Christmas Aftermath

The holidays are over and my apartment has been de-decorated. Now I have to deal with the aftermath that is known as Ali’s new toy collection. I remember when I was pregnant with Ali I returned home from her baby shower to find my entire living room packed from corner to corner with baby accessories. I asked my mother “do I really need all this stuff?” and she said: “you’re going to want everything and anything that will keep that baby quiet.” Two years later and I’m still collecting things to keep that baby quiet.
           Too bad the things that now keep her quiet like to sing loud songs with lyrics like “jumpy-jump –jump-jump-jump-jump-JUMP! -JUMP! -JUMP!” for 5 minutes at a time.  Interesting that the “demo” mode in the store only does 30 seconds of music so it seems bearable. It’s only after you take it home and unwrap it Christmas morning that the real nightmare begins. No wonder it was on sale for $9.99; it’s a torture device.  Speaking of torture devices, my aunt got Ali a “peek-a-boo” baby doll that actually plays peek-a-boo. It was really cute until the other night I woke up for some water and it said, “Peek-a-boo, I see you!” I screamed and ran to wake up Dan to take the batteries out of her.
            Back to the topic at hand: How do I keep these toys from taking over my life? The other day I did a sweep through her multiple toy boxes. I put all the old toys in a bag next to the garbage to be donated. Of course Ali found the bag and decided these were the toys she wants to play with. (Not the $50.00 car set she got for Christmas.) Why Ali? Why? I also had a brilliant idea that I would take half her toys and hide them away in her closet. Then after a few months I would switch them out so it’s like she has new toys. Brilliant except I forgot I put them in the closet and when I found the toys again she had outgrown them. So that was a waste.
            It’s not all her fault. I’m the one to blame. For Christmas I decided she needed a giant Thomas the Tank Engine train set. It’s actually really practical in that you can fold it up rather than dismantle it. The only problem is it takes up my entire living room floor. Think about that next time you wake up in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Remember foot injuries take longer to heal in the winter!
            I know it’s only going to get worse as she gets older. As I sit here and watch her play on my IPad I realize the toys will get smaller and much more expensive. I guess I just have to wait another 16 or so years until she moves out. Then she’ll probably leave all her stuff in my garage like I do to my parents. It’s a vicious cycle.