I Live Vicariously Through My Children’s Toys

No one high-fives me when I manage to bathe myself, my children and apply deodorant to my armpits and not just to my shirt while finishing up our taxes, feeding the cats and emailing my senator about his most recent vote. (I do high five myself, of course.)

I’m a mom.

I don’t get awards or enough thank yous to feel like anyone is paying attention.

But I’ve made a conscience decision not to live through my children’s accomplishments.  Except for the ones that I call all the grandparents about — because TA-DA!

Yet, between those phone calls and bedtime, I still need SOMETHING to validate my exist.  To make me feel like I have accomplished something meaningful…

In toys, ages 3 and up.

1) I used EVERY SINGLE PIECE of our Thomas the Train sets in this track:

Every single piece including the double-track signal… impossible? NOT FOR THIS MAMA!

2) I built a log cabin that sleeps seventy small men and thirteen matchbox cars:

My ancestors, had they gone West, would’ve have been proud. Instead, they stayed East, became Yankees and thought the West started in Ohio and was creepy.

3) I created such an intricate marble maze that my husband tried it six times before he believed that every path went somewhere:

More like Marble A-Maze, right SCOTT?

So while my children are spectacular, I don’t even bother bragging and begging for credit.  I’m too busy reveling in my best self right here at home.

Which may or may not include shooing away of actual children — just until I snap the picture, okay?  IT’S MOMMY’S BEST WORK!

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

37 thoughts to “I Live Vicariously Through My Children’s Toys”

  1. i can’t wait until we have these kinds of toys. I keep asking for more duplo blocks for Ed because I can’t build anything cool with what we have. nevermind he just likes to stack them instead of put an architect hat on.

    He LOVES the trains at daycare though, and I am REALLY hoping he gets them for his birthday. mostly because I love the train tracks.

    and i didn’t even KNOW they made lincoln logs anymore! Yay!

  2. I played with my 7 year old daughter’s race track so much, I’m convinced she broke it on purpose.

    I know way too much about Barbie Princesses. I forbid you from contacting my six year old daughter regarding this issue.

    My oldest, 15 year old teenager, really isn;t into toys, but I am currently repairing her electric guitar and I don;t see her getting it back.

    so…I relate to this [post

  3. WOW! You do rock. I too, was sooo proud of myself for being able to build a Thomas the Train track using all of the bridges, signals, and tunnels…It is some feat not to be belittled. You do deserve a high five and maybe a nice glass of wine to wind down from all that building. Unfortunately for my kids, I am untalented in the lego business..but rocked building house upon house out of Mega Blocks.

  4. I kind of wish you could send me that marble a maze because it looks really fun to play with. Except my toddler probably wouldn’t respect mommy’s new toy anyway.

  5. At first when I started reading I thought this might be a touchy-feely piece…and then you busted it out with the pictures and commentary on your awesome skillz. LOVE IT! Hahahahah. Riley has finally gotten good at giving me the verbal affirmation I need when we’re playing, “Mommy, that is a great villain’s lair you built.” or “Mommy, that picture is pretty.” It’s never to early to learn about love languages right? :o) And if we never show what’s possible, how will they learn to think outside the box or shoot for the stars?!

  6. Nothing makes the left side of my brain feel even more atrophied and open-mouth drooling than trying to wrestle with Thomas tracks. Gah.

    So upon seeing that picture I was simply in awe.

  7. I don’t have any children, but I have a husband who collects Transformers.

    Perhaps I should try to figure out how they work, because THIS looks like fun!!

  8. I totally get it. We took Timmy to see Return of the Jedi so he could understand the toys he was getting for his birthday. I made a Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701) out of Legos and then GLUED THEM TOGETHER to memorialize the art work. And while we’re at it…let’s be clear. My daughter plays with Barbies. I COLLECT them. When she’s old enough (and I’m dead) she can have my collection.

  9. Well, done!

    I loved making intricate Thomas tracks. Well, I loved it when the husband did it. I was too busy enjoying the Fisher Price Little People [which are still safely ensconced in my cedar closet. I AM NEVER GIVING THOSE UP!].

    Total high fives to you.

  10. I’m with you on this one. Sometimes it annoys me that his attention span is so short and he wants to play with something else because I haven’t finished dominating the last toy.

  11. That’s a hell of a track. I used to take overhead photos of our layouts and post them online, but we’ve sort of drifted away from Thomas and over to Lego. When New Baby arrives, though, I think the Lego stuff may have to disappear for a while.

  12. That’s a nice track. I used to take overhead photos of our layouts and post them online, but we’ve sort of drifted away from Thomas and over to Lego. When New Baby arrives, though, I think the Lego stuff may have to disappear for a while.

  13. those are amazing!!! we aren’t at the stage where mommy can participate in the building of awesome things. because bella will come over and use her tiny terrorist ways to destroy anything i try to build. she is like a much cuter version of godzilla clambering through my lincoln log village. boo.

    and is that marble thingy a discovery toys thing?! i had that growing up. except mine was not pink and purple and white. it was primary. love that one!

  14. A-MAZING! Anytime E and I build Thomas tracks he has to fix mine because I have them all curved the wrong way and they won’t really attach all the way. My brain was not set up for these things!

  15. Are you kidding me? I would like to pay you more than $100k a year just for the marbleworks engineering. Your children are truly blessed. 🙂

    And! I fully give you big ups for showering, as long as you reciprocate in kind.

  16. I don’t know what that marble maze toy is… but it looks awesome! If you promise to mix up a couple of fruity girly drinks, I’m coming over for a momsonlyafterbedtimeplaydate and I’m hogging THAT TOY!

    that’s it – you’ve inspired me.

    I’m not a kids toy junkie especially, but kids art supplies? oh yes. good stuff. I could easily go overboard in this department. so, move over children. I’m taking down your projects to make room for my drawings and paintings on the fridge!

  17. Your statements ring so true for me!! I LOVE my Thomas the Train collection!!! I am in heaven when I am in my train room.

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