I’ve always felt blessed to have a fairly non-destructive child. He learned to be gentle with books at a young age and has only rarely pinched his little fingers when closing a lid or a door. I would describe him as careful. But, alas, he is growing up, and he’s becoming less guarded and more curious. I delight in this–it’s good to know he’s developing. And yet, as he’s learning to play offense, I have to play the game more defensively. I have to see things through the eyes of my son.
These once fun and colorful toys now have a purpose beyond learning the difference between yellow and purple. Did you know the tops come off? And inside there’s a wonderful, smeary substance that looks great on skin, clothing, carpets, and Mommy’s computer screen.
These are magical things. They make pieces of paper smaller. They make the dog’s hair shorter. They make Mommy make lots of funny noises and run her hand under the faucet (which is also a magical thing).
Pretty colors. A great rattle. And if you can ever get one in your mouth, they taste like chalk and candy, which are obviously the best two things to eat.
Way better than Cheerios.
Disgusting, but they come in bright bags that are fun to shake and they drive the kitty cat CRAZY.
Such a great way to practice your fine motor skills. And once you get that cap off, every one has different stuff inside! Some of them taste good, most of them smell good, and they can all be used to draw pictures on the kitchen floor.
Do I even need to explain how much fun this stuff is?
Indoor Herb Gardens
You brought dirt inside the house and I’m not supposed to play in it? Dirt is for playing. Digging, dropping, scooping, eating. That’s it. It has no other purpose.
Dangly Cat Toys
A child-sized whip! Even better when there’s something fun at the end to smack Mommy with!
Some chumps will just roll this stuff around in their palms, squeeze it, poke it, and get bored. The real way to play: pinch it apart, bit by bit, until it’s just a bunch of purple crumbs. Grind those crumbs into the carpet and upholstery.
Guitars (and other stringed instruments)
When this things fall over, the clang is musical. And now that the little fingers have mastered latches, it’s a fun game to open the case, remove the guitar, wrap the strap around your neck, and pull those strings until they snap. (Note: my son has never snapped a guitar string in his face, but I have horrible premonitions of it every time he decides to play my guitar. He finds it quite annoying that I keep my hands hovering over the nut and the bridge whenever he tries to rock out.)
The Car Keys
Find a time when Mommy’s on the potty and the garage is left unlocked. Squish the buttons; unlock the car. Open the car door (which is the most fun thing to do in the world, by the way), and get in the driver’s seat (second most fun thing). Open the garage door (maybe that’s the most fun thing). Once that’s done–oh! The possibilities. Driving the car is probably still too difficult, but who needs it when the outside world is right there! Climb up the hill and let the chickens out! Climb down the hill and play in the street! Walk the quarter of a mile to the mailbox! Chase all the shiny cars! Find out what the dog down the street has been barking about! The possibilities are endless! (Another note: this has never happened, either, and would require a major oversight on my part to actually happen… and now what was meant to be a humorous blog post has become unexpectedly terrifying.)