I hate toys. Toys are money. Toys are work. Toys are mess.
Tiny pieces of plastic strewn across the living room. And since little children do not care about mess (and rightfully so), it’s me who has to clear up at the end of the day. Or teach them the painfully boring task of clearing up. Shopping trips are hellish, because I have to have the painful rant of ‘no…no…no…’, and also made to feel mean and stingy.
The one thing sadly common about so many homes with parents and children, mine included, is the sight of far too many toys – some broken, most neglected. Let’s face it – every middle and upper-middle class parent has a tendency to overbuy toys. In many ways, I feel that the parent in me is more materialistic than my children. For, it is not they who demand for toys of a particular kind; it is me who gets enticed by those plastic things stacked up in bookstores and supermarket shelves. It is me who feels the twang to ensure my children have such and such toy, such and such thing. I let myself be hoodwinked by toy companies that encourage me to buy things as an expression of love. What a heap of rubbish I am fed.
And do my children actually need these toys? I remember Jungle Book, in which Mowgli is seen happily playing with pebbles. Left alone, children make their own toys, and in the process, build their own creativity rather than relying on entertainment from costly gadgets.