"There are some things you just don't need to have."
--My Dad, as quoted by my Mom, regarding my brother's desire and mine to upgrade our beloved Atari to a Nintendo, sometime in the late 20th century.
He was totally right about that, and it occurs to me that I have a great tool, right here in my hands, for stepping outside the Montessori books and refining my parenting strategy by listening to real human beings instead of people selling books. So how about an interactive post!
Given my stated commitment to minimalism in the infant environment, and the impending necessity of actually giving my child things to use/play with, readers, bloggers, and lurkers, I'd love for you to tell me--
If you are the parent of a baby or young child:
Tell me about something you decided not to use with or give to your child, and why you made that decision. (Feel free to post anonymously, so whoever gave it to you as a shower/birthday gift won't recognize you.)
Tell me about an element that is/was unexpectedly essential to your infant environment, and why you couldn't have done without it.
If you are the parent of an adult or older child:
Tell me about something your children lobbied hard for, that you might have given them (meaning you could have afforded it/ had room for it/ it wasn't illegal...) but didn't, and how you feel about that decision now.
If you don't have any kids, or if you do but can still remember being one:
Tell me about something you really wanted (and really could have had if your parents had been willing to give it to you--see above restrictions) when you were a kid, but didn't get. Do you still feel the lack? Are you better off for having missed it?