Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Toys, Schmoys

Over the last 22 months or so I have been compiling a list of things that small children find more compelling than toys. This list includes, but is not limited to:

• measuring cups
• spoons
• zippers
• nipples (both male and female)
• electrical plugs
• the little things you put in electrical plugs to prevent kids from playing with them
• cabinet doors
• Tupperware
• Any object that could inflict serious bodily harm (think steak knives, ski poles, paper shredders, letter openers, etc)
• empty beer bottles
• the buttons on a CD player
• remote controls
• piles of clothes
• sticks
• trash
• plastic bags
• wrapping paper
• tampons (as evidenced by this post)
• cell phones

Really, there have been times when Leanne will be shopping for a baby shower present and I will suggest that we give the parents-to-be a bag filled with measuring cups, an old remote control, a broken cell phone, a stick, a spoon and three ziplock plastic bags. Leanne keeps telling me that this is cheap. I call it practical.

These parents will find all this out on their own, though. There will be a room full of toys, made with love by a Chinese plastic craftsman, 15 feet from their child and all they want to do is open and close kitchen cabinets or jump in to the pile of laundry waiting to be folded. One of Olive’s favorite games in the morning is to press my nipple and say “honk.” She could do it for hours. Even though we have several toys that play music when you press their belly or squeeze their foot or whatever. My nipple is where it’s AT.

I can now add helium balloons to this list. We recently celebrated the coming of little Rocco (placeholder while we think of an actual name) and Olive couldn’t get enough of the balloons. Basically, she would grab a string, jump up and down and yell “I want it! I want it” while the balloon taunted her by bouncing up and down on the ceiling. Eventually someone would give in and pull the balloon down for her and she would tackle it. Literally, bodyslam the balloon. Her victim would eventually escape and float safely back up the ceiling. This video shows some of the action (please excuse the orientation of the video…just rotate your head to the left and all will be good) and also the breakthrough moment when she figured out she could get the balloon by pulling down on the string, resulting in the celebratory “I GOT IT!”

Oh yeah, and we are having a boy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I have to admit, I like winter a hell of a lot more than summer. I don't do well in hot weather and my skin and the sun don't get along well. While other people tan, I simply become a deeper shade of pale.

I was really looking forward to spending a great winter with Olive.

Then this winter happened.

Sure, I can take Olive sledding (as we have done down the back stairs of our deck), but anytime we go outside I need to attach an avalanche beacon to her. Maybe I could get an orange flag on a long stick and staple it to her back. Otherwise, she is going to get lost in the 47 feet of snow we have on the ground right now. It also doesn't help that this winter has been insanely cold (by Boston standards).

But we have been able to get outside and enjoy some winter pursuits. Here are a few pictures of us enjoying a little snowshoeing. Luckily, one of the benefits of Olive's recent obsession with Dora the Explorer is that she thinks it is cool to be carried around in a backpack.

Before the front-end loaders came down our street and dumped heaps of snow into our local playground, we could still make quick trips to the swings and slide. Really, what is better than sliding down a slide half covered in snow?

Putting your feet up, watching some Wonder Pets and drinking hot cocoa!