Before having a kid, the most asked question I’d get was, “how’s that going to work with your toy collection?” My basement is filled with vintage toys, some valuable, some still in original boxes. I joked that I’d just never let the kid in the basement until he was eighteen, at which point I’d reveal we had a secret room in the house.
But kids come with a million of their own things, and soon the basement was quickly becoming the hottest real estate on the market for where the Fisher Price Go Go Smart Wheels Construction Set might live.
So, here’s a quick guide on How To Collect Toys with an Actual Child:
Boxed stuff: up high. Pray the child’s growth slows down until he gains self-control. So far the ratio of height to self-control is in a dangerous tipping zone.
Stuff arranged neatly on shelves: Abandon all ye hope. I now keep stuff somewhat arranged in little piles.
Open vintage toys: may God have mercy on them. I let him play with them, as I figure they’ve already survived their first childhood of abuse. What’s another one?
Bins of choking hazards (MUSCLE, Micro Machines, other little toys): So far shaking my head and saying no sadly every time he goes near the drawer has surprisingly worked, as if it’s something that just doesn’t exist. Saying NO with urgency (as though he were imminently about to burn himself or break open his head) just makes him want to do whatever it is more. Saying it sadly, maybe adding in a frown and hurt eyes for emphasis makes him think it’s a bin of sadness. No one wants a bin of sadness, not even a two year old.
Everything Else: “It’s collectible.” Shockingly, this has worked. There is nothing sadder than when he points to the original Ninja Turtle Party Wagon Van (in box) and exclaims, “COLLECTIBLE TRUCK! COLLECTIBLE TRUCK!” Then he backs up, stares at it somewhat longingly, and then goes back to puttering around with his other trucks.
True story, I just heard him in the other room gleefully shouting COLLECTIBLE! and ran into the room with dread, imagining I might find him pulling my records out onto the floor. Nope, he was just pointing at a Ninja Turtle commercial on TV. I am so…. proud. I think.