Do you find yourself making 'oohing' sounds when your child opens a gift?
I have a confession to make; I am a toy snob! There I’ve said it, it’s out there now however I would like to clarify exactly what I mean. I’m not fussed by brand names, the ‘must haves’ or the latest/greatest gadget to hit the market, I’m talking about the thoughts that run through my head when I see a child open a present.
We have been to a few children’s parties where the Birthday Child opens the gift the very second it is handed over, which is completely fine if that’s what that family have decided. More often it just happens, let’s face it there’s an over sugar-filled, excited child patiently waiting all day/week for this!
I always find this interesting to witness especially with younger children who, bless them have no-filter (side fact; I love this attribute), to see the type of gifts but mostly to see how all the children react. It’s like an unregulated experiment, during which I practice my poker-face in case anyone would glance my way. Some of my opinions that are trying to escape include; Oh, look another plastic toy within plastic packaging that will only last a few weeks. And aww don’t take the packaging off as, I just saw the exact same; figurine, puzzle, car, board-game in the toy box, I wonder what they will do with that now it’s open?
I made the conscious decision to try and not open the presents until after everyone has gone home. I want my child to enjoy the party while it lasts, plus I really don’t want to make it all about the gifts and once a card gets lost, I don’t know who to thank.
My thoughts, and that’s exactly all they have been until now are not so PC as those above...
-Really, I mean really, you think my 1 year old can play with a toy aimed at 7 year olds…do you know the age of my child, your relative?
-Oh yes, we already have that, in fact we have 4 of them so that was a good idea…I wonder if we can exchange it?
-Could that toy be any **more annoying! Dear God, I hope it has an off switch?
-Where in the world am, I going to put that? Do you think we live in a ***mansion?
-Let’s remember who gave this one and start a game of toy wars, I wonder if I can find something louder with more flashing lights and is as useless for an adult?
-Don’t mention batteries, please don’t mention batteries, once they run out the toy is "broken" can donated that?
Now, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, it’s the thought that counts and all and we all love receiving a gift here and there. But at what point do we need to think about the role toys are having on our environment. Please don’t get me wrong, children certainly need some toys, and I’m not against toys (just the quantity being consumed and that they are mostly plastic) but I think it’s time we start to re-think the way we buy and give gifts especially to children.
Next time you are racing to the shops to buy the biggest or what looks the best for x dollars let’s think about the planet and those inheriting both the planet and receiving the gifts. Stop and ask yourself a few questions…Yes it might bring instant joy but so will many other choices like something to experience. If this toy is still here in 100+ years will this brief joy be worth it?
Playfully Skip and Dance Daily,