Jethro and I have been trying our best to make sure that Tater is not inundated with too many noisy, electronic toys. Partially because we know that non-directed play is important for achieving developmental milestones, and partially because we don’t want to hear that sh*t. (Give me the side-eye all you want, y’all; you haven’t experienced true horror until you have heard Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star over and over again for 30 minutes. It starts to wear on your SOUL, man…)
Then again, when he does play with his developmentally appropriate toys, he just uses them to make more noise. Know what one of his favorite pastimes is? Taking the dumbbell rattle that the lovely Liz of happysighs gave him, and then slamming it repeatedly into his Little Tikes Tap-a-Tune Piano. Oh, the lovely cacophony of rattle and discordant C, E and G coupled with bone-shattering sounds of hard plastic on plastic, just loud enough to rattle y0ur teeth. I’d stop him, but he’s just so dang happy when he’s making Mommy’s head hurt.
I bring this all up to point out that our feelings on toys are ultimately irrelevant and our carefully picked toy choices are useless. Take one of his first toys, a crunchy book. Well, we call it the crunchy book, but it’s a teether book, made of fabric with plastic on the inside and nubby plastic ends to chew on. Makes crazy amounts of noise and Tater would smush and crinkle and wave and just plain tear that sh*t up until it got to be too much and culminated into a such frenzy and that he would throw it across the room in sheer joy. And then holler for me to go get it. (The “Mommy, I dropped it, PICK UP!” game started early.)
Know what also worked just as well? The bag from a box of Corn Pops shoved into a sock. Pretty much the same thing, plus Mommy get Corn Pops. A win for all.
Tater’s absolute favorite thing was from month 3 to about month 6? The ceiling fan. Adjustable speeds and you have instant baby crack. When they start to get bored, flip on the light. BAM—Mommy gets a pee break. Now, I have spent many a night staring up at the ceiling fan, wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life, while listening to Sarah McLachlan (the early 00’s were a dark period) but this child was transfixed. You could barely tear his gaze away. I’m sure if we could listen to his thoughts, it’d just be “Jai guru deva om” over and over again.
Best part is babies don’t have object permanence, so every time you turn it on, it is like Christmas Day.
But beware, Tater’s first social smile was at the ceiling fan in my mom’s house. Stinker didn’t even have the decency to do it at home.
Currently, Tater’s favorite toys are anything that can be slammed repeatedly into another thing. Or anything that can be taken out of something else, i.e. items in buckets, purse, laundry baskets.
Especially clean laundry.
Especially clean laundry that has been folded.
Especially clean laundry that has been folded and then is dragged through the dustiest spot in the house, complete with dog hair and an errant Cheerio.
Especially clean laundry that has been folded and then is dragged through the dustiest spot in the house, complete with dog hair and an errant Cheerio AND is the only clean pair of pants that Mommy has and we need to leave the house in ten minutes and seriously child, are you kidding me with this right now, Good Lord.
Also, the business end of everything inappropriate, such as nasal aspirators, ear thermometers, markers. Apparently it’s more fun if they make you holler, “Where did you get that?!?!” beforehand. Bonus points if they shove it so far in their mouth so quickly that they choke for a second and stop your heart.
Also, also? Boxes. The stereotype is true.
What was your favorite toy as a child? If you have kids, what are they favorite toys? How much will you judge me if I admit that I gave Tater a bottle of these to play with this morning just so I could put on some eyeliner. (Childproof lids are a godsend.)