The contraption isn’t very big at all. It’s about four feet wide, completely round and stands maybe 6 feet tall. It’s large enough to hold two toddlers, but small enough to be tucked in the corner of the family room. It looks like a fancy trampoline and has netting all around it and cushions over the bars for safety. I think the name on the package is “bouncer.” Whatever it is, I love it and I am mighty glad my husband added it to the lengthy Christmas list. Yes, I said lengthy. Like most parents I know, we over did it for Christmas and seems like we didn’t even notice until we had to wrap it all up and fit it under the tree.
Truth is, my son still has unopened packages from us in his closet because he grew weary of tearing off wrapping paper I paid extra for because it had Elmo on it. He just wanted to play. Yes; it’s official, we over did it. But it wasn’t just us that over did it, oh no, we had a lot of help from grandparents, aunties and uncles and play cousins and family members.
I’m three Christmases in as a mommy and each year, I vow not to do as much next year and I renege. Without little fear of failure I look my husband dead in the eye and say “next year, we are cutting back. Our kids don’t need this much stuff. They would have been just as happy with five gifts each.” He nods in agreement, well maybe it was a shrug, but we both re-commit to scaling down in 2013.
But of all the things they received, from tonka trucks, legos, itty bitty twin, clothing etc….the bouncer is mommy’s favorite. It’s my favorite because it’s like the new model playpen, except they get in there on their own. They climb in, zip themselves and jump to their little hearts desire. It’s a safe place and by design it’s quiet but their screaming and singing in it changes the game. They can push each other, step on each other, wrestle and oh did I mention, jump? It’s a win, win.
So what does this mean for me? It means I can actually sit down and eat my dinner like a normal person, without somebody needing another paper towel or a refresher on juice. It means I can wash the dishes without my son trying to climb in the dishwasher as I am loading or unloading. It means, that if I am lucky I may even get an early start on packing lunches for the next day or preparing bedtime snacks. It means I haven’t had to reprimand about jumping on beds since Christmas.
Now don’t get me wrong, educational toys are great. I love the books and leap frog games they received, but the best earthly gifts are the one’s that give mommy a breather.