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I used to have a living room. Really, I did. A place where adults could hang out and socialize. A place to relax and watch TV. A place to... well..... I can’t even remember what other purpose it served because it’s been so long since I’ve seen mine.
You see, it has taken by eminent domain.
For the toys. The post office needs land. They get it through eminent domain. Other government entities. The same thing. The Republic of the Toys. Apparently they are now on the list too.
I can practically hear the toys lobbying as they took bit by bit of all visible floor space in the living room. Toys need space too. Equal rights for toys. Toys take priority now, they whisper as one by one they came to roost. You didn’t really think you were going to keep this room for the adults, did you?
I remember vividly saying that I wouldn’t be one of those people who lost their house to the toys. The toys would have their designated spot. And they would stay there. This went along with the speech about how my child would not be inundated with toys. He would learn to be creative and didn’t need a lot of toys.
Beep, beep, beep. That’s the sound of the tractor trailer that has been parked out front of my house for the past two years, dispensing new toys on a regular basis. It has voices with it too. No I’m not hearing voices. But all grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and random friends hear the voices. The voices say things like "oh he’s bored with all those old toys" or "no lead here, really, well, at least not until the scheduled recall six months from now" and "this toy is guaranteed to boost his IQ and get him early admission to Harvard."
There is now a slide in the middle of the living room. Yes, that’s right. A real live slide. You know like the ones in people’s yards. Outside. Not in their living rooms. The slide was a Christmas gift, and a nice one, but obviously in the middle of winter not one that is erected outside in its natural habitat. And so, like the geese that go south in winter, the slide went up in the middle of the living room.
It might have been due to the voices again. "Hey, Hey, he really needs to try it out, why don’t you set it up. You can take it down soon, really."
There were so many toys last week that we couldn’t even find the toys that went together. And that’s when I said enough is enough. It’s time to fight back. It’s time to take back the living room.
And so I went to Wal-Mart. I purchased an assortment of nice big plastic storage containers. I had a plan. These containers would sort and hold the toys. They would fit under the train table. Hey, I could even toss a cover over the train table to hide all toys when an adult night of entertaining was in order.
Willie had other plans. He found it was a great game to sit in the middle of plastic containers while I sorted toys into them. A fun new game. He lugged plastic containers around the house. It’s amazing that these simple, boring old containers could be so riveting for him. (This goes back to my theory about children not needing fancy toys all the time).
I eventually sorted the toys into the four containers. They each went to their designated storage spot. I almost have a living room again. (Well aside from the giant slide still there). I’m going to enjoy it while I can because somehow I fear the toys might win the next few rounds.