|Matchbox Vans a.k.a. furgons (in Albania)|
Sidney received his first Matchbox as a gift from a friend and seeing his interest in them, I soon supplemented the lone car with a few more. Then last summer Sidney's grandparents visited and brought a large collection of the small cars that had been Glenn's when he was a child. (Antiques!). Soon it seemed as though Sidney's entire playroom had been turned into a parking garage for miniature vehicles. As any parent of a Matchbox owner knows, these little cars are always under foot. Whether it be in the kitchen, living room, or stairwell; on chairs, under dressers, or sandwiched between sofa cushions, those cars seem to transport themselves into every nook and cranny in the house. I just can't escape them as I seem to be stepping or sitting on them at ever turn.
Regardless of the mess that is created each day, the pre-bed time ritual in our house involves picking up each and every toy. And this includes the 100 plus cars that call Sidney's playroom home. Some nights the pick up process goes smoothly--or as smoothly as picking up a messy room with a pre-schooler can be. Most nights, however, a lot of coaching and persuasion is involved. The cars seem to get even more interesting as bedtime approaches and rather than dumping all of the cars in a box Sidney insists on methodically driving them around the room before placing them in individual parking spaces. (At least he is being neat????). Rather than getting faster each evening, these pre-bed rituals are actually increasing in length. I may be partially to blame for this since in my quest for gender free toys, Sidney's Christmas gift was a Melissa and Doug kitchen set complete with a make-own-pizza kit that has 75 individual pizza toppings. Throw in a few pieces of play fruit and vegetables, each of which needs to be "washed" and then tasted before being put away and preparing for bedtime is becoming an hour plus chore. (Of course, the "washing and bleaching" routine---he is a good Albanian boy after all---followed by the absolutely adorable rubbing of the tummy any making yummy and lip smacking sounds almost makes this prolonged process worth it). Regardless of the toy it seems that they are all small and multiply on their own.
Boy toys..........maybe Barbie dolls would be easier to deal with. Don't they come with fewer small parts and accessories?