The holidays are that time of year when we often see new toys come to live in our homes. Some invited and some bestowed upon our children by well meaning grandparents, aunts and uncles who wandered excitedly into the toy store and emerged with something that lights up, makes noise and comes to find you if you don’t play with it for more than sixty seconds. At our houses those toys often “run out of batteries” quickly and take a trip to the nearest thrift shop. But the toys that are allowed to stay and become a part of our families are the open ended ones- ones that can be played with more than one way over and over again. For the mamas at Uppy the toys that stick around are usually Lego and Playmobil. These are the toys that our children use to tell us their stories and invent new creations that never cease to impress and amaze us.
I’ve heard parents lament that all the new Lego kits want you to build something specific. They come with a picture on the box and instructions inside and leave out the imagination. “When we were kids we just had bricks! You can’t buy bricks any more!” What adults forget though is that our children don’t feel restricted to the picture and directions the way we do. They will take the helicopter kit, the police car kit and the motorboat kit and combine them to make an amazing flying car that can also go in water…or maybe underwater…or even outer space!
This train of thought lead me to consider all the parenting books out there. Every one claims to be the truth- the way to raise a healthy happy perfect child. Just follow the simple step by step instructions and your creation will turn out just the way you envision. When your baby is born you might start out trying to follow those directions just so. But soon you realize this is not only unrealistic it’s borderline impossible and something about it doesn’t quite feel right! With time you find that the best solutions come when you let go of the picture of what parenting is “supposed” to look like and listen to your intuition. When you parent from the heart you find creative solutions. You might take and choose what you like from each “kit” and combine them to make something even better, something that works for you and your child! And in the end we have to remember that children don’t come with instruction manuals anyway do they! So on the days where you feel like you’re breaking all the rules, on the days where your parenting doesn’t look like the picture on the box get down on the floor, break out those bricks– and play.
Happy Holidays from the whole team at Uppymama. May you be so blessed as you enjoy the season holding your little ones close!
We may forget at times that we have the ability and options to create exactly what we need to meet the needs of our children and at the same time remain in alignment with our values. This entire post was actually inspired by one of our very wise Uppymama team members. She went the extra mile by ordering directly from Lego, exactly the pieces she needed to make the entire Uppymama team “Lego mama” babywearing gifts for the holiday. Surprisingly, Lego does not yet produce babywearing accessories but a creative mama can always find a way to wrap her baby on her back.
Thank you for the inspiration Natalie.