Following friends' advice, we investigated the concept of registering to a toy library.
The concept is simple. For a fee of $80 per year (in our area), plus a one time $10 registration fee, you get to borrow up to three kids' toys for a fortnight from the library. Obviously, given the way a kids grow and the way they outgrow their toys as well as lose interest in them pretty quickly, the idea has some merit to it. What's more, as you're not committing to a purchase, you can actually get your child big toys that you would never dream of buying due to their cost and also due to them taking way too much space; once you know that the space will be emptied in two weeks to make way for yet another gigantic toy, the prospects look different.
So we've inquired with our local toy library and got this detailed Word document giving us all the spill. Or so we thought, because when we actually got there today we heard a bit more: we've heard, for example, that the joining fee is not only the money you need to pay but also a requirement that you "volunteer" twice a year to help with the running of the toy library. Now, I don't mind this volunteering business, even if it's a potential pain in the ass logistics wise; it actually makes sense when you think about it, and being that it's only an hour or two it wouldn't be too different to a normal visit to the library in order to change toys. What I do mind is the secrecy around it, them not telling you that you need to "volunteer" until they've got you in their sites.
Anyway, to skip back from the negative to the positive, today we've had our first go at this library. It does seem as if most of the good toys are out there being used by others, and it does seem like most of the toys available for loan are pretty crappy; or maybe they aren't and it's just the ubiquitous layer of dirt covering them that's making me cringe (slightly). Still, we did manage to find a push toy for Dylan, in the hope it would entice him enough to do what he seems to be able to do anyway - walk - if he was to be brave enough to attempt it. We also got him a dinosaur that makes these noises that I fell in love with and so did Dylan.
The main event, though, is a machine wash / dryer toy, that although smaller than the real thing is not that much smaller. In the past, Dylan was afraid of our washing machine; however, since we came back from our overseas holiday, Dylan can't wait for an opportunity to play with it. So we got him the next best thing... And it got him so excited!