A Different Kind Of Xmess
0 comment Tuesday, June 24, 2014 |
I admit I've been looking at toys for sprog and I am having a hell of a time coming up with anything to get him.
This isn't because he doesn't want toys - believe me, he does. As a matter of fact, he wants nearly every toy he sees! And it isn't because I'm suffering from what appears to be a Scrooge of my generation which projects their Xmas issues upon their children. That isn't the problem. The problem is I know the fate of each of these clamoured-for pieces of plastic- within days (sometimes hours) they're in bits upon the floor, under the bed, shoved in the closet. Broken and forgotten.
There are hundreds of lego scattered in different boxes, paints and brushes strewn all over the room. Duplo and train tracks and cars - all of them have run the sprog's limited attention span and now he can't be bothered with them. Boxes and boxes and boxes of toys he hasn't looked at in months: the third generation scale electrics which I have insisted will go back to his grand-dad's house as I've no room or patience with the things; old star wars toys from last year; Dalek facemasks and Dr Who K-9 robots none of which he can be bothered with now as he's broken off vital bits and they no longer work. He wants "something else", something new, something more.
As I survey all the toys on offer, I can't help but think of the five boxes of lego he refuses to put back together again after playing so roughly he broke it all apart - in addition to four to five further boxes of lego he won't touch due to the same fate. The ex keeps saying "Oh, he'll construct his own lego eventually!" but that's just it - he can't. That would involve imagination, and child is a good mimic - due to his attention to minute detail as per autism - but he isn't creative. He doesn't have that kind of imagination. He doesn't need elaborate stuff, he's quite happy with something simple and cheap (if the present-giver's ego can manage to deal with such a possibility) as he'll probably forget about it within a fortnight.
Not to mention he's just plain hard on toys - I have seen various things I've purchased for him in the past go to the wayside as he lost interest after a few days. Or he decides to pull on wires or jump around with electronic equipment in hand, or take it into the bath with him, never thinking of the consequences. I throw out irreparable toys on a regular basis and the waste astonishes me.
So even though I know he has his heart set on a bunch of toys, I'm also aware that this fascination will be fleeting; even if I got it for him - sometimes, even while unwrapping the present you've just given him - he starts talking about what he wants NEXT time. There's no sense of satisfaction and, let's admit it, that's a good portion of the buzz of getting presents for people in the first place. The appreciation isn't there with child, and buying bigger and more expensive stuff won't change that. This is something ex has finally come to grips with himself, and even though the computer and all the trimmings with it was a huge hit on my wallet, I had to weigh it up not just as a gift, but as to its usefulness throughout the year.
I love surprising my son - today we're doing the Goth Yule Tree decorating, and later on we'll do some homemade decoration painting with salt-playdoh made at home. We'll string up more lights round the house and make paper chains and eventually I'll be breaking out the spritz cookie machine to make some buttery, crisp biscuits. I can do that sort of thing without spending any more cash and I know for a fact just how much joy he gets out of these simple acts. And what's the big deal if he breaks a decoration or two, or decides he's now bored with squeezing the biscuits out and wants to do something else? I can always take over, and I don't have that feeling of seething irritation that a hard-saved amount of cash has just been broken due to over-exuberance.
I know, regardless of what well-meaning people may say to the contrary, that right now child equates buying him stuff equals love and attention. I wish it wasn't true, but it is. I am also aware however that due to the past few months where I've felt less than my best, attention for sproggo has been sorely lacking. So in the hopes to divert the stuff=love, I'll be doing more decor and things with him at home, curling up with him and watching Attenborough and Last Chance to See.
We'll find ways to have fun without all the plastic wastefulness, methinks. And what he clamours for at the moment I'm sure the extended family will lavish upon him without any reservation.