Conversation with the four-year-old

by | Oct 16, 2011 | Little Luca, MOTHERHOOD | 14 comments

If your home is anything like mine, you are being invaded by toys. Toys everywhere, occupying every possible space and multiplying like a Mogwai in a bath. So in the name of sanity and to tone down the overtly consumerist display for my children, I periodically go through the toy haul and cull anything that has been largely ignored for an extended period of time. Goodwill gets a bunch of largely unplayed with toys and I reclaim a quarter inch of floor space.

These culls have gone unnoticed. Until now….


LD: Mumma, I need my teddies.

Little Mumma: Sure, honey, they're over there. Which one do you want? How about this one from when you were first born?

LD: No. Not that one. How about the brown teddies?

Little Mumma: (nervously) What brown teddies?

LD: You know, the brown teddies. The really big ones.

Little Mumma: (fears confirmed) Oh, those teddies. They're gone.

LD: Gone? But why are they gone?

Little Mumma: Well, babe, you never played with them.

LD: (becoming distressed) But I do play with them. I always play with my brown teddies.

Little Mumma: LD, they've been gone for over a year. You haven't even noticed. You never played with them!

LD: (dissolving into tears) But I love my brown teddies. (gasping for breath) I miss my teddies so much.

Little Mumma: How about this teddy? You love this teddy.

LD: But I don't. I just love my brown teddies. I love them soooo muuuuch.

Little Mumma: Well, I'm sorry, LD, but they're gone.

LD: (through sobs) Where have they gone?

Little Mumma: To other children….children with no toys. Can you imagine what it would be like to have no toys? That's so sad, isn't it?

LD: But no, they're myyyy teddieeeees. I neeeed them. I miss them soooo much. The other children can have other toys but I need my teddieeeees.

Little Mumma: But the children are sick. They're sick children.

LD: What are their names?

Little Mumma: Jill…Jilly and……Simon.

LD: (mournfully) Ohhhhhhh.


Twenty or so minutes later, during which time there were more tears and Whyyyys? and open hostility towards Jilly and Simon –

LD: Mummy, I was just joking about the teddies! So can I have a lolly?



  No T-Rexs were harmed...This is exactly what LD looked like today…except for the face paint and the long golden curls (sob!)

Hello friends


I’m Angie!  I mum. I write. I wife. My husband would say this is the correct order.  He’s so neeeedy. I live with my family in Melbourne, Australia, where I complain about the weather for 90% of the year – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Except maybe in Lake Como, waving to my neighbours George and Amal each morning.

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  1. melbo

    Thanks for totally validating my recent decision to involve them in the latest toy cull. Even if it did mean that as a result, we culled exactly nothing (I just may get sick of the mess and do a sneak attack one day when they’re out).

    There is no good way to do this without the donated toy somehow magically popping to the forefront of their consciousness and being suddenly desirable above all else.

    The effect is similar I’ve found if you give away some old piece of household detritus. The very next week, a situation will occur which demands just the type of object you have just given away. It is a law of nature.

  2. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Mel, I am, truthfully, a hoarder and any kind of cull is so very hard. I agonise over things, things I have not used in ten years. I am determined not to create mini-hoarders.

    But today was painful….

  3. E

    Hilarious!! Jill, Jilly and Simon???? those poor kids.

    This has happened to me too, once I decided it would be best to let Charlie pick what toys to give away. the lucky orphans (?!) got a couple of old pencils, some old unsticky stickers, a few old toys from christmas crackers and a broken toy car. His generosity knows no bounds.

  4. MJ

    I like Mel’s and E’s approach. Next time, I’m asking F to choose. Because previous attempts have pretty much resulted in conversations like the above. Aaagh.

  5. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    I failed to mention the part where he screamed at me to “Stop laughing, Mumma!” because my body was literally shaking with hysteria at the absolute ridiculousness of the situation. I mean really, what can you do?

  6. tina

    You would be talking about the garage full of things you just can’t throw away?

  7. Nannette Amos

    Oh my, I still have those very conversations with my now 12 year old ….oh only everytime I enter her bedroom…..thankfully we have a 10 car workshop out the back stacked full of boxes of stuff she/we couldn’t live without….I do hope to one day return the workshop to my husband…hee hee

  8. Ruthy

    Recently moved 10 yr old to a smaller bedroom so his 4 – thats right FOUR – toyboxes wouldn’t fit. So I suggested (read ordered) him to figure out what he wanted to keep cause only one toybox would fit in his new space. Keep in mind that this kid had pretty much every toy he’d ever aquired from aged 3 to 10. Credit to him he did it and we made several kids of friends very happy. I know not remotely the same as dealing with a 3 year old but have faith things could get easier!!

  9. Ladybird

    Nah hon, just keep throwing em out when the blighters aren’t looking! Charli is the one way I invovle in the process – she’s awesome at getting rid of shit – the anthesis of her mother! The boys I just turf their crap when they’re sleeping. We have the odd meltdown here when they remember but I just bring up starving ethiopian babies and confuse them with things like famine, and once Looey gets the though of WILLINGLY choosing to go without food for 48 hrs – he must decide loosing some toys is better than going without food to help poor kids – and he shuts up quick smart. His devotion to his beer gut in waiting in bigger than his devotion to fischer price it seems. xx ps last pic of LD – CUUUTE!


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