‘We need a new house’, I thought to myself again, as I was scanning through the shelves and draws of the boys’ bedroom and around the house.
Where shall we put all the new stuff they got for Christmas?
‘We need to have a serious sort-out and declutter’, the more sensible part of me whispered and she was right again.
Learnt from my previous mistakes I waited for a quiet day when our bilingual little monsters were at school, as decluttering toys is ‘mission impossible’ when they are around.
I tried it couple of times when they were around and wanted them to take responsibility for what’s being kept and what needed to go and… it didn’t work.
My little cherubs weren’t prepared for so much responsibility yet. They didn’t want to part with ANYTHING. Old wooden blocks, half missing puzzles, mini figures from Kinder eggs… you name it. And of course the so called bilingual toys...
Even when I did the sort out without them and asked them to give me their final ok: ‘Yes, these can go.’, my mission in the end failed:
My husband and I got two evil looks and a bilingual response that: ‘But we are still playing with it, mummy/daddy, we can’t give it away!’
Our house is finally quiet. Let’s get busy!
First box aka pull out draw comes out with tonnes of cars of all sizes, colours and shapes, with wheels or without, broken or fixed helicopters, plastic animals, a few bits of Lego Duplo… a stashed mini packet of opened Haribos…
The box no 2, 3, 4 are with similar muddled up content.
‘Do we need it? Do we want it? When did we play with it the last time?’
Trying to be ruthless, which can be a tough job for a hoarder like me.
Some decisions are more straightforward than others.
Luckily, I haven’t bought all of the toys. Except for Christmas and birthdays, toys just seem to appear at our house out of a blue… and multiply overnight.
When the boys were born almost seven and nine years ago, we got all sorts of first toys and some of them were VERY noisy!
Nowdays it seems like parents are not only punished by having a noisy ‘bundle of joy’, but everyone thinks it’s a good idea to give out really noisy toys that you can’t ‘shut down’ either.
A double punishment???
As we’re getting more into devices and pushing buttons, many toys have batteries and no switch off buttons that parents can find, at least not easily.
Very often they can sing and talk or at least play music… even in more than one language! Bilingual toys?! Amazing!
Is it a win-win? Depends.
For example, at our bilingual house we’ve still got two laptop type activity devices, one in English and one in my native language.
They both can basically do the same: Encourage children to learn and practise their numbers, shapes and letters, do some basic counting.
There was a period of time when Bob and Richie were at pre-school and possibly year R, when they were keen to play with them on occasions, but not too fussed.
We would probably more often count some trees or dogs passing by, we would more often colour in some shapes and talk about it while colouring.
I can not imagine that I could have taken any of these ‘children’s look-alike devices’ on the plane when we went to see my relatives.
Monolingual or bilingual toys get so annoyingly repetitive and loud even when you’re at home.
I know that cabin crew and passengers around us wouldn’t last the one-and- a half hour journey listening to: ‘Hi! Let’s play together. Let’s count the shapes! How many triangles are there? … Four. Great! How many stars….’
Well, I am fairly sure, we’d be kindly asked to put them back into our overhead locker…. While talking is allowed most of the time.
On the plane or off the plane, most of the time we can just about manage without fancy-noisy-annoying self-punishing battery powered so called educative toys, but the call is yours.
Remember, the bilingual fun is always up to us.
Just saying looking at these two nice-try-to-be bilingual toys, which pile will they end up in this time: to stay or to go?