Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toy story

Kyle's transition into a two-year-old has come with few surprises. As expected, he talking a lot more and he's doing a better job interacting with kids his age. He's also living up to the "terrible twos" reputation by constantly challenging us, seeing if he can get away with doing things he knows are wrong, like standing on furniture or drilling for oil without a working emergency plan. We had received advance warning about these things, and I am not at all shocked to be dealing with them now. Yet there's one thing, something I discovered this past week, that completely caught me by surprise: toys made for two-year-olds... are awesome.

I never had as much fun playing with Kyle's toys as I did this week. Before, I merely tripped over the little guy's playthings, but now I sit down and play with them myself, forgetting that I'm actually supposed to be watching over my kid, who has since left the room to turn on the stove. But who could blame me? With Kyle's new toys, I can build things! Our son now has LEGOS. He still has a year to go before he can play with the small "please choke on me" pieces, but this year he's old enough to play with the larger "Duplo" blocks. While I am awfully proud of my son's ability to use the bricks to build sticks for beating Daddy, I can't resist trying to make things myself. With Kyle sitting beside me, I have created houses, pyramids, and works of art that would rival any other 2-to-3-year old's. Kyle often takes them apart before I complete them, but that's okay: there are other toys to play with.

Like his remote-controlled car. That's right. Kyle now has a remote-controlled car. And it's awesome. It only goes forward and turns, but that's enough to chase Kyle with it. For some reason, he doesn't want to hold the remote control, but that's fine with me. With me in control, the car zips around the living room as the little guy runs away. I can now tire him out without having to use up energy chasing him myself. It's remote-controlled parenting. If only there was a similar device that could change his diapers. For now, the chasing is lots of fun, though it normally ends when the car hits something it can't move past, like Kyle's new pile of Krinkles. For those of you not into children's toys, Krinkles are building blocks that are as much fun as Legos (believe me, I know.) Yes, they too are awesome.

And then there's Play-Doh. Play-Doh! Did you know that 2-year-olds can now play with Play-Doh? I didn't realize that until a couple weeks before his birthday. I became very excited and bought Kyle a pack of four containers. Apparently I wasn't the only one thrilled by this, as Kyle now has 28 containers of the stuff (I'm not kidding).

I opened each of the four containers we bought and marveled at the clay inside. Someday all of Kyle's Play-Doh will be part of a rock-solid purplish blob, but for now each color is separate, and pristine. And, oh, that Play-Doh smell! I still can't get it off my fingers. I went to work right away, creating a yellow figure and a snowman that channel Michelangelo. I showed them off to Jennifer, and she was proud of what I had done. I then tried to show Kyle, but he was in the next room, having fun stacking the containers the Play-Doh had come in. He has yet to play with the clay itself.

Yes, I am having lots of fun with Kyle's new toys, probably more fun than Kyle is having at the moment. But you have to understand - for two years I sat back and watched Kyle play with toys that flashed enough lights to cause seizures, played obnoxious parodies of "This Old Man," and repeated the same recorded phrases over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I think I deserve this. Less than 24 hours after receiving the new toys, we packed up the old ones and shipped them to Tahiti (we hate the people there). As far as we're concerned, those toys never existed. If Kyle asks for one, we act like he's delirious, take his temperature, and put him to bed early. He doesn't ask too often anymore. Jennifer and I don't want him reverting, or even getting nostalgic for his old vtech "move and crawl electronic activity ball" (the name speaks for itself). And, yes, that's right... it's not just the stay-at-home dad who's having fun with the new stuff. Just look at what Jennifer did on Kyle's new magnetic doodling board:



Very impressive, I'd say. There's no doubt that Jennifer's also excited about Kyle's new toys. That's because they're AWESOME.

So, I'd like to thank all our family and friends for being incredibly generous on Kyle's birthday. Jennifer and I love all the gifts. Kyle will eventually, I'm sure. It's just taking him some time. Apparently being a two-year-old is more fun the second time around.

1 comment:

marishyl said...

Tonight after the kiddos went to bed we played Hello Kitty Flip n' Match. Awwww yeah.

Nice work on the tile floor, you put parchment paper down? I would never have thought of that!

Jennifer's Alice following the white rabbit down the hole is lovely.