Celebrating a Yard Full of Plastic Crap

toddler boy in playsetI clearly remember lying on the living room couch, heavily pregnant, looking at the expanse of white carpet and all the clear, clean surfaces, thinking, very soon, this space will be filled with crap.

Back then, it was hard to imagine an actual child, with actual child things, existing in the home Clint and I had shared for a handful of years. Now, the toy box and book basket and truck bin are all as part of the living room landscape as the couch and the coffee table—childproofed, of course.

Though my amazing psychic abilities gave me a heads-up on the living room situation, I had no such clear vision about the yard. It took me off guard last week, when it seemed an entire munchkin-sized plastic play world had sprouted in our shady backyard. It was almost as if we’d planted it on purpose.

In truth, everything was accumulated, somewhat accidentally, over the past few months. The house, sandbox and slide migrated from the yard of a dear friend, whose children had outgrown them. I scooped up the pool and chair at garage sales. Roy and Clint scored both the picnic table and the gardening bench streetside.

Scrub ‘em up and stick ‘em together, and our yard, much like our living room, is now a clear reflection of our life: thrifty, toddler-centric and somewhat cobbled together, but earnestly geared toward fun. It snuck up on me, as things tend to do. But what’s to do except embrace it? Hooray for this new phase of toddler entertainment! Hooray for my backyard full of plastic crap!

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  1. by Eve

    On June 16, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Oh boy, Milo would love Roy’s set up. We do have a plastic pool, which every one loves. I sold Eric on it by telling him it could double as a birthing pool, if we ever have a second one. Too often it gets used for washing vegetables, and Milo is playing in a muddy pool.

    We are trying to find a balance. Eric would be all, “no plastic, no batteries,” if he could. The man just got his first cell phone two years ago. Milo does get the lights and plastic exposure at daycare. It’s just amazing what you find to be a struggle in the world of parenting, isn’t it??

  2. by Berit Thorkelson

    On June 16, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Wading pool/veggie pool/birthing pool? LOVE it, you awesome hippie farmers :) I totally get where E is coming from on the plastic & batteries. We avoid. But I do shrug the shoulders & roll with hand-me-downs and gifts. As my backyard attests.

  3. by Stef

    On June 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I love yards of plastic toddlerness. It holds so many happy thoughts, and everytime I see a yard like that I can’t stop smiling!