Monday, April 4, 2011

Stuff Is Too Cheap

I'm posting on Aiming Low today.  Here's the first part...

When our twins were infants, I read somewhere that the average American toddler has around 150 toys, only a fraction of which she actually plays with.  I scoffed self-righteously, sure that our children would never be so pointlessly over-indulged.  After all, when I was a kid, all my toys fit in one little trunk. There were probably dozens of them, at most.  Certainly not hundreds.  My wife claims to have had even fewer toys than me.  And most of them were sticks and rocks.

But as our girls approach their second birthday, this is what their playroom looks like:

Then there’s the nursery, which I won’t post a picture of out of fear that someone will call in a hoarder intervention on our household.  There’s a dresser and a wardrobe that are chock-full of baby clothes in there, as well as several plastic tubs of clothes that are either too big or to small for the girls.

And shoes!  Good Lord, these kids are twenty months old and they already have more pairs of shoes than most grown women.  Shoes are a big part of their lives.  In fact, the younger twin’s first word was “shoe,” and now both of them can say “shoes” in three languages.

It would be easy to blame this acquisition of stuff on our consumerist society and the ubiquity of advertisements that cajole us into running out to buy the latest gadget or outfit for our little darlings. But it’s more complicated than that, and maybe less nefarious.



  1. girl can't have enough shoes...and toddler can't have enough toys.

  2. Wait until they're older! I have two lads and their room is full of stuff. Going in their room risks death by spiking your feet to death on Lego, Magnetix, cars or or action figures or slipping over on numerous football (soccer to you across the pond) trading cards.

  3. "It's cheap" is a grandparental problem for me and a lot of my friends. The grandparent buys the kid(s) a trinket, I say "Thank you, but YOU REALLY DIDN'T HAVE TO" and the grandparent replies joyfully "But it was on sale!"

  4. Oh, and we have two girls. For a husband and wife who weren't particularly attached to stuffed animals, we somehow ended up with 40,000 of them. I asked my husband once if we would have ended up like this had we had boys, and he said "Well, we'd have 40,000 mini footballs and basketballs."

    Wait, did I do the word verification the first time?

  5. DUDE. After our twins' first birthday party, we've asked people not to bring gifts. It's outrageous.

  6. It's the plastic that does me. I mean, I'm sitting here looking at this ocean of tat filling every corner of our lounge thinking how did we ever acquire so much plastic? And so many of the same things?

  7. Run. Run far, far away. Run now! If you think the shoe thing is a problem at age 2 just wait until they are 16 and shoes become a tad bit more pricey... Hahah


Don't hold back.


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