Call me a neophyte if you must, but it took me until I had my daughter and she was over a year old before I discovered the toddler busy bag. Yep. Rex was almost three before I got my act together. So we would be sitting there in restaurants or in book stores or in line at Wal-Mart or wherever, and the kids, being kids, would be terrifically bored and antsy and there I would be struggling to figure out how to accomplish whatever we needed to do whilst trying to keep my kids from running off, screaming their heads off because they needed an energy release, etc. Sigh.
And then, like a beacon of light, the lovely and ever-talented Gingersnap had a post on a couple of oversized coin purses from Anthropologie. And I fell in love. My son is in a class called the "Busy Bees," and my daughter has huge "Owl Eyes," so I knew that I had to get those coin purses for my kids for Christmas. I had no idea WHY I would buy them overpriced purses, but I knew that didn't matter--I would figure it out by the time Christmas arrived.
When the box arrived later that next week, my hubby was sort of perplexed, he had no idea why I would get these bags for our kids. Oops. I needed to have some fast thinking...and it came to me, right then, the bags would be the kids' busy bags, and I would use them as incentives at restaurants, church, in line, etc. In other words, I would say, "kids, if you are able to sit here and show us good behavior, we will get out the busy bee and owl bag and you all will be able to play with the toys hidden inside...but if you start to show us that you are not interested in being good, then the bag goes away."
And you know what? For the most part, it works! I still feel good as the kids still really enjoy their "busy bee" and "owl" bags.
For all of you that already do this, BRAVO! My congratulations. Hopefully you figured it out well before your child's third birthday. ;) For those of you that struggle like I did, maybe this is something you can try?
So how does it fit into "Mommy Style Mondays?" That is an easy answer...just because they are bags for your kids doesn't mean they have to be un-stylish!!! You would not believe the amount of compliments we get on these bags. And you would think a cotton, sequined coin purse from Anthropologie may be delicate? Not in the least!!! We have played with these bags for over a half a year now and they still look good as new. And from a sequin OCD person like myself, these are some very well secured sequins.
I cannot promise that Anthropologie still has any left, but it may be worth a call to your local store. (Or check out ebay!)
BTW, I love these bags so much that Rex's teachers will be receiving their own "Busy Bee" bag, hidden inside will be a gift certificate, of course. :)
Mommy Style Monday #5 by dinagideon featuring J Crew bags
In the polyvore above are some options for you all. I personally use the J. Crew Beacon tote and the Owl Bag (or Busy Bee Bag) aka Great and Small Coin Purse, but if you are more high-end and luxurious, the Brooks Brothers leather tote and small leather bag could be a good option for you, and if you prefer lightweight and colorful, Vera Bradley's "Sittin in a Tree" Miller bag and small wristlet (bonus--it has a protective covering to the fabric) could be a great choice for you and your little one.
I do want to give one caveat--if you are blessed with a tiny baby, say one that is under 6 months, you may want to have a traditional diaper bag, you know spill- and barf-proof. I found that bottles and burp cloths and nice leather don't necessarily work well together. Having said that, you could find a few oversized plastic bags and use them for the "dirty" work. :)
Here is Rex sitting at the Potomac Mills J. Crew outlet with his "Busy Bee" bag behind him and all the little toys already played with...he is eating fruit snacks, one of my favorite treats to stick in his bag. :)
Ah. Heaven for a mom--a happy kid. :) And, yes, that is the large Ikat Cap-Sleeve sheath dress I am wearing in the photo. It is a size 4, and very comfortable.
You all have a great day.
BTW, I apologize for a lack of a Mommy Style Monday last week. I was very sick. I know you all understand and get it, but just in case you were wondering...