Friday, June 27, 2008

I like it that way

Abigail loves to destroy things. We buy her toys, books, clothes, shoes, and she destroys them. Rips them, breaks them, tears them into shreds, then carts around all the little pieces in a bag of some sort.

It drives me crazy. I want her to take care of things. Have respect for them. Be able to play with them more than once. But she won't (or can't) stop.

Then I had a little light bulb moment one day. We had a friend over for a play date. A sweet, timid, shy little girl. I have no idea how she and Abigail are in any way friends, but whatever. The mom said that this little girl loved Abigail, and we invited them over. In the course of the play date conversation, I was apologizing for all of her broken and in-pieces toys. Sweet Girl's mom said "Oh, Sweet Girl hates it when things break. She gets really upset, and it bothers her for days". And when she said that, I realized a few things.
  • Not all kids destroy things. I think it is pretty normal, but only normal for some. Before this, I just thought that all kids rip things up, but I now realize that only some do.
  • Abigail is not at all bothered by things being broken. She still plays with the broken toys, she carries the pieces around with her all day, and when she gets something new, she pulls and bends and rips it until it breaks.
  • I think she just likes to break things. It is fun or interesting for her.

So since realizing those things, I have tried to let it go a little. They are her toys, and while I would prefer her to play with them in a non-destructive way, I am willing to back off a little. I have tried to just let her wear her shoes with all the decorations ripped off, read the books that are torn and taped more times than I can count, and play with the toys that are in pieces.

But it still drives me absolutely crazy.

In the process of destroying a cute little foam puzzle book that was supposed to entertain them at church. But look how happy she is.

And I have to admit that as a child, I was banned from scissors for many years because I was just fascinated by the way they cut things. Like blankets. And hair. And couches. So maybe this is my due.


Adam and Lisa said...

That is totally funny. It would drive me bonkers too. She's not alone though - I had tons of students that had to ask my permission before using scissors because they cut up everything on or around them!

Kelly said...

Ha ha. My kids also destroyed everything they came into contact with so I just hated to buy toys. They finally play with them, but I thought it was just a boy-thing. I stand corrected.

ali said...

wow, I'm impressed with your patience! I wonder if there is a toy that could satisfy her curiosity to take things apart? But then again, I guess that could be any toy right? ;) Have you tried legos?