there are parents out there that believe that these toys can be substitutes for actual human contact, teaching your own child. I understand that not all parents have the time they want to spend with their child. I don't. But at the same time, I want him to learn and discover and imagine on his own.

I miss the ol' skool toys. I miss the FP barn that made that little mooing sound when you opened the double doors and that was it. The chicken didn't cluck. The tractor didn't rumble. I still knew what sounds those respective items made.

And Oh. My. Goodness. It was darn near IMPOSSIBLE to find dishes for Isaac that were coverd in pink and flowers. My million dollar idea? Gender-neutral dishes for children. Without having to buy a big kitchen apparatus. Isaac loves dishes. LOVES THEM. All we wanted were some plates and maybe a bowl and a pan or two. Seriously. My idea. I claim it. And if you already made these dishes, where the heck are you selling them?!

We spent a good hour and a half walking the aisles, looking for things that we wanted (Note: part of the problem was not just lack of what we wanted, but that my husband did not seem to grasp the concept of "age appropriate" toys).

I am satisfied with what we got him. Some of the toys are indeed electronic. And some of them were toys we played with as children, ordered vintage off Eba.y.

Yep, we are taking our baby back to the ol' skool....because we're ol' fools who are so cool... :)


Andrea said...

I love this post! Amen, sister. :-) Matt and I were the same growing up and Evan won't have a lot of the toys that are out there these days. Especially at such a young age. I know someday he'll want the latest electronic toy, but there's no need to rush him into it and definitely no reason for all of his toys to require zero imagination.

The Grady Chronicles said...

I hear you. It makes me crazy to see 12 year olds with cell phones. And not just any cell phones. The most expensive cell phones- iphones, blackberrys......what!?!?!

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