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Less is More.

While we swore our house wasn’t going to become baby central when we welcomed a child into the family, it’s tough to avoid. For the most part, we are able to keep toy mania mayhem to a back living in our house. Luckily, this room has sliding doors, so if we want to reminisce about the days in which our house wasn’t run by the toddler king, we can close the doors and avoid staring at toys all night after he goes to bed. But the problem with having too many toys is that most of time, the king sticks to a few old favorites. I swear, out of 1000 toys, he plays with about three of them.  We’ve learned to rotate them by putting half in the basement. This way, when you bring them out a few weeks later, it feels like Christmas and they totally catch his attention all over again.

When you have a child who gets tired of his toys, you have to constantly plan outings and play dates to keep him from completely bouncing off the playroom walls. Luckily for me (sort of….), I work as a nanny three and a half days watching two other children during a normal week. Grey tags along with me to their house on the days that I work. It works well because he has other kids to entertain him and toys that don’t belong to him, which are most interesting kind. Mondays are usually my day off and I typically fill them with planned activities to stay busy. We attend story time at the library, we go out to lunch, or we go to the park – pretty much whatever I can come up with to entertain a 16 month old busy body.

The mother whose children I nanny for is a teacher, so of course my schedule has lightened up for the summer. I’m going to work two days a week or so, but still, that’s A LOT more time at home alone with a baby than I’m used to. I’ve been stressing about keeping us both sane for the next eight weeks, especially since I have a child who isn’t totally interested in his toys. So, when we woke up today, I had a list of things ready to go. I set up the pool, I filled the water table, and I registered for a new baby “Sing, Sign, and Play” class. However, it didn’t go quite as planned. Today, my son reminded me that sometimes, less really IS more. Let me tell you about how we filled our eleven hour day before daddy got home from work.

The king was whining to go outside at 7:30 this morning, so out we went. We walked up and down the side walk, stopping to watch some ants along the way. He spent about a half hour holding the nozzle (which was not connected to the hose, by the way) “watering” the flowers.

 

Maybe next time, I'll actually hook the hose up to that nozzle....

Maybe next time, I’ll actually hook the hose up to that nozzle….


 After a snack, we headed out for our first baby sing, sign, and play class. Unfortunately, Grey was exhausted from all the outdoor play and fell asleep before I turned out of our neighborhood. I took him home and put that kid to bed. Never wake a sleeping baby, right?

When he woke up from his nap, we headed downstairs for my next planned activity: art projects. Grey had a different idea. He got distracted by the light switches on his way down and we spent the next half hour turning the lights on, then off, then on, then off…. If it had been dark out, it would have looked like we were having a baby rave in the house.

On, off, on, off, on, off. Exciting stuff.

On, off, on, off, on, off. Exciting stuff.

After the exhilarating light switch experiments, we headed back outside. Luckily, my kid enjoys doing chores, so he spent the next 15 minutes helping me push the trash can and recycling bin back up to the garage. I wonder if he will still enjoy chores when he’s a teenager.

I'm going to save this photo for when he's a teenager and I can tell him about the days when he actually pulled his weight with the household chores.

I’m going to save this photo for when he’s a teenager and I can tell him about the days when he actually pulled his weight with the household chores.

We saved the best activity for last. Now remember, we have just as many outdoor toys as we do indoor toys. Bubbles, chalk, soccer balls, sand and water table, a climbing structure, etc. You get the idea. Who needs toys when you have a roll of painter’s tape?? Grey had a kickin’ time setting up the tape on its side, then watching it roll down the driveway. Really thrilling stuff.

 

Painter's Tape: the cheapest toy ever.

Painter’s Tape: the cheapest toy ever.


All in all, it was a much more slow paced day that what I’m used to. I mean, when you’re typically taking care of three crazy kids all day, there isn’t really time to watch painter’s tape roll down the driveway. While we didn’t do any of the things I had planned, I have to say, I had an awesome day. Who knows? Maybe I’ll stop stressing about plans and play dates and let the king lead the way more often.

 

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