There's a popular book in the parenting section of most bookstores called I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids. I haven't read it (because what working mom has much time to read a book about motherhood?), but I really like the title. It's a good reminder to me of all of the great ideas Kevin and I had about parenthood--but have (of necessity) let slide since actually becoming parents.
One of the ideals Kevin and I have managed to maintain with more or less success was our rule to limit the number of noisy, plastic blinking toys that we allow into our house. The theory being such toys that do everything for kids actually inhibit the development of their imaginations. The underlying theory being that they are ugly and annoying.
But even I know when a rule was made to be broken. And this past week, when we were in Arkansas--and at Colin's grandparents' house--was the perfect opportunity to break a few rules. After all, that's what grandparents are for. So at my mom's insistence, we made a trip to *that* big box toy store to buy Colin his very own noisy, plastic, blinking lawnmower, because this--above all things-- was the one toy she knew he needed to have.
And Mae Mae was so right. I have rarely seen Colin play with so much enthusiasm. He must have pushed that lawnmower around their yard for two hours straight. And afterwards, he was so exhausted--and content--that he went straight to bed and slept through the entire night. I'm still not sure that we need to have a plastic lawnmower at our own house, but it's an idea I'll keep in mind.
Now, if they had child-size push mower, that might be another story...