Our kids amassed an impressive collection of Playmobil when they were younger. Pirates, knights, airplanes, helicopters, a complete veterinary hospital (Patrick had a thing for little animals), and a cool mad-scientist laboratory complete with fluorescent stickers and a hand-powered blacklight.
As Alex and Patrick grew older, they spent less and less time with Playmobil. It’s been at least 2 years since either of them touched one. Last weekend, we decided it was finally time to find a better home for the toys. My idea was to just put everything into a big box and take it to Goodwill, but Molly voted to separate the toys by theme and offer the sets to friends with younger kids. So that’s what we did. As I helped her sort, I came across a little red Playmobil fish. For a few weeks in preschool, Patrick carried this fish wherever he went, wrapped up in his little fingers like a plastic talisman. I rescued the fish from the donation box. It joins the remaining scraps of Alex’s blanket as a memento of life with young kids.
(Patrick came in while I was writing and looked at the pictures over my shoulder. I asked him if he remembered the fish. He doesn’t.)
I don’t really miss those years. Everything about raising elementary school kids is easier and more fun. Need some uninterrupted Adult time at home? No problem, an Xbox is cheaper than a nanny:
Need to kill time at a bounce house while one kid plays indoor soccer? No problem! I can relax with a book while the kid wears himself out. An added bonus: Having elementary age kids gives a ready-made excuse for reading “young adult” literature. No more Very Hungry Caterpillar for me!