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I haven’t done one of these things in about a year, so I thought it might be time. The current list of favorites includes:

“Simon do it! Bean”: The staircase leading down to our basement is open on one side, and we worry Simon will fall over the edge and hurt himself. So Matt bought a long two-by-four not too long ago. But we haven’t installed it yet; it’s currently lying on the floor as a make-shift balance beam. When we first went to play on it, Simon would let me hold his hands while he walked along the beam. Then he decided he did not want my help and announced “Simon do it!” Except he can’t. But he doesn’t seem to realize that. No, Simon rather endearingly calls out “Simon do it! Bean!” puts one foot on the beam and one foot on the carpet next to it, “walks” down the beam in this manner, and then cheers for himself at the end. “Yay, Simon!”

Wrastling: Not a typo; this is how Matt says wrestling. As Simon has become more physical, he’s enjoying this kind of play more than ever. He loves to charge into me or Matt (but especially Matt) for some wrestling action. We do all the usual silly parental moves; we pick him up, hold him upside down, blow raspberries on his belly, swing him around, etc. And Simon giggles and squeals and shrieks in delight. And then, every time without fail, he gets the hiccups.

“Wosie”: That would be Ring-around-the-Rosie, and Simon asks for it by name nearly every day. He doesn’t exactly fall down, though. He’s more of a sit down carefully sort of guy. We recently played it with his friend Sophie, and as they held hands and then began their controlled falls, he looked up at me with a face that radiated pure joy.

Books: This is a constant, but there is a new twist. If Simon is too tired to read a story at night or before his nap, he’s rarely content to just skip this part of the ritual altogether. Instead, he prefers to take a book to bed with him. I have seen him, no joke, lie on his back in his crib and hold a book over his head as if to read. More often, I’ve seen him toss the book into his crib, declare “book sleepy”, and snuggle up with it the same way he would with a stuffed animal.

Dirty Dogs: Dirty Dog has been a part of our life for a long time now. When I first brought home Dirty Monkey, I thought Dirty Dog had been supplanted. Now it seems that Dirty Monkey, while liked, is not loved the way Dirty Dog is. If we don’t have Dirty Dog in the crib, Simon will not, nay cannot, go to sleep. The only thing better than Dirty Dog? “Two Da-Das” (two Dirty Dogs).

Wall-E Pooh Monkey: When Simon got sick in October, Matt went out to Target one night and brought home some videos. Among them were Wall-E, the original Disney Winnie the Pooh featurettes, and Curious George. We watched Pooh every day for a pretty long time. We’ve even watched Vinni Puh on YouTube (this is a late-sixties/early seventies Soviet version and is a must-see.). We still watch Curious George every day, and at times Simon even sounds like him. He has a hard time saying “George” though, so mostly calls the show “Monkey”. As for Wall-E, well, he not only asks to watch it most days, but also re-enacts the movie’s early scenes. At least once a day I watch Simon select a variety of house-hold goods, carry them from one place to another, sort them, and arrange them in their new location until he decides to relocate them all over again. Simon himself has expressed no real preference between the three videos, often asking for “Wall-EPoohMonkey” when we tell him it’s bedtime.

Down the Hill! When we took Simon sledding, we yelled out “down the hill” each trip down our curb or down the street. Simon had a ball, and he’s taken the concept indoors. For two weeks now I’ve watched him regularly roll balls, cars, and himself down any incline in the house—and in a nearly 100-year-old house, there are plenty—all the while calling out “down the hee-ill!” with glee.

Rescue Fantasies: I don’t know what the heck is up with this one. Obviously, at some point, Simon got “stuck” in an odd position and I helped negotiate him out of it. Now, one of his favorite basement games is “Simon stuck.” He will flop down, roll over unto his back, stick out his arms and legs at odd angles, and feign discomfort and helplessness while calling out “Simon stuck, Simon stuck”. The minute I take his hands into mine, though, he’s all smiles and squeals. How weird is that?

Being Tall: About a year after other kids his age, Simon has begun to climb on top of everything he can. When he succeeds, his primary goal is to stand up on the bed/couch/train table/storage ottoman/what-have-you and loudly proclaim “Simon tall! Simon tall!” He’s still pretty uncoordinated, so I know in my heart of hearts that this will end in tragedy.

Tunnels: Tunnels on play equipment have been a favorite since the summer. But now Simon has discovered actual tunnels, specifically the underside of a bridge in Tyler Park. Twice in as many days we have taken him to the park to enjoy the warm weather, and twice he has spent the entire time running laps in the tunnel. “One, two, three, Go Simon Go!” Over, and over, and over, and over….

Circles: Yup, circles. Be it an insert from his foam alphabet rug, a penny (“monies”), a sticker, a round building block, or a stacking disc, if it’s a circle, Simon will isolate it as a favorite. And so, for example, the number 8 in our foam mat downstairs has been missing its two circles because Simon takes them out, throws them across the basement, rolls them down the “hill” in our basement (see entry for “Down the Hill”), and moves them from place to place (see entry for Wall-E). He even loves his tub of fizzy bath color tablets—shaped like circles, wouldn’t you know—so much that if it’s not bath night, he tries to take them to bed with him.

Little People Racin’ Ramps Garage: Thank you Dave, Lisa, and Sophie. This was their birthday present to Simon, and it is a permanent feature in our living room. A partial list of items Simon has sent down the ramp will give you some idea of its popularity:

  1. the cars it came with
  2. other Little People cars
  3. cars that came with other toys
  4. Thomas the Tank Engine trains
  5. a car-shaped vitamin
  6. golf balls
  7. “monies”

The funny thing about this list, as I read it over myself, is how much it demonstrates universal toddler truths. For all the fancy equipment and toys littering our house, only 1/3 of the items on this list—his favorites mind you—cost a dime. I’m clearly going to have to rethink my shopping habits…

One Response to “A Few of Our Favorite Things: Toddler Edition”

  1. blg says:

    I ***love*** the part where Simon tells you, “Book sleepy.”

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