August 24, 2011


Sometimes I feel bad.

Sometimes I feel like we don’t give enough and/or do enough for Lovie.

Sometimes I hear or see stories about all the vacations people take and the kid-friendly places people go and spend a pretty penny on with their toddlers… all the things they buy their kids, all the toys taking their home hostage both on the inside and outside. I see pictures of huge playground sets in backyards, electric cars that are sized perfect for a small child, playrooms resembling a Toys R Us.

And then I look at what Lovie has and feel bad. I think about her room which, admittedly, is of a great size for a kid (especially), and how it holds the necessary furniture for a toddler, including a small, inexpensive table and chair set, two big bears in the corner. Her closet has clothes, but only for the current season and enough that she does have to re-wear outfits. I think about her playroom and how ecstatic I am (and how lucky she is) that she has a little area that’s truly all hers and has nothing to do with sleeping or getting dressed. I think about how bright the room is, how there’s windows on the north, east, south walls of the room. But I then also think about how it holds only one bigger toy (FP L&L Home), 2 small plastic ride on toys, a book shelf of books, 2 containers of random toys.

And I then I wonder if it’s enough.

I mean, she’s got more than enough inside space, but does she have enough toys?

If all these other kids have all this other stuff – to the point that you have no idea what you’re supposed to get them for their birthday or Christmas – and she has the same toys she had a year ago and nothing new since Christmas and her birthday (4 days apart)… is it enough? Should we be getting her more? Should we be taking her on a little adventure every weekend? Is it wrong or bad that we stay home a lot on our free weekends? Is she missing out on not having a mini Toys R Us set up in the house? I already have plenty of guilt over the fact that she has no free outside space (apartment, city living), is the inside not up to par either?

Like I said, sometimes I do feel all this and think about all this. Sometimes.

But then, most other times… actually, most of the time, period… I don’t even question it.

Because this is the face I see every single day, regardless what we're doing.

And this is the reaction I get when we go to the park, which costs us nothing but time.

Time, love, patience, happiness. All well spent.

More about our last park visit:

She's become addicted to the slides. It's always been her favorite, but man can she spend gobs of time sliding down, running over to the steps to climb back up, so that she can slide back down again and again and again.

And then there's the water fountain. Of course.

You didn't know it was such a hit at the playground? Oh yes, yes it is. So much so that it makes for this reaction when the water stops coming out:

Oh the anguish.

Fortunately she found water that comes out non-stop.

But of course she was too chicken to go all the way in and is standing on the outside of it. Heh. That's the funny thing about this little chica. She loves water. Both to play in and drink. But she hates getting her hair and face wet.

It was SUCH a beautiful day (this past Sunday).


  1. the stuff, nah. In a few years she'll be able to ask for the stuff she wants. We have too many toys.

    As for excursions -- I'm all about it, because I never did anything like that as a kid. John did. And he has all these wonderful memories that I don't have. And I want my kids to have those memories. But that's me. Sometimes those memories cost us nothing -- the park, the zoo (membership). Sometimes they cost us a little something. But I'd spend the money on something stupid if I didn't spend it on them.

  2. I just told my parents this weekend that what I remember most is the TIME they spent with us - not the presents. I'm giving my son that same gift as much as I can.

  3. yeah i think TIME is more important than the "stuff"... but i do hope we can take her more place once she gets to the age where she can remember more.

  4. Oh sweetie, you should never, ever, ever feel like what you do for Lovie isn't enough. The happiness in her face at the park should be more than enough proof that what you guys are doing is enough.

    I mean Ii realize we all worry about "stuff," (check out this post from my blog
    but, at the end of the day, food, clothing and lots and lots of love is all they really need.

  5. As mothers, I think we are always worried if ___ is enough. If it wasn't toys, vacations, clothes, etc..., it would be something else. Just when I file away one "Is it enough?" worry, I come up with another. Love. Now that's something I will always have an abundance to give...

    Thanks for thought-provoking post.

  6. Don't question it, girl. She is loved. And most kids have way too much stuff- it's not like it all gets played with!

  7. I love how you wrote this post, it shows your heart but also your mind! To read how you question it, but then to bring it all together to know that the lifestyle you are choosing for you and your daughter is what you believe is right, I loved how powerful that belief came through.

    I wrote on my blog awhile back about how I question how much 'stuff' my girls have, so much more than I did growing up, and why it is so hard for me to say no to buying a new toy. My girls have way too much stuff, so much that I keep a huge bin of toys in the closet that I get out and swap with their other toys every month or so. I wish we had less toys. They now prefer to play inside with their toys or watch a movie or play dress-up, and while I am glad they're engaged in playing (not so happy about the TV time), I wish they'd spend more time outside. We go to the playground and various places where we live, but we definitely spend more time inside.

    It's hard to not use the excuse that my husband is deployed and I'm 6 months pregnant, because I am tired and if it makes it easier on me to let them just play with their toys or to get them a toy after a doctor's appointment or after they've been sick for several days, I do it. But I'm really hoping that I can start living with less stuff and spending more time just doing things with them.

    So how do you do it if you feel the impulse to buy a toy or if your little one asks you to buy a toy? I really want to change, but can't seem to.

  8. I buy my son what he asks for. Mostly because he never asks for much and because I can.
    But no matter how cool his toy is he always plays best outside in the wild. On the playground, at the beach, in the forest. Children teach us what really matters.
    I understand you worry, all moms do. But truly, one look at her face, there is nothing to worry about!! Love the photos.

  9. Love and your attention: that's what most kids want regardless of what stuff you might have. You are doing great - don't change a thing. This is her foundation you're building and you are use some good, strong material! Go with it :)


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