Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Battling With the Toys

Today was "downstairs floors and dusting" day on my cleaning schedule. 

I have two of these days a week, and it is by far the most time consuming chore I have.  More than three bathrooms. 

The reason isn't that I move the furniture, or that I'm mopping up banana and maple syrup. 

The reason is that before I can do anything to the floors, vacuuming, mopping, whatever, I have to pick up all the toys.  And right now, with a 2 1/2 year old and an almost 1 year old, we are in the Goldilocks and the Three Bears of toys.

Some are too big.

Some are too small.

Few are just right.

Most of Reagan's toys fall in the BIG category. All those Fisher Price or Playskool toys. Basketball hoop, Elephant, Kitchen, that thing with gears. A big cube with doors and latches and pegs.  Big, primary colored toys with big chunky pieces. Totally appropriate.  But they take up a lot of room and aren't easy to put neatly away so they blend into our major living space.

Right now we don't have a playroom, and probably won't in the future. The girls do keep toys upstairs in their rooms, but during the day when Adam is working in his office, we try to stay downstairs. Therefore, the majority of the toys are down there as well.  I've tried to blend them into our living room and family room decor, but a big LeapFrog table is hard to blend. They're clunky, and I have to move them often. They don't get lost, but they also never truly get "put away".

Adam and I bought this one. I don't think we knew just how big it would be once assembled.

See the legs and how stable it is? They also make sure you can't neatly put this ANYWHERE.

The loudest, most annoying elephant ever. Naturally both girls adore it.

It's also a car!

Love it, but where does it FIT???

They're just too big.

A lot of Madison's toys fall into the too small category.  I am slowly being driven insane by toys with multiple small pieces.  Madison's favorite toys are the Disney figurines, Melissa and Doug magnetic dress up dolls, and board games.  All with small pieces that are easily scattered, lost, and stolen by an orally fixated little sister.

I'm a little OCD when it comes to clean up, and all these little pieces are my nemesis. We are constantly missing little pieces to these toys. The idea is that Madison would keep most of the toys with small pieces upstairs in her room, so we could contain them and keep them away from Reagan. But we don't play upstairs. Madison is allowed to go up to her room whenever she wants, but she wants to play with Mommy and Reagan. And for Adam's sanity and work efficiency, we stay downstairs. So the toys slowly migrate.

Ballerinas are big in our house right now.

As are princesses.

We own (I think) 8 or 9 sets. All have between 6-8 characters. So we're talking 50+ small figures, just waiting to disappear.

They're waving goodbye. I see it.

The girls took a long nap today (AMAZING), so during my furniture moving/toy pick up/vacuuming I took a tally of what is missing. And by missing I mean not in/under/behind any furniture, hiding withing another toy, or in the bathroom (don't ask).  We are currently missing:
  • Four small figurines (Donald Duck, Rintoo (from KaiLan), Pascal (from Rapunzel), and Sebastian (from the Little Mermaid). Sebastian is the most disturbing because he is TINY. I have no idea why Disney felt this was a good idea.
  • One red ballet shoe and one black ballet shoe from the Melissa and Doug magnetic ballerina.
  • One ballgown top from the Melissa and Doug magnetic princess.
  • The letters C and V from her magnetic alphabet.
  • The otoscope from her doctor bag.
  • One cup from her tea set.
  • The yellow Candy Land piece (this is an upstairs toy for sure, because Reagan chews on the cards - and I have no idea how many game cards we're missing - but Madison loves this game and continually shows up downstairs with it).
It should be pointed out that Madison is usually unconcerned.  Occasionally she'll fixate on a certain thing, and the world sort of grinds to a halt while we all search for it, but most of the time she barely notices. I should take my cues from the toy owner, but these missing pieces drive me absolutely insane. I hate the thought of the toys being incomplete.  And I hate the thought that there are little pieces out there...just waiting for Reagan to eat them.  The plus side is that I CAN neatly pack these toys away - when I can find them.

But they're just too small.

Yes, yes, we're lucky, my girls have plenty of toys to play with. I have zero right to complain. And I have a feeling that no matter how much I try to control it, we'll soon be dealing with even more annoying toys (again, I will not be the one who introduces Barbie to my girls. You buy 'em, you dress 'em).

But after an hour or so of toy wrangling - the big and the small - I'm longing for a toy that's just right.

By the way, no matter how annoyed I got today, I am really happy that we are past the REALLY BIG stage of playmats and exersaucers and jumperoos. At one point, our entire living room floor was covered with these contraptions.
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