The other day Son wasn’t listening when we asked him to clean up his Lincoln Logs, so Husband told him that if he didn’t clean them up he was going to take them away.

I stood there and shook my head, knowing that this would be no incentive at all. Because Son doesn’t get attached to his toys.

He enjoys them. He plays with them. He particularly loves his trains and cars, but more as a class than individually. There will be periods of attachment when a particular toy goes everywhere with him. But these periods are always short-lived, and no deep attachment forms to a specific toy.

This made no sense to me. I’d always seen evidence that kids form strong attachments to their toys. Many of the parents I know clean out playrooms and toy boxes only when their kids aren’t home in an attempt to avoid the histrionics that would be inevitable if the children knew their toys were moving out.

Not so here. I found this out the first time I tried taking away a toy as a consequence for not cleaning up after himself. He could have cared less, but I don’t know how. Over time I tried different ways, but whether I took away one car or one hundred, for one day or five it just didn’t matter. At all.

Huh. He’s not attached to stuff. Who’s not attached to stuff?

Guess who helps me choose toys to give away? Guess who has talked him into keeping toys?

Now, as we’re getting ready to put the house on the market I find myself asking him if we should keep this serving dish, or that tablecloth, or the other dustcatcher.

He’s all about relationships, not things. It’s not important what he plays with, it’s just important that he plays.

I’m forty-three. He’s four. And he learned the lesson first. And had to teach it to me.

Really. It’s humbling.

Now if I could just get him past his urinal obsession


3 Responses to “Attachment”

  1. Jen Says:

    My four year old son is like that too, I am sure it will, but I hope that feeling never goes away. We never really buy him much because if I say we are going to go to Target to get him a toy, he’s like, okay, whatever…he’s happyish but doesn’t care too much. He can play with a broken yo-yo or an old ball and be fine. When I was a kid I would have done anything for a toy.

  2. Sara - pension comparison Says:

    Kids these days are surrounded by toys and games to keep their young minds active, primarily because they are cheaper to produce and much more affordable than when we were children!

  3. funnyaboutmoney1 Says:

    That’s very interesting. I wonder if it’s a function of age, or of boyness?

    My son had very few toys that he seemed to be attached to. But I have to say: he had way TOO MANY toys! Maybe he couldn’t get focused on any of them.

    LOL! When I was a little kid — don’t remember how old, but it couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 at most — I developed a passionate attachment to a cut-out picture of a zebra (came from a coloring book) that I’d glued to piece of cardboard. For some reason I just LOVED this stupid DIY zebra paper doll. When we came home to the States on one of my father’s long leaves, I carried it onto the plane with me for the 24-hour ride across Europe to New York via Shannon and the Azores. Somehow, heaven help my sainted mother, I lost the dratted thing. I was just devastated!

    Oh dear. What must it have been like to be the mother of a Weird Little Kid?

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