Not Just a Toy Box

When I unwrapped the clear plastic from around the baskets boxed canvas edges I already knew what I would do with it.

My friends and family knew my obsession well.  This was apparent from the sea of baskets stretched out before me as I opened gift after gift at my baby shower.

But this one, this big, bold, durable cube filled with baby toys, a walker, and tiny clothes was just what I had been looking for. I envisioned stuffed animals pouring over its edges, its ruby fabric the perfect contrast to our expected arrivals bedding, already in place.


Against our newly painted grey living room, carefully chosen furniture, and purple accessories its garnet material isn‘t easy to hide. Having left its home in the nursery months ago, dragged out to join the family and becoming a permanent fixture.

Stuffed animals are now replaced by stacking cups and linking rings, Little People and board books.

Rarely are these toys inside.

It has now become a little girls play yard.

The sturdy sides providing shelter from the rough waves as she fights off sea monsters and makes friends with mermaids.

On its side it’s a secret hide out where she can plan take downs on the cat and eat floor dirt.

It becomes the quickest car in the race when Daddy pushes, painted crimson with a number 1 on the side.

This basket empty brings more giggles than it does full.

With toys all over the floor, baby tucked deep inside its canvas sides, squeals echo throughout the house.

The perfect baby gift.

The gift of imagination.


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31 Responses to Not Just a Toy Box
  1. Kris
    April 19, 2011 | 9:32 am

    Love it. Nothing better than a garnet box or ruby cube to play in. Who needs toys?

    (Check the secret hide out line. It needs a little fixing.)

  2. I Thought I Knew Mama
    April 19, 2011 | 10:39 am

    I love the last lines: “The perfect baby gift.

    The gift of imagination.” And I like how it connects so well to the beginning.

    Visiting from TRDC.

  3. Jennifer Dillon
    April 19, 2011 | 11:15 am

    How funny is it that all across the world, toys are good but boxes are better. I really loved the specific details of where her imagination takes her, especially the plotting of cat take downs.

  4. Kimberly
    April 19, 2011 | 12:44 pm

    Simply gorgeous.
    It’s amazing that the simplest of objects are all our children need to let their mind’s soar in a world of play.
    Love this.

  5. tracy
    April 19, 2011 | 12:46 pm

    I love this – simple toys of childhood.

  6. Amy
    April 19, 2011 | 2:17 pm

    I love your take on the prompt! I love the imagination!

  7. Kir
    April 19, 2011 | 2:22 pm

    I saw that wonderful box and giggled out loud reading this…”Against our newly painted grey living room, carefully chosen furniture, and purple accessories its garnet material isn‘t easy to hide. Having left its home in the nursery months ago, dragged out to join the family and becoming a permanent fixture.”

    when the toys become part of our everyday.

    wonderful words made me see the RED.

  8. Elaine
    April 19, 2011 | 2:33 pm

    Don’t you just love where their imagination can take things. I love how you introduced us to the toy box in one way and then showed how it became so much more. Nice work! 🙂

  9. Nichole
    April 19, 2011 | 2:53 pm

    I LOVE this post…it makes me feel so much better about the state of my own living room!

    I love that the cube can become anything you can dream up!

    One small typo: “On It’s side…”

    I love this image, “This basket empty brings more giggles than it does full.”

  10. Jessica
    April 19, 2011 | 2:58 pm

    I love this! The last line is my favorite and I’m impressed at all of the words you used in place of “red.”

  11. Mama Track
    April 19, 2011 | 3:08 pm

    How cute. I always love to hear about her.

    I agree with the other posters–great imagery in this piece. The red, the gray, the purple–I can picture it all.

  12. Miranda
    April 19, 2011 | 4:16 pm

    Great job! If, when pregnant, I’d known how much fun Joshua would come to have with cardboard boxes, I would’ve stockpiled them!

    Things like your daughter’s basket are so much more fun than toys!

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 22, 2011 | 8:39 pm

      I know!
      We didn’t need all those toys at Christmas or even before that. She’s happy with her toy box, a cardboard box, or paper.

  13. Mad Woman behind the Blog
    April 19, 2011 | 9:47 pm

    Absolutely adorable. Love the imagery, love the use of color, the imagination.
    I have no concrit.

    I am LOVING this prompt and where it’s taken these amazing group of writers, you included!

  14. Carina
    April 19, 2011 | 10:32 pm

    So much fun! As always, I love reading your work. I like how you used colors other than red, to make sure you got your point across. The red didn’t really hit me until the race car reference, but that was enough.


  15. Lizz
    April 19, 2011 | 10:53 pm

    Ooh, I love boxes and baskets and organizing type stuff too, so I totally know the joy of seeing the perfect basket! LOL
    One little concrit; you’ve got a couple of apostrophes missing; basket’s in the first line, little girl’s play yard… but I love how this reads, and how much joy she now finds in this basket!

  16. Frelle
    April 20, 2011 | 12:09 am

    cuteness, I can picture this so well… such a hallmark of the fun little ones can have with random objects 🙂

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 22, 2011 | 8:37 pm

      I’m glad my descriptions gave you a good picture!
      They do find the funniest things to play with.

  17. Leigh Ann
    April 20, 2011 | 10:35 am

    Love the line: “This basket empty brings more giggles than it does full.”

    Beautiful piece, L!

  18. Galit Breen
    April 20, 2011 | 5:31 pm

    The love, the fun, the joy, the creativity all exude here!

    I, too, adore boxes and baskets; you’d think I’d be more organized because of that!

    I loved this line: “dragged out to join the family and becoming a permanent fixture.” -loved objects- my kids really taught me about those!

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 22, 2011 | 8:36 pm

      Thank you so much!
      I feel so much better when all of my stuff is organized but having a baby has made me relax a bit… on a few things LOL

  19. Theresa
    April 21, 2011 | 12:06 pm

    Oh, so sweet. Mine loved to play in the empty toy box too. Why do we have toys again?

  20. Pampered Patty
    April 22, 2011 | 9:28 am

    So sweet and so true. I know my own children love the boxes more than the toys. They recently made a fort out of a big box that held our new dryer. Played for hours.

  21. Jessica
    April 22, 2011 | 6:37 pm

    Empty baskets are always so much fun in my house too. Way better than the toys.

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