…And other things that rock my boy’s world
How I wish I could get inside the mind of my toddler sometimes! Yes, toddlerdom is clearly tough at times but the simple pleasures he finds in everyday life are both fascinating and spirit-raising. I feel so lucky that he so vociferously shares these pleasures multiple times an hour (in between more negative trains of thought, naturally!).
Time for a list; this time a chart countdown:
Things that Rock my Boy’s World
#10: His sister (“I love youuuu”).
Just creeping into the charts, Pipsqueak has waited 6 looong months to gain a space in her big brother’s affections. It has taken much charming on her part; smiling, cooing, reaching out to him and staring at him endearingly whenever he is within eye-shot.
Finally, he now tells her he loves her, tells us he likes her, shows and teaches her things and has even been known on occasion to hold her hand, stroke her hair or kiss her goodnight. We have yet to convince him to actually cuddle her or hold her for ‘that’ frame-worthy photograph, however.
With the purchase of Usborne’s ‘Lift-the-Flap Shapes’ book a couple of weeks ago, a new shapes obsession was born. He points out shapes to his keyworker at preschool, and to us around the home and out and about.
When we visited Milestones Museum in Basingstoke, he noted on arrival that the building was a ‘semi-circle’. That’s my boy! (This is a lesson starter that I have used when teaching 7 year-olds!)
Much to our amusement, at the start of our recent potty training mission, he would do a little wee, stand up and declare “That one’s an oval, Mummy.” Whatever floats your boat, E!
#8: The Zoo
The Boy likes animals. I like that he likes animals. Maybe one day he could become a vet and earn bucket-loads of money whilst saving the lives of our furry friends.
We are lucky enough to live just 20 minutes away from a really decent zoo, so of course we have taken advantage of this and have bought an annual pass for three years running. Many a memorable morning/afternoon/day has been spent at the zoo and I’ve loved witnessing how The Boy’s engagement with the animals has grown: From signing ‘duck’ and ‘tiger’ whilst flapping his arms or banging on the glass at 10 months to really observant and detailed descriptions now at 32 months.
The Boy’s favourite animal at the zoo is the giraffe (the same as Mummy’s) and he can tell you lots of facts about them, including that they live in Africa and have black tongues.
But, just to be a bit different, his second favourite is the mongoose. I wasn’t even sure what a mongoose was until recently!
#7: Marks and Spencers (“Can we go to M&S? Peease?”)
Please don’t judge! Honestly, in general conversation with The Boy, you would be forgiven for summising that we have spent his entire upbringing to date dragging him around the shops. This is so far from the truth it is laughable.
However, we do happen to have a rather large retail park style M&S practically on our doorstep and we *might* have made it sound like the most exciting place on the planet, just so that (once or twice a month) we can go and have a coffee in the café there.
The tractor-shaped pasta and the escalators have become particular highlights of this ‘trip’ since the buggy has been ditched (before that it was the lift; before that sitting in a highchair and charming all the elderly ladies with his cutsie smile and baby babble). Mr Don’t Say maintains that The Boy’s love for this retail chain began as young as a week old, when we went emergency shopping for larger feeding bras and he ‘posed for the camera’ in the lingerie section.
#6: The number 10. (“There’s TEN! I LIKE the number ten.”)
The Boy has been obsessed with numbers for a long time, too. This may or may not have had something to do with the rather large IKEA print that featured in his nursery (Mr Don’t Say often pointed the numbers out to him upon fetching him from a nap). I guess as a teacher I have encouraged this interest and we do count things often when out and about or when reading. But I do wonder what’s so special about ten.
#5: Singing & dancing
The Boy’s penchant for singing has been discussed in a previous post; he still declares daily how much he enjoys it. This has been clear to us from a young age: his first ‘sentences’ were heard down the monitor one evening as he finally added the words to his nightly hummed rendition of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. I am fascinated to know how long this love will last and where this passion might lead him; he is pretty much note perfect nowadays. The school choir? Lead singer in a band? The sky’s the limit.
The Boy’s love of dancing really became clear during a recent trip to a bouncy castle soft play area. This was somewhere we hadn’t been before, but we will definitely be visiting again. We went with The Boy’s best buddy who, upon entering the room, immediately began scrambling over and jumping off the soft play pieces, running around and generally making the most of the equipment provided. Meanwhile, The Boy stood in the middle of the mats absolutely entranced, swaying his body and staring into the distance.
When quizzed, it became clear that he was trying to work out if he recognised the children’s song currently blasting out of the speakers. “I LIKE this one!” he declared excitedly as ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ came on, and he immediately broke into all the actions!
Honestly, the amount of time spent on the equipment probably totalled 10 mins (and took some persuasion); the rest of the 90 minute session was spent dancing (often intentionally to the ‘audience’ of other parents: “Look at ME!”) and pointing out the numbers on the gymnastics posters on the gym wall!
#4: Stories (“Can I have just ONE MORE story? Peease?”)
The Boy is a book junkie. He is absolutely hooked and extra stories are the ultimate
bribe treat here. This is one boy whose eyes light up at birthdays and Christmases when he gets to open a ‘book shaped’ gift. Stories have never been reserved just for bedtime in this house, and I hope they never will be. They are constantly reached for, by The Boy himself, by us, and by his Grandma. I’m glad: we all get so much pleasure from reading with him. The staff at preschool did get a bit of a shock though when they asked what his favourite story was: “Anything by Julia Donaldson” was his confident reply!
#3: Miro (our cat)
Any toddler who has grown up with a cat, dog or any other pet who is treated as part of the family is going to become very attached. Miro and The Boy have been hanging out together since he was about 4 months old. Luckily Miro is far more tolerant of The Boy than he is of us and puts up with a lot of rather rough cuddling, stroking and even tail pulling. This is probably mainly due to the fact that The Boy is the only one to really give him any attention during the day, as I can generally be found running around like a mad thing keeping the two little humans of the family alive and out of trouble!
#2: Brand and sign spotting (“Look it’s from IKEA shop, Mummy!”)
With a father who is a graphic designer and a mother hung up on displays as a teacher (and, if I’m really honest a bit of a sucker for certain clothing/toiletry brands), perhaps this interest was inevitable. But this interest is actually bordering on obsession! The Boy literally stops in his tracks wherever he is and whatever he is doing or saying if he spots a logo or label that he is familiar with.
When he was just starting to talk, the main interest was in cars. Whenever he saw a VW, he’d point and say “Daddy car!”; for Fords it was “Mummy car!” Navigating car parks became very tricky and time-consuming, especially as he had to go up to a stationary vehicle and actually point to the badge, then circumnavigate it searching for further logos, for example on the wheels or number plates!
Next came a preoccupation with shops. He recognised (‘could read’!) the wording and logos for Marks and Spencers (obviously), Co-op (“Co-op shop, Daddy!”), Sainsburys and TU clothing, IKEA and Next. He still points these out on packaged food items, carrier bags, clothing labels, branded lorries and advertising boards.
Right now, he is also really interested in signs. Yes, any signs. The boy has always been a rather laid back sort (read ‘slow and considered in all he does’) but this makes walks about town infuriatingly slow! In order to ask his favourite question, “What does THAT sign say, Mummy?”, he has to stop, point, make sure that I am giving both the sign and him my full attention, get an answer and often get a detailed explanation! It is exhausting, but he is insatiable.
Believe me, when we are out and about, we constantly get amused/incredulous/pitying looks from strangers. I do love our quirky little man.
#1: The garden.
This only just pips brands and signs at the post in the battle for first place in The Boy’s top ten. And only because of the many facets of opportunity for pleasure that it presents. Amongst recent declarations are:
“I LOVE stones!” Well, don’t we all?! Playing with stones was a favourite activity last summer: moving them, throwing them, sliding them down the plastic slide and his favourite – lining them up along windowsills. This year they have become “Treasure!”
“Look at me, I’m running!”
Running, bouncing on the trampoline, throwing the football around; we are all for encouraging these activities since physical accomplishments don’t exactly come naturally to The Boy.
“I am GOOD at watering!” Which is quite helpful now he’s strong enough to hold his can and use it without soaking himself in the process. #slavelabour.
“Peease can I do some SWEEPING?” Top marks to Daddy who transferred The Boy’s love of the dustpan and brush at toddler group into another pretty helpful job – sweeping leaves from the patio.
…And then there’s bubbles, the sandpit, the tent, the easel, picking daisies, mud pies, picnics: the list is never-ending and saved our sanity during our recent incubation period necessitated by a double-wammy of chicken pox.
I am so pleased that my boy is an outdoorsy type, just like his Mummy 🙂
I adore witnessing The Boy constantly evolving in the way he engages with the world. I wonder what Pipsqueak will grow up to love?
I would love to hear what turns your little people on so please do comment 🙂
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