Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Shopping For A Rainy Day (Box)

With the big three-day weekend
approaching, there are garage sales being set up on every street
corner even as I type. For whatever reason, holidays such as Labor
Day bring out the tag sales in people. If you’re prepared for
them, they’re a great way to buy used items cheap, thus
saving not only some cash but the environment.

And on a side rant, as we were walking to the pool the other day we
discovered a $100 plastic play kitchen set put out for the TRASH by
our neighbors! I couldn’t believe it and wanted to ring the
doorbell to make sure it hadn’t been a mistake, but nope, it
was there to be thrown away. We snatched it up for use in our
church nursery, but even if we’d not known someone who needed
it I’d have taken it home for Goodwill. People, such things
don’t go in the landfill! They go to a consignment shop, or a
neighbor’s house, or at the very least, charity! Ok???

But I digress.

As I said, a garage sale extravaganza is
coming up, and it’s the perfect time to stock up on items to
get you through the long, isolated winter ahead. You know what
I’m talking about – the days of foul weather and no
playdates, when the boredom is oozing from your toddler’s
pores and you’re so desperate for a distraction you’re
thinking of suggesting shaving the cat. You need a magic weapon,
guaranteed to eat up a few precious hours and put a smile on your
kid’s face.

In short, you need a Rainy Day Box.

I know I’ve brought this up before – it’s an
invention from my own childhood, a tub of toys we were allowed to
play with ONLY when there was bad weather outside. I’ve got
one for Maddie and Cora, filled mainly with toys that the girls
became bored with which I’ve hidden, ready to be
“discovered” anew on a rainy day. But in addition to
recycling your old toys, it’s a good idea to have a few new
ones or creative game starters in the box, something special to
look forward to when it’s nasty outside. To that end, I
suggest you hit the garage sales, since heaven knows we don’t
need to spend a ton of money on the thing.

First up – if you don’t already have it, pick up the
game Twister. I’m sure someone’s got it on a
lawn for fifty cents. We play it toddler-style, which means I
unfold the big polka-dot mat, Cora plops down to roll on it, and
Maddie squirms with excitement as I spin the wheel. Ignore the
“feet” and “hand” directions; just look at
the color it lands on and make up a task. “Yellow”,
I’ll say. “Ok, you have to jump from one yellow dot to
the next all the way down the line and back again, three
times.” Or maybe – “Red. Ok, find a red ball in
your ball box and hold it over your head and run in a circle all
the way through the house.” Got the picture?

Second, go through the ladies’ clothing, and head for
the really hideous, tacky prom stuff. Snatch up the puffy-sleeve
dresses and polyster veils, secure in the knowledge that dress-up
time will be coming and every girl in the room will want to look
like a princess. We’ve got a trunk full of dress-up clothes,
largely hand-me-down costume jewelry, some old costumes of mine
(ok, that’s cheating) and garage-sale chiffon skirts and
satin bed jackets. Way better than the Disney costume stuff, and
WAY cheaper.

Third, snatch up those twenty-five cent sheets. Believe me,
you’ll need a couple extra for all the caves you’ll be
constructing in your living room, and who wants to use the
300-thread-count for those. These are also good for drop-cloths for
crafting; not so much to protect carpet from paint, but for
catching feathers or glitter or sequins or some other messy but
non-wet project.

And along those lines, pick up some cheap big plastic bowls.
You’ll be making some things – I’ve got a recipe
for edible finger paint, for example, if you’ve got a toddler
with a baby sister who can’t stay out of the stuff (the C
Monster loves her messes); and I’d much rather make that
staining stuff in an old garage sale bowl than in one of my nice
baking mixing bowls.

Books. Grab a few, but don’t let your kid see them;
they’re supposed to be a treat that’s “new”
and found in the rainy-day box. Lots of people sell kids’
books for a quarter apiece. If your kid turns out to not like them,
I guarantee that someone in your playgroup will.

Toys – this one’s a tough one. I’m all for
reusing goods, but garage sales aren’t the safest in some
areas. A year or two ago, there was a huge recall on Thomas trains,
for example, due to lead paint. Now they’re fine, but will
the garage sale seller remember when the trains were bought? Better
safe than sorry, especially if it’s something that will go in
a baby or toddler’s mouth. That being said, we’ve
bought several toys at garage sales that I knew wouldn’t go
in the mouth, or that were bigger – like a play kitchen
– and weren’t an issue.

I’m not a fan of buying pillows or stuffed toys at a garage
sale – thanks to years in New York, visions of fleas and
bedbugs dance in my head – but it’s your call.

Look for small, off-season stuff; a deflated beach ball
won’t take up any space in the box, but is easy to blow up
and toss around the room, bringing back memories of warmer days.
Again, you don’t have to go fancy or expensive – just

And finally, stepping away from garage sales, grab a few play-dough
tubs and crayons while they’re on back-to-school sale.
Crayola now makes a marker without a cap – you twist it to
raise and lower the marker, and don’t have to make your
toddler remember the cap – and there’s nothing like a
fresh box of crayons for a rainy day.

Now take a look in your box – dress-up clothes, new books,
supplies for building tents or starting crafts – looks like
you’re all prepared for the bad weather ahead! So
you’ve gotten the thrill of shopping over a holiday weekend
(and what woman doesn’t like to do some shopping when she
knows EVERYONE ELSE is doing it?) plus the virtuous pats on the
back for being thrifty and thinking of your kids. Well done.

Now go home, and try to get it in the house without the tots

And by the way, don't buy an expensive tub for your rainy-day box.
That sorta defeats the purpose here. Buy a cheap one at a tag sale,
or better yet, use a big cardboard box; then let your toddler
decorate the box with stickers and crayons before putting it in the
"special" place. Or make the decorating part of a rainy day, and
kill two birds with one stone.

And, as always, if you’ve got other suggestions, I’d
really love to steal them – er, hear about them.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.