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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Room to Play.


We used to live in a house a tish smaller than the one we are in now. Once a friend's daughter came over, looked around befuddled, and asked, "Where is Bird's playroom?" We were aghast that a three year old expected all kids to have a playroom. Mac Daddy, without missing a beat, grandly gestured, waving both arms a la Vanna White, and declared, "This whole place is his playroom." Gotta love that sarcastic sense of humor. We've never had off-limits rooms for our kids. As neat as I am, I still allow toys anywhere...as long as they're picked up, natch.

Well, now we actually have a playroom, albeit small. There's plenty of room to play race cars, Spider Man, chef, knights,and camping adventure. There's plenty of room for all four of us to lie on the rug and have tickling, laughing fits. There's plenty of room to build with Legos, Kapla blocks, and Lincoln Logs all at once. It is a room that would make GE proud: Imagination at work.

I recently went to an acquaintance's house with Deal for a playdate (a word that I cannot believe is really, truly in my vernacular now!). The playroom was so Pottery Barn perfect that I could hardly function. The giant letters spelling the kids' names adorned one wall. The requisite train table had a track so intricate that even Deal didn't feel the urge to wreck it in one fell swoop. There was a mini bouncy house (a bouncy house, I tell you!), a slide (yes, inside!), a couple upholstered armchairs, a desk, a table with four tiny little chairs, and a giant hooked rug with the alphabet coming to life in the form of bugs and flowers. And by the all the furniture was hand painted. I can only imagine how nauseatingly perfect the master bathroom was.

Talk about making a girl feel inadequate. I was never at ease the whole morning, and could never let loose enough to engage in real conversation and even try to make a new friend. I'm pretty sure we won't be invited back. Was it shame? Jealousy? Envy? Was I internally tsk tsking at the garishness of it all (for a 1 and 3 year old, mind you)? Was I simply astounded that people actually catch Pottery Barn fever? A little of it all, I suppose.

I'm not kidding you when I tell you that my brother and I played with Tupperware when we were kids. And guess what? So do Bird and Deal. It's amazing the music we can make with some fridge stackers and wooden spoons. Bird and Deal's favorite thing in the whole world is the Costco box we bring the goods home in. I am blown away at what their vivid, colorful, magical imaginations can do with that box. Trash to most of us. It becomes a fishing ship, a rocket, a fighter jet, a puppet stage, a puppy kennel. No fancy pants playroom would have any bearing on my boys and their precious Costco box. If anything, the over decorated space would thwart their energy and creativity, hampering their imagination.

Afterall, Bird and Deal would be waaaaayyy happier in a real barn than in a catalog still life.
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2 comments:

allrileyedup said...

Well, for a one and three year old, it sounds like the playroom was more for the parents than the kids. Maybe they're really into decorating. I kinda wish you had seen the master bath...

Michael said...

I picked my Kapla Blocks at Landbridge Toys.