Feed on

Now that Simon is over sixteen months old, his list of favorites has changed once more. As of this March, Simon’s day is brightened by the following:

Stuffed Animals: Dirty Duck and Dirty Dog are still our workhorse attachment sleep objects, but Simon is beginning to love and appreciate other stuffed animals, too. Specific favorites are My Baby Bunny (named on the animal itself), Super Speedy (a frog we named based on his similarity to a frog with this name stitched on one of Simon’s outfits last summer), and Annabelle, an organic cotton lamb that is a favorite of mine. He holds them and kisses them, which is adorable. Then he throws them down with little care or consideration to remind us that he is still not quite one-and-a-half years old.

Ball!: Simon is a ball-hog. He loves to roll the ball, bounce the ball, throw the ball, and kick the ball. Our play basket-ball is the hands-down favorite, but he’s also a fan of a hard ball with pebbles inside, tennis balls, open-weaved balls, and pretty much anything spherical and light-weight. In fact, right now his favorite word is “ball.” Two weeks ago, inside the zoo’s gorilla exhibit, Simon showed very little interest in the giant apes but got very excited when he saw a ball inside their living space.

Cups: Simon can now drink from a cup. He can also crush a cup, stack a cup, put things in cups, and throw cups down stairs. In fact, he loves doing these things. I bought him plastic tumblers with frogs and dinosaurs that he likes OK, but his favorite cup is always the one I’m driking from, a fact that is making it more challenging than ever to get in my morning cup of tea.

TV Remote Controls: Is this a man-thing showing up early? The boy loves the cable and audio remotes. For that matter, he also loves the controls on the TV and receiver themselves. No remote is safe from him, and we’re considering using the close captioning to make up for his uncanny ability to find and turn off the audio controls.

Pacifiers: Oy. We were pretty proud of having a baby who only used pacifiers to get to sleep and for the occasional, serious, crying jag. Now we have a baby that can cry with a pacifier in his mouth, but who likes them more than ever. He reaches for them and plays with them all the time. Matt hates this because when he’s “corked”, he can’t talk. I understand and agree, but what are you going to do when the kid really wants it and will wail unless he has it? We’re trying for an out-of-sight strategy of just not leaving them around. I’m also mindful that this increased interest in pacifiers popped up right about the time Simon weaned and started getting new teeth at an expedited rate, and so there may be a very good reason for it.

Bluegrass Music: Hilarious but true. Simon loves most music, has excellent rhythm with drumsticks, and adores it when I dance with him, which we do daily. But he’s developing a particular soft spot for anything with a banjo. We have an activity table in the upstairs sitting room, and one of the gadgets on it is a little guitar you can move the handle on. That handle functions as a switch, and it plays a variety of old-time songs like “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” with a bluegrass sound to them. He goes nuts whenever this happens: He bounces on his knees, shakes his head back and forth, bites his lower lip, and squints his eyes. He’ll do this for a good 15-20 minutes, too. The kid is mad for anything with a banjo and has mad dance moves to accompany his favorite tunes.

Recycling Bin and Pet Dishes: His toy kitchen cannot hold a candle to the pet dishes or recycling bin where Simon is concerned. He loves to splash in the water dish, throw the food dishes, and on occasion sample their contents. He also derives great joy from emptying the contents of the recycling bin. Newspapers get thrown about the kitchen, and empty bottles and cans become nesting and stacking toys. I’ve seen him spend the better part of an evening putting a frapuccino bottle inside a yogurt tub and taking it back out again. He’s also incorporated these non-traditional materials into his architectural play. We have to make sure any rough edged cans or breakable glass are confiscated, but otherwise this makes for a very cheap way to keep him into new toys!

Nesting Boxes: The box says “Ages 3 and up.” Are they kidding? Simon loved these at one year, and his ardor has only increased. Favorite toy in the house, hands down, and he’s now capable of building towers six-blocks high.

Books: Still a favorite. He loves his own books and ours as well. And these days, the more the better. A favorite past-time is yanking every book off of a shelf and going through them one by one very quickly. Recent favorites include “The Polite Elephant,” “Daddy Hugs,” and “Good Night San Francisco.”

The Cats: Poor Percival and Tristan. Simon loves them in that baby/toddler imitable way. He loves to scoot after them, reach for them, grab their tails, point at their faces, and slap their backs. We’re trying very hard to teach “nice touching”, but the subtleties are lost on him. Worse, the cats really don’t like having to flee the scene, and so much time is spent with child and pets running around in vicious circles, one in pursuit while the other two try to establish a safe distance. (The cats themselves are in complete heaven from the hours of 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. for obvious reasons.)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.