1. When my boys were small, we lived in NH, where nobody cares what your kids are wearing because clothing is not important (mom jeans from the 80s and 90s are de rigor for women of all ages in NH!!). But we did get ribbed a lot from my family because of all the “trash” the kids played with. So we picked up a kitchen set from the side of the road! So we found lots of tricycles and outside play toys at the dump (where there was a great “free! take this!” section)! The boys were happy and learned the power of reusing. My mom still buys the boys clothes and now I love it. One more thing I don’t have to buy!! But I still spend a lot on their shoes. Because I want them to have stylish shoes!! 🤦🏽‍♀️

  2. Margaret

    Since I was the first child and was given almost exclusively pink and purple clothes my friends and family, my brother often wore pink and purple pajamas or whatever. Which, in the 90s wasn’t a huge deal, but still brought up comments from others. Which is hilarious because, they’re literally just for him to sleep in.

  3. BwC received a toy garbage truck and a mini garbage can as a Xmas gift. He wanted to imitate garbage workers by putting actual garbage in the mini can then dumping it into the garbage truck. So what we did was tear up some paper and crumble them to make them into garbage. We also gave him toilet paper rolls as garbage as well.
    He brought the garbage truck along with the actual garbage to a family party and that led to some family members asking if that was real garbage he was using. We said yes because he wants to copy what the garbage workers do. They took it lightly and laughed every time he would dump the can into the truck.

  4. Thank you for the awesome combination of humility and confidence you portray in this post (and every post). When we had our little one, we knew we would be different than most of the people in our immediate social network concerning spending. I come to posts like yours to remind myself I’m not crazy! We want to “give him the best,” but truly analyze what such a statement means. He is currently very satified with his “toys” and hand-me-downs. If you’ve never seen this video, I highly recommend it: https://youtu.be/9FizCJdJDec

    It’s so true! Everything is a toy when it shouldn’t be!

  5. JB TOTALLY played with the trash, it was the best. The contents of the recycling bag changed every week, it was endless fun. Except that one time ze licked the coffee grounds out of the bag … but that was less fun for me than zir. 😀

    JB dresses zirself now and the results are INTERESTING.

  6. I love this post! The kids certainly don’t mind if a toy is used or not, so why should we? Who are the toys for? The enjoyment of our kids or so parents can keep up with the Joneses? Thanks for always writing in such a personal and humorous way.

  7. With our oldest I was often asked, “Where are his shoes?” I would say, “He can’t walk yet.” (shoulder shrug). With the baby I was given hand-me-down shoes, which I love. However, he can’t walk yet and I find myself not using the shoes very often. Lol.

  8. We we’re fortunate that Mrs. SSC’s best friend had a kid same gender 6 months ahead of ours. Both times! They also had a big Greek family with a box of clothes that got shipped around and we used them and sent them back when we were done, along with some new additions.
    While our kids were clothed, there were times, many tbh, that they definitely were NOT the best dressed kids around. And yes they also liked playing with “garbage” and “non-toys” but more power to them and their creativity. 👍😁

  9. Hi Penny,
    I laugh at this because as boys grow older (at least mine!) they are happy to pick the clothes they wore yesterday out of the laundry basket and wear them again. My daughter was another story though. I wish I had a picture of the time she decided to wear a green one piece bathing suit and green frog welly boots. (she was 3). She looked so cute and was so happy with her choice! We ran our errands that day to a lot of strange looks from the other shoppers. (Now at 21 she is hoping for a career in fashion – ha!)

  10. I try to be frugal about what we can be with the kids. I don’t buy too much clothing, but only because the kids have two very generous grandmas. Plus they have a cousin providing plenty of hand me down clothes!
    We have lots of toys for the kids for the same reason: my family loves giving them stuff. It’s hard to tell them to stop, since the kids like the toys and my family likes giving them!

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