All this week I have been home sick and spending most of my time in bed or on the couch. My boys have all been very sweet and helpful while I have been trying to rest and recover. But while I essentially called-in my role as mum during the day (feeling guilty, of course) I was able to renew my appreciation for a special charity shop “find” I bought for my boys a few years ago; our wooden, toy car garage.
I found it in one of our local Trinity Hospice charity shops and it was my eldest who spotted it first. It had clearly been well-loved by it’s previous owner and looked as though it had most recently been stored in a dusty storage space. It was nothing my boys weren’t willing to over look and I certainly enjoy finding a treasure that just needs a little TLC. I get excited when I have the chance to put a little of myself into a charity shop treasure.
I gave the garage a good scrub and examination for any obvious hazards to little fingers and the boys, in an act of uncharacteristic patience, waited for it to dry before testing it out. The grandparents even got involved in the renewal of the garage. During one of her visits from Vancouver, my mum assisted me in reinforcing the ramps and took measurements of the top deck so that my dad could make replacement rails to keep the cars from falling off. Cars slowly rolling and falling off the top deck during various play scenarios were a common cause for the afternoon meltdown. Gramps went all out, not only did he create new rails for the deck edges he painted them yellow; almost an exact colour match.
This week, like every week since we brought it home this garage has kept my boys happy and engaged. It’s simple and allows them to be creative and imaginative. It’s a sturdy, well made toy that puts up with everything the boys throw (sometimes literally) at it. They also have a million different vehicles (that’s another post for another time) to keep it interesting and almost like a new toy every time they play with it.
When the boys are unnecessarily hold up inside our small flat, like on rainy winter days or in times like this, when I’m sick and we can’t be out and about, it is great to have something I know they will play with that isn’t the TV. When I am feeling guilty enough about being sick and not being as engaged with the boys as I usually am, I don’t need to add on more guilt about the amount of TV the boys are watching. And they did watch plenty this week.
I suspect that once the boys outgrow their toy car garage it will be hardest on me when it is time to send it on it’s way. I suppose I’m just hopeful that we have several more years before that day comes and when the day does arrive I will hold out hope that it will be ready to give another family as much enjoyment as it gave ours.
Happy treasure hunting this weekend everyone!