From infancy I avoided light-up, battery-operated toys whenever possible. As a music teacher, I’m very sensitive to what I deem “noise pollution” in my environment. (Sometimes being “poor” has its advantages – it’s not like we could have afforded flashy toys, anyway). In Little Girl’s first year, she had only a handful of toys. Her favorite objects were not even the toys! They were metal mixing bowls, whisks, spatulas, an old pot from the Dollar General and an upturned diaper box with stove elements drawn on the bottom in permanent marker. When she was a baby, I would put her down on a blanket in the bathroom with some safe kitchen implements and do my business. Sometimes she cried, but mostly she enjoyed the time looking around and trying things. When she got mobile, I found safe places like her crib for her to stay. I didn’t use the television as a distraction, probably because we didn’t really have one at the time. She survived very well without it, however, and started pretend play (like “feeding” me food from a picture and “cooking”) well before her first birthday.