Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Motherload

Evan has reached the age of realization, at least on one account. We can no longer take him shopping for his own toys. But thankfully, we can still eat take-out in front of him as long as we give him a few fries!

We went to Wal-Mart on Monday for a few groceries, and while I was there I figured we should check out the toys, since we still hadn't finished shopping for Evan. That was a big mistake! Up until now, he's been able to "window shop" pretty well, but not this day. It was like he was experiencing a psychedelic toy trip. He kept pointing and calling out to every toy he saw, and he was about two seconds away from a full-on crazy tantrum (that would have been completely my fault,) before I gave him a small toy to hold in his hands. We gave the toy back at the register, but if he didn't get one of those "pretties," Mom was torturing him with, he was going to flip his lid! Lesson learned!
It's suddenly become a real challenge this year to not "spoil" him at Christmas. Jeff and I both feel really strongly about limiting the amount of stuff Evan gets at Christmas time, and really throughout the year too. We want him to be grateful for what he has and one of the best ways to do that is to give him less. We also don't want the Christmas season, in our house, to become all about getting things. Up until now, we've done a pretty good job with this, but I think we've fallen off the wagon.

I finished his shopping on Tuesday and before I knew it my cart was full and that isn't including what we'd already gotten him online. I just couldn't stop! I kept seeing all these things that I knew he'd love. I think I called Jeff ten times to process each gift choice.

I think one of the reasons it got out of hand this year is that to be honest, Jeff and I never buy him toys. And if you're ever at my house on a Tuesday morning you'd see why! My mom is an avid garage saler and Goodwill outlet shopper, so she's always bringing him books and cars when she comes to watch him. They're cheap and used, but he doesn't know the difference. Plus, since Jeff and I have to play with his toys about as much as he does, we're ready for some new inventory!

His taste in toys has really changed over the last few months, too. He's really in to building things, pretend play, and action sets. He's such a boy! So, when we were talking about what we wanted to get him, the list just kept getting longer and longer. Granted, the most expensive item we bought was $40, but still, we don't want him to be completely bombarded with presents.

But you know what, we had a lot of fun deciding on those gifts, and each one is very purposeful. This year, our son is getting the following: a Gertie ball (great at helping kids learn to catch;) a doll (because boys need to learn to nurture too, and yes, Jeff had a few reservations;) a doctor kit (he loves the one our speech therapist brings and it was only $5;) a batcave action set (he and Jeff are going to love this, and it's the first "big" toy we've ever gotten for him;) the batman helicopter (because he is all about helicopters, he even builds them out of bowls and spoons;) and a little bowling set for those long winter days.

Wow, I feel like I just went to Confession! Did we overdo it? Probably, but I am going to absolutely love watching him enjoy each gift. Have you finished your shopping? Are there any great toddler toys you'd like to pass along?


Burgh Baby said...

We were doing really well and not overdoing it right up until the Toddler clearly declared she wanted Penguins tickets for Christmas. And that's all she wants. So we've given into that (cause hello! gift that benefits me!), but there was already the toys and clothes and such under the tree . . .


Maya Laurent said...

That Batman helicopter is cool! It's hard not to go overboard. We bought Zane a small train set and a couple of cars for it and I have had to refrain myself from more!

Kelly said...

Great gifts! The Batman stuff was on my older boys' lists too but not until I was done so I passed it along to the Grandparents. I hope one of them gets it though b/c it looks fun! It is hard not to overdo it when you see stuff they'll love. You just reminded me that I need to get a ball for Lucas. I think I'll look for one like that.

Chantelle said...

I have a friend who shared what she does with her girls... they each get three gifts at Christmas because that it what baby Jesus received. I love the idea. I'm not sure how difficult that would be as a parent though since I am not there myself.

morgan said...

that's too much! take it all back! :) no, it all looks great. i'm sure it's hard not to go overboard!

LadyStahl said...

My mom has a friend who gave each of her children 4 presents each year from santa...they were never from "mom and dad" so even as they got older they knew they were only getting 4 things...I really like this idea and we are going to try to do the same for the girls. I love those gertie balls, and so do the girls..they have them at KinderMusik...big hit!