I am not really a fan of stuff, and one type of stuff that seems to always grow is toys. Our children have a gajillion toys. We buy them toys occasionally (hard to resist when you are Disney World, for example) but they also arrive as gifts from friends and family, and they also arrive as toys that are outgrown by cousins or friends.
Our children have received many toys that are really great. They have a huge collection of Lego and Duplo blocks, for example, that were given to them. We did not have to buy any for them to be able to create buildings and spaceships and cars and cities. My son’s favorite toys are wooden trains. Most of those were given to us as well. So we have received some good stuff and I am thankful for that, even if they don’t quite see the beneficence of their relations.
We have lots of crap as well, of course. Can you say birthday party gift bags? How many UPO’s have they generated? About a bazillion, I’d say. And the Mardi Gras parade this spring? Plastic bead necklaces up the whazoo. Too much, if you ask me. Even if you don’t ask me it’s too much.
Today, however, our children got the most excellent toy. My father-in-law had mentioned this teeter totter that his second set of kids had played with and loved, and that he was hoping to pass on. He came by today and left a shiny new plaything. The thing is, the one he dug out of his barn was broken, rusted, not in good shape. It wouldn’t be safe to use. So he made a new one. It is strong and beefy and operates smoothly. And it is no ordinary teeter totter.
Call it a seesaw if you will, but this doesn’t just pivot up and down. The pivot also allows the cross beam to swing in all directions. So it goes up and down, yes, but it also swings in circles. My children have been playing on it for about three hours, with breaks for dinner and spraying each other with the hose. They have been laughing most of the time as well. I love this thing. Not only is it just plain old fun, but they have to work together for it to be fun. They seem to have it down pretty well at this point. They are spinning fast.
I think my father-in-law ought to patent this thing and sell them. Seriously. It is fun just to watch them spin around and up and down. I am betting that this becomes the toy of the summer. They won’t play with it quite so much as the days go on. They will become accustomed to it and the newness will wear off. I am sure, however, that it will continue to be way fun for them. It is one item of stuff I feel will get plenty of mileage at this household.