The Pressing Question of the Day

I have all kind of things I should be posting right now. I have a book to tell you about and an extra one to give away (coming tomorrow), I have a fabulous CD to tell you about and an extra one to give away (coming next week). I have a really interesting guest post from my husband (but I'm not giving him away) and I also have a gorgeous little baby who is four months old today. (She's not going anywhere either.)

Three of my favorite blogging friends have also tagged me in the last month or so with three different (yet all really fun) memes. And I want to do them! I do!

But I can't post any of that stuff right now, because I can't escape this question.

Well, OK. ... Wait. You want a picture of the baby, don't you?

Baby addicts. (Insert eye roll here.) But since you twisted my arm....

This is the face I wake up to every morning.

It's hard to have a bad day after that, I tell ya.

OK. Have you gotten your fix? Are you going to be able to make it until next week, when I do a more complete update?

Good. So here's my issue.

When we moved from our (rather large) house last fall into our (rather cozy) townhouse, one of the things we were most thankful for in our new home was this:

It's a bonus room next to the garage entrance, in our basement, and it's a perfect playroom. This space literally sold me on the development, as most townhouses in our size and price range only had a living room for a communal space. Which would have meant all the toys would have been stacked next to the sofa and I would have gone insane in about 38 minutes, give or take.

But why, since we have this really cool playroom, does my son prefer playing with this:

And this:

And these:

(OK, so that's not my stuff, but the two "super girls" -- who starred in their own post last year -- are from a happy meal a year ago and the skateboard we got from a children's meal at Ruby's Diner in Carlsbad. Quality merchandise, that.)

In fact -- look. Even as I was taking the pictures for this thought-provoking essay, Connor plundered my utensil drawer, and I caught him red-handed.

He'll play with his real toys occasionally. (I also have proof of this, in the form of a 15-car pileup on Route Stairway, which almost cost a 36-year-old woman her life.)

But 95% of the time, he prefers to take our stuff and imagine toys out of them. Those utensils? Lately, they've been musical instruments. The bathroom paraphernalia? Those are his "guys." And the make-up brushes are a family.

(Daddy, Mommy, little boy. But I bet you figured that out, didn't you?)

I guess I should be proud of his creativity. And I am.

Except when I need my favorite tongs for dinner and I find them after a three-minute search under the coffee table and then I get scolded for removing them "because that was the Daddy, Mom!"

Connor is an impish, sweet, magical little boy. (I love four.)

But -- is this normal? Do all kids do this? Or am I the only one having to fight with my son when I want to use my Chapstick (aka the stunt guy who was getting ready to do a huge jump into the sink)?


  1. Oh sweet mercy, I'm with ya.My little boy (is now 7, gasp) still does it. I cannot believe the little piles of junk that he just treasures. And he's heart broken if something goes missing, or maybe someone threw it away because they thought it was garbage. (I don't know WHO would do such a thing!)

  2. Absolutely! Ava does the same thing. Each of her crayons and markers is a different person with an individual role and personality. And any time there is a trio of objects they inevitably become the Daddy, the Mama, and the Little Girl.

  3. I don't know about girls, but my 3 year old can turn anything into a larry-boy rocket.
    Woe to the person who messes with the rocket.
    However, I have found it helpful (sorta) to have alternate rockets for when I need my spatula or the other boy needs wipes for a butt change etc.
    It usually works. As for the hunting to find things, let me know if you come up with a solution to that.

  4. It's the same gene that even if you never buy your kid a toy gun, he'll pick up a carrot and say "bang."

    BTW, the minivan thermometer kept flipping between 100 and 101 today on the way home from school. My daughter said I should "tell that blog lady with all the snow." It's gonna be a loooooooong summer.

  5. The more toys kids have, the less they play with them. If I had it to do over, all I would have bought my kids (aside from crafts stuff) was a whole mess of Duplos and some plastic food. My kids mostly play with the couch and armchair cushions and my kitchen stuff (and the aforementioned Duplos).

  6. Your play-room is ridiculously clean...I'm not jealous or anything. yeah right.

    My kids are constantly playing with things that are not toys...I keep threatening to get rid of all the toys.

  7. Please do tell where you got the unit along the wall with all the trays and cubbies. That thing is cool!!! Maybe my play room can be as neat as your if I have one of those!

  8. Yes yes yes! My twins, age 11, STILL do this. It makes for some real messes, I know.
    They say it's a sign of hyper-creativity, but I never found that much of a comfort.

  9. I frequently have to chase down my son and grab my brush. He has yet to turn it into a person, but a sword of sorts, well that is a different story.

    I'm trying not to be jealous of that lovely playroom. How fun!

    And, oh my, those are some cute baby pictures.

  10. I should be cleaning my house for my dad's visit tomorrow, but I'm reading your blog like a zombie.
    My girls play with toys. However, Isaac has absolutely 0 interest in toys of any sort. Except for the Thomas engine. But otherwise, it's all stuff that I'm using that he wants.

    I have actually tried pretending to use his toys, hoping he'd be interested in them enough to want them and play with them, but to no avail...

  11. I am basically going to have to print out your posts and put them in a binder so that I know what to do when I have kids.

  12. Okay, first of all, I am so jealous of your place - a basement? AND a bonus room/playroom?! Sign me up!

    Secondly - yes! I think it's not only totally normal, I think it indicates your son has a vivid and insightful and exciting imagination. He doesn't need any bells or whistles to stimulate his play - he can create play in whatever object he comes across. That is seriously an important and essential part of child development.

    By the way - Dacey makes "families" out of EVERYTHING. Except she almost always leaves out a baby; it's just a Daddy and a Mommy and a Dacey. :( Maybe someday she will accept AJ as part of our family.

    PS - DARLING baby girl pictures. *sigh*

  13. My four year old.... LOVES my makeup brushes. LOVES my hairbrushes. LOVES my chapsticks. LOVES. MY. STUFF.

    Oh, and his favorite color is pink. *SHOCK*

    Ho dad is INSISTING I let him start

  14. Kids don't play with toys. UNTIL you give up after months of neglect and box them up for a yard sale or Goodwill donation. THEN they want to play with them...

  15. No different in this house!

    Emma constantly attaches one of MY necklaces to MY rolling pin and takes her "roll-pet" for a stroll around the house. Not funny.

    But really, are we all that different? I was just pretending this morning that my stove was just another countertop as I sorted papers on top of it. I also pretended that my girls' play doctor tweezers were real tweezers when I couldn't find my own. I think I might go to the kitchen right now and pretend that the pint of Ben & Jerry's is actually a fresh stalk of broccoli. So see? Just let the kids pretend. They'll grow up to be stable adults, I'm sure of it.

  16. BEHOLD, the power of imagination. Kids are awesome.

  17. That baby is ADORABLE! Love the pics below as well!

    Nah, don't worry about your little man. He'll move on to high school before you know it (THIS I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE)

  18. 5 kids - 4 of them boys. I can't count the number of ladles I've bought through the years. For some reason, the ladle is the favorite.

    I've been looking for my vegetable scrubber for 4 days now.

    I'm also down to one wooden spoon as we speak.

    I love those kids.

  19. I just wrote a post about imaginiations like this!!! :)

  20. Ah, I think it's the way most kids are. Every time I'm missing something, I can usually find it in the back yard.

  21. I do not have the makeup issue, but Cannot count how many times I have said "You have a whole playroom full of toys! Leave my things alone!" in regard to my kitchen drawers. So, yes.

    I mean, there are some cool things in there...tongs and egg beaters being among the top faves.

    Oh, he is obsessed with my "chip clips" that I put in my hair. Evidently they make for great cranes.

  22. You're not alone with this "pressing question". Nothing I own is sacred to my girls.

    And I'm with 4-year-old keeps swiping my chip clips out of the drawer to use to fashion capes out of blankets. I love the imagination, but sheeesh......

  23. Would you do a series of posts on cleaning tips? That playroom is amazing! I'd love to know how you do it or who you pay. :)