Monday, 19 November 2012

Paper, pens and chocolate cake

Christmas may be a few weeks away but Christmas planning - and shopping! - is already well and truly here.  This year I stumbled on the "something you want" "something you need" "something to wear" and "something to read" philosphy.  Perfect!

I am someone who always says I don't want Christmas to be just about pressies but then ends up not being able to resist buying "just one more thing".  I love choosing and buying, or making, gifts.

I asked C what she wanted as a Christmas present and she said "paper and pens".  Ok. That's one sorted.  But just giving "paper and pens" feels mean.  It's what she's asked for; it's what she wants; so WHY does it feel mean?  A friend's little boy wants Santa to bring him chocolate cake.  How many parents would actually go along with this request instead of the "top toy of the year" they had planned?

This got me thinking:  how did our society's relationship with money get so complicated?  Why is it so difficult to buy children gifts based solely on what they WANT, even if the costs vary so much?  When did monetary value become synomous with love or appreciation?  Do we subconsciously put a price on everything? 

The same time I stumbled on the "want, need, wear, read" idea I also found a blog written by a family who had tried this.  She was comparing her children's "want" requests and decided that because they varied so much in price, she didn't think sticking to them would be fair.  So child x got 2 "wants" (equal in value to child y's single "want"); which meant child y then needed another gift to even up the number...and so on.

I bet this goes on in many homes, year in - year out, in the name of "fairness".  No wonder Christmas pressie buying becomes a headache and escalates into crazy money.  Been there. Done that.  Definitely not going there again.

Variations:

want need play read
want need eat read    (I'm liking this)
want need make read

Any others to share?


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Can you guess what it is yet?

 Put your toddler googles on and see if you can see what this is....


 Well? Can you?  Here's a clue.....


The answer is at the end.  So to the beginning...

We've had a chaotic couple of weeks.  I couldn't tell you what we've been doing, but it's been very tiring and we seem to have been away from home a lot.  There have been a couple of occasions where I felt I have had to stop C playing just so we could go somewhere which was probably just as much, or maybe even less, fun than she was already having alone at home.  Pretty pointless really.  So as of this week, I've vowed for us to spend far more time here.  Just 'being'.


Having neglected my chores for long enough, today I decided to do some laundry.  We have set up the utility room so C has a "messy play" area, with glue; paints; water; and other 'materials' which seem perfectly useless as "messy play" until put in the hand of toddler-child.

Our (I was willingly lured from the ironing) sticking and gluing session ended as every messy play always ends for C:  with paint....stripping off ("I in the nip!" says C)...and a bit of body art....


 
Such is the regularity of this occurence that we tidy up whilst we wait for C to dry sufficiently to walk to the shower without leaving painty footprints (she ALWAYS does the bottom of her feet).  Tidying up didn't take long so I went back to my ironing for a few more moments.

An iron!  Of course!
Next thing I know C is busying herself back and forth "ironing".  She has an ironing board but as yet no iron.

Ah, but this didn't stop the girl from her play: she was using her whisk as the iron and sticking it in the key of the linen cupboard whilst making "sssshhhshhhhhh" steam-irony noises to heat it up.  Isn't imagination wonderful?  We won't bother with getting that iron for christmas after all.