My boys fight over toys. A lot. They fight over who is playing with what. Pirate tends to destroy whatever Professor is working on if he’s frustrated. There’s been all out brawling over a specific train, or a Spiderman figurine.
To deal with the fighting, we’ve had some toy rules pop up. These rules are mostly for my own sanity, and I like to think that they are teaching the kids to share. Somewhat.
Our toys have 3 basic rules:
- Take turns. The toy in demand has to have a turn with each person. If I find them fighting over a toy, I assign whose turn it is, set my ipod to a fun ring 5 minutes away, and then they switch.
- Time Out. If they can’t take turns, the toy goes into time out and no one plays with it. Period. For at least 10 minutes. If a toy gets put in a second time out, then it is in time out for the rest of the day. Sometimes several days if it’s just too hard for them to deal with.
- Special Toy. We have several toys that are uniquely “mine” and no one else is allowed to play with them without permission. (This really helps Butterfly.) Butterfly keeps her toys on her bed or in a box downstairs seperate from the rest of the toys. Her special toys right now are Lemon (a stuffed dog she sleeps with), Misty (the stuffed pony she got in Assateague), and her Littlest Pet Shop toys. Pirate’s special thing is his blankie. Sometimes he attaches himself to a train or two, but it doesn’t last too long. Blankie is his one, true love. And Pirate, well, he is my toy hoarder. He has a backpack that he carries around with him all the time and he fills it with special toys to him at the moment. Sometimes he pulls them out to play with them, sometimes he just wants to carry them around everywhere.
Since we’ve started with these rules, the fighting has calmed down a lot in our house. Although there is still a lot of fighting, but it’s a little more managable for me.
How do you handle the toy fights?
2 boys-double trouble, toy rules, toys toys
Before we had kids and we had money to spend on frivolous things for each other, I bought Juice a mechanical dinosaur. A raptor. It’s interactive. When you turn it on, it growls, sniffs around and can follow things. (No picture because it’s way late (again!) and I don’t want to find it/take a picture of it.)
Soot (our dog) thought it was a being of great evil descended on our household. She barked loudly at it but also ran from it a great deal. We named it Bunny.
It also came with a tiny version of itself that walked. It was Juice’s toy for a long time, but then it somehow became the kids’ toy. The dinosaur, which Butterfly named Bob, is very sought after in my house. Professor really loves it and calls it a “rarrr”.
The other day, Juice decided to bring down Bunny to show the boys. They had never seen the big one before. Professor had been hauling around his “rarrr” for a few days at that point. When Juice showed him Bunny, he threw down Bob with a resounding thud.
You could just see him look at the one in his arms, and say, “Yours is bigger! I’ll take it!”
Then Juice flipped the switch and Bunny roared. Poor Professor ran sobbing from the room and won’t go near Bunny now. (He still loves the little dinosaur.) Bunny is on the top shelf in our closet and he will go over to the closet and point and talk about the big one. But don’t take it down! He likes to look at it from a distance.
Pirate thinks Bunny is great. We had to tell him that Bunny was tired and needed sleep or he would play with him all day. Pirate has also made up his own sign for sleep because of this conversation that I have repeated at least 30 times. He lays his head over to the side and sighs really big. Yes, sleep!
Speaking of signs, Pirate says very few words still. He signs A LOT though. And most of them he’s thought up himself. Other signs he knows the “proper” way of doing is eat, drink, cereal, more, all done, milk, car, mommy, daddy, baby. It’s amazing what you can say in a day with those 10 signs.
Pirate and Professor, Professor talks, toys
Since nothing super blog worthy happened today (although I just heard Butterfly over the baby monitor singing, “I like to move it move it!”) I thought I’d do an update on our last trip and the trip toys we brought along.
Best toys to bring hands down: crayons, note books, coloring books, color wonder markers, paper. I shoved all of these in Butterfly’s backpack. She happily colored her new marker books (I had 5 markers and a box of 12 crayons so I knew how many dropped) and colored for the first 2 hours of the first flight. Then the boys helped her color some and ate the free magazines. On the second flight, I had an inspiration and made a bag puppet out of the air sickness bag. Yes, we drew on them and then stuck our hands in them. By the time Butterfly was done coloring (which took almost 4, yes 4!, hours) she had 4 puppets. They were her girls. And it’s a good thing that Juice listened to my mom reading “Betsy Tacy” to her because that’s what she wanted to play. Now I know what books to get her for her birthday. They also entertained the boys and we got gales of laughter out of them and these puppets.
Worst toys: I took Butterfly to the dollar store and had her pick out a few things to bring. She really wanted a bag of hard plastic rubber duckies and I figured why not. They were hard (think hitting) and kept rolling around when they were dropped. NO FUN. Also, Nana-Great sent us a few soft kittens that meow when you push a button. Professor found the button and pushed it for over an hour. We had people in the front of the plane looking around to see where that stupid cat was. I tuned it out. (These turned out not the best toys to bring to the funeral either…oops.)
Plans for the next trip (which looks like it’ll be the end of May! Everyone write it down because I want to see some people…I’m talking to you Splats.): get crayons and notebooks for each of the kids themselves. Yes, we can probably share crayons but everyone needs their own coloring book. I can do that. Drastically cut back on the number of toys we brought. So much stuff they were not interested in playing with at all and it was just dead weight in our already over stuffed bags. Buy smaller magnadoodles because those were good but too bulky.
Now for the review on the Fisher Price Kid Tough DVD player. Out of 5 stars, I give it a 2. Oh it works great. It has a little handle on the top, can be dropped (and was) and is easy for Butterfly to use. It has little feet on the back to pull out and prop up which was enormously helpful. There are speakers so you don’t HAVE to have headphones for it but it does well with headphones in.
Deal breakers for it: The battery didn’t even last 2 hours. It barely lasted an hour and then kept turning itself on and off for another 45 minutes. Butterfly got frustrated with it. The buttons were too easy to push and we had several swipes by brothers who couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. I wish they had a button lock switch I could turn. Also, where you put the dvd player in is right in front and super easy to open. That needs to be able to lock as well.
I didn’t buy it at full price. The toy store had them on clearance so I picked her up one and I’m glad I didn’t spend full price. I imagine that since Fisher Price is no longer selling these on their official website that they are either pulling them or revamping them. It needs it!
I have an external battery pack that if I can figure out how it works could possible elongate the life of the batter to the full two hours. But it’s just one more thing to carry and I’m not sure if I want to.
Honestly my ipod and my computer would have worked just as well for movies and maybe even been a little easier.
My friend who loves me gave me chocolate at the funeral to bribe the children with. I used a little there, but most of it on the plane. Thanks again friend! It was a life saver.
Next carry on bag, crayons and markers and coloring books, check. Movie player, maybe. Ipod and computer, check! Magnadoodles, 1 favorite toy/snuggle toy each, and extra patience. Check!
I think I’m crazy for going in May again but I miss my family. Although this may be the last plane trip we do for a LONG time. It’s seriously stressful.
plane rides, toys, trips to Utah
I’ve been working hard on the kids’ year videos. You know, pictures and movies set to music. I just finished Butterfly’s 3 year old video yesterday (yay!) and I realized that I have NO movies of her in it. Time to save up for a flip camera.
Juice went on a cleaning spree today. He vacuumed upstairs and down and decluttered our bedroom. I helped him with that one. It took us over 2 hours, 4 trips to the attic, and one really big bag of garbage but the floor is now decluttered. Next job, all the flat surfaces in there!
We finally pulled out all of our Little People that we put away to get ready for Christmas. I think the Christmas toys have been incorporated enough that we have the room for the rest of it. The kids are acting like it’s Christmas all over again. Love it!
My parents got the boys some little door frames for Christmas and Juice has built them a little house area. It’s so cute to see them ask each other to come in and cook and clean in there. Not so cute, the shoving out of the house. This is why we have two. Thanks Mom and Dad!
We all spent some much needed time at the park above our house this afternoon. It was 50 degrees today and none of us had coats on. We did have to drag Pirate into the house kicking and screaming though. That kid sure does love being outside!
cleaning, daily stuff, outside, toys
Juice and I had decided we were going to go to the DC Temple tonight and see the Christmas lights. It’s something we did for Butterfly’s first Christmas and I’d like to repeat that for the boys. We have a picture of Butterfly all decked out in her snow suit sitting on a huge pile of snow with the lights in the background. I’d like a similar one for the boys, although probably without the snow this year.
Anyway, Butterfly was exceptionally petulant this morning. She kept moaning that she was tired and she even looked it. She has been eating me out of house and home lately so I thought she was growing and just tired. She insisted on going to the mall today. So we ran over there for some lunch and a chance to play on the cool light game. (See it here.) We had lunch and she barely ate anything but drank all of her lemonade. I noticed her lagging more and more as she was playing the game so I hauled her home. She ate some of her lunch in the car and most of it at home while I put the boys down. She went into her bed for nap with no fuss looking even more tired.
About 10 minutes later, I heard coughing and “Mommy!” Uh oh. She had thrown up all over her bed (that I had just made) and was continuing to throw up when I got there. I figured damage done, let her finish and put her in the bathroom. A drink, a little more, some clean clothes and blankets and she was back in bed. With a bowl this time. I rinsed out her sheets, threw them in the wash and went up to get the boys who were crying. I fed them, got them changed, and got Butterfly up from her nap since she was not sleeping.
I let her watch Beauty and the Beast for the first time since I figured we were not going anywhere. She loved it. The boys played on the floor and with me for awhile.
Pirate is moving forward! He has been rocking on his hands and legs for a long time, whining that he can’t go anywhere. Well now he does! He does not army crawl. He gets up on his hands and knees, rocks his back legs up to his hands, and then puts his hands forward. He looks like a little frog jumping from place to place. He is MUCH happier now, and is able to follow Professor towards the kitchen. Now they both try to chase me around the house. This is going to get fun really fast.
Another word about Pirate. He sobs whenever I leave the room. Absolutely breaks down with a huge sad face and big wet tears. It’s heart breaking. Professor does this too but only if he’s hungry or wants to be held. Pirate does it every time he notices me move from place to place. He also gives hugs when you pick him up. He grabs your arm in one arm, your neck in the other, and cements his body into yours for a moment. Then he looks at you smiling. So sweet. Professor is also hugging but will put his head on your chest, and then look up at you smiling. So sweet!
Butterfly had an exciting dinner of banana, bread, ginger ale and water. Oh, and a Popsicle for sick kids that has been in our freezer at least 18 months. She seemed to like it. She also asked for a bite of Juice’s banger (we had bangers and mash for dinner, basically sausage and mashed potatoes with gravy) and no other instances of tummy trouble. She has a low fever this evening, and 2 very very bright red cheeks. She went to bed early and was asleep almost instantly after her story. The boys are fine. They had butternut squash and cereal for dinner tonight and went right to bed as well.
Juice and I took the time we have with an unexpected free evening to clean out the toys and do the semi annual toy removal. We have half a trash bag full of toys to toss. Broken toys, annoying toys, toys with batteries that have ran down and can’t be replaced easily, fast food toys that are stupid. We also have a big bin of toys to be put away for another day. We will put those in the attic with the other toys that came out of the rotation. Some of those toys are getting out for the boys’ Christmas.
I feel okay and Juice does fine. We are both pretty tired (up late last night talking about high school and people we knew. Hi people! We were thinking of you!) and I feel a little off but nothing huge. I really hope that this goes by fast since I have my book club meeting here this week and I don’t want to miss it and have to change it!
So. I’ve had one busy day. I hope tomorrow is less exciting. We plan on doing nothing.
2 boys-double trouble, Pirate Firsts, sickness 2008, toys
I see now why parents of twins end up getting 2 of the same toys for their kids. It was not something I completely understood until this very moment.
You see, I got a small package in the mail today. It was a free sippy cup from a juice company. They only sent one. Well I’ve been letting the boys play with it by having one play with the lid and one play with the cup. It worked out great until I decided to be all cool and put a small green plastic ball on the inside of the cup and shut the lid. I showed the boys how to shake the cup and make the ball move around. Professor was most interested in it and immediately grabbed it out of my hands to play with it.
Then I looked at Pirate. Just sitting there. No toy. So I grabbed another green plastic ball and gave it to him. He took it in his hand. Our eyes met. His expression said, “What is this? You expect me to play with this little thing and you let him have that?” He looked at Professor with his cool cup. He dropped the ball and managed to maul Professor for the cup.
Toy wars begin!
Luckily Professor is as enchanted with the plain green ball. Even more so because he is currently crawling around the room chasing after it.
And of course, the cup is forgotten and Pirate is complaining that he can’t get around the room and chase a ball too.
More on Thanksgiving tomorrow!
2 boys-double trouble, NaBloPoMo, toys