Guess what? Today, for the first time, I walked into Toys 'R' Us here in Brisbane. I've also been to the huge chain a couple of times in Penang, Malaysia but we've never bought anything from there. Today was no different. We went in and Aaron had a good time looking at everything. I did too! I love looking at toys, and can see that there are plenty that I would enjoy playing with. Still, no matter how much I want to grab those toys and rush home, I don't.
One of the most habits we've cultivated since Aaron was born is to never buy any toys for him while he is around. The rationale was that if he was never given the choice of toys or given the experience of going into a store, picking out what he wanted and going home with it, he would never turn into one of those kids that threw tantrums in toy stores when they didn't get what they wanted. It may make us sound like incredibly controlling parents or that we're depriving him of some joy but so far, it has worked. He has never asked, begged, whined or threw a tantrum about buying a toy. He will ask beg and whine about going to a store to look at toys but so far, he just says things like "I wish I could have such-and-such." And, he leaves peacefully once we've looked through everything. If there is something that I think we really want to have in our house, I'll just go back to the store some other time, without him, to get it. At least it gives me the opportunity to decide.
I know, one day he might get wise and just cut to the chase and throw a tantrum for something he wants. Fingers crossed that it won't happen.
So of course, we're going to try to do the same with Adrian. In fact, after having some experience with Aaron and watching Adrian play so far, I haven't even gotten him any toys. I did get quite a few teething toys but that was a mistake.
I believe that babies play with everything in their environment. And from what I've seen, they're going to treat a Fisher Price toy the same way as they treat and old ice cream container with a few little bottles inside. Everything is about exploration - pick it up, turn it over, give it a lick, shake it, repeat several times and move on to the next item. I am tempted to buy him things but I think I'll hold off for a few months. He has all of Aaron's early days collection to play with for now.
Having said all that, Christmas is barely two months away and I have my eye on a few items that I can't wait to get. I really do enjoy playing with the new toys as much as Aaron does.