Why is it we can buy our children all these wonderful colourful toys that are all singing and dancing and our child will reach for the empty water bottle, or in Annabelle’s case the empty pack of wipes?
I watch the kids on the street here, and it was the same in Kenya where I grew up; the children love items that weren’t designed as toys. In Kenya the children used to make a wheely toy out of a ball of string (old cloth) and a wire then they would wheel, or drag, this thing around for hours on end. In fact we used to give the street children old tennis balls and pens. This seemed to be what garnered the greatest smiles.
I have always said that I don’t want to spoil Annabelle with material items and sometimes I feel like a bit of mean Mum as she certainly isn’t flooded with toys. But then, I throw some of her toys down for her to play with and she reaches for my old plastic water bottle or the packet of wipes…not the snail with a mirror that rolls and sings to her, not the Lamaze octopus that crackles and clicks. Nope, she’d prefer the very simple paper fan made for her buy a friend. I actually find it heart warming to witness that at this age, children (babies) really don’t care about material things. We have web articles, journals, doctors and other mums telling us what we must stimulate and entertain our children with but the beauty is they just don’t care. So long as Annabelle has something to reach for and shove in her mouth she is happy. Long may it continue!