Friday, March 18, 2005

Categories of toys

I’ve been thinking more about categories, specifically categories of toys. Greg and I have always had a bit of tension over categories. I would always want to have one drawer for one kind of thing, another drawer for another, etc. He never seemed very enthusiastic about this idea and I just didn't get why. Now I see that he just doesn't see it as necessary.

We were talking about toys and I was saying how surprised I was by the categories of toys we have. I asked him it he thought it was surprising too. His simple answer: “I didn't think we'd have categories of toys.” No categories? I asked him what categories he had when he was growing up. "I don't think we had categories, we just threw everything into a box." Threw everything into a box? Lego and lincoln logs and tinker toys all in a box? "How did you play with them?” I asked. "I don't know,” he said, “we just did."

Now it made sense why he didn't like to clean up the toy room by putting things into specific boxes. From his point of view, this was just too much effort for something that was just going to get mixed up again. Wow, I had never thought about it that way.

But, I also think that it is easier and more fun to play with toys when they are somewhat organized and we have just way too many toys to simply throw them all in a box. And, in any case, we have organized them, and kids helped.

So, I thought I would have children who would have toys that fell into categories something like this:

Play food
Play dishes
Stuffed animals

You know, the basic, wholesome categories of archetypical toys. Wrong. First, I have only boys, which is like a different universe, and second, they had different ideas.

Here are some the labels that we have on our drawers:

Action figures
Digimon and Pokemon
Myth and magic

Okay, so there is also one for "Wooden cars and trucks" and one for "Nature" that has sticks and stones and shells and pinecones. These two are of the pure and classic sort that I had fantasized about. Ah well, you can’t win all the time. Parenthood is all about letting go.

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