Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Allure of the Toy Car

I have always been intrigued by the apparent allure of toy cars.

It could be the tyke out and about with 3 dinky cars in each fist (my brother, once upon a time), the toddler intensely focused on the jeep he's driving over the arm of a chair, or the kid doing endless laps of the main floor pushing a dump truck, butt in the air and all. Or, as with my son, the impressive impromptu parking lot that is the staircase (a great setup when you're carrying a baby downstairs). Serious stuff.

Blocks, I get. Legos, Play-doh, all that stuff, I get. Sign me up for some son-and-Mom time with that. But the fascination and endless entertainment that comes from slithering along the floor pushing a dinky car? Help me out, here.

Now, I am 100% about gender-neutral toys. That said, I don't think I'm taking too big a leap to suggest this seems to be very much a boy thing. It wasn't a "me" thing, anyway. So I asked my husband to enlighten me.

Me: You were a boy once. So what's the big deal with cars? What's so fun about them?

Hubs: Well, you can do pretty much anything with them.

Me: Such aaaas...?

Hubs: Well, you can role-play with them. Like you would with Barbies.

(Now, I was never a Barbie aficionado either, but at least I get Barbies)

Me: But Barbies represent living beings. You can at least make them have conversations or go on
dates or hunt sasquatches or something.

Hubs: Yeah, well, with cars, you're being the driver. You can race, or have chases...

Me: And then after the first two minutes...?

I'm sure there's a whole world of possibilities in the imagination of a young boy when it comes to his cars, and I'm pretty impressed watching it in action. My own imagination is somewhat limited, though.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Brotherly Love

A lot of people have asked me over the past seven months how Big Bro "gets along" with Little Bro. How did he like the new addition? Does he pay attention to his brother?

I admit it wasn't love at first sight. Big Bro was not too keen on this new thing that Grammie and Grandad brought him to the hospital to meet. Our first attempt at a picture of all of us looked something like this:

I remember reading an excerpt from the Book Siblings Without Rivalry  (Faber and Mazlish) in which we are invited to put ourselves in the shoes of the former only child. We are asked to imagine if, say, our husbands came home one day with a new, younger, adorable "second wife" to add to the family, and we're expected to be excited about it.

God! Is that what it can be like for them? Heck! I'd be jumping out of the picture too. At LEAST!

I am an eldest child and was three and a half when my brother was born. I don't remember feeling dethroned, per se (I don't really remember anything), but I'm told I did ask when we were bringing him back. I quickly came to be very fond of him though.

I'm happy to say that Big Bro has seemingly also quite taken to his little brother in recent months, and I assure those with new second babies to hang in there as well. With lots of one-on-one time and important "Big Bro" jobs, he has come to see this new addition as a good thing (or maybe that he just forgets that Little Bro didn't exist before Christmas time).

Here's how I know that things are looking up:

1. He has started to interact with him. This includes showing him various items around the house. And of course you know I mean by "showing" I mean "putting it virtually into his eyeball".

2. He brings Little Bro's toys to him. All of them. Every toy he owns is piled up on top of him, each delicately balanced on the last. Thankfully, Big Bro leaves him a breathing hole.

3. He is considerate of his little brother. He ensures everyone is aware of when Little Bro needs to sleep.

4. When Big Bro does his routine distribution of novelty hats (the wearing of which is not optional), he has begun to bring one for Little Bro, too. If this isn't a sure sign that you're in the club, I don't know what is.

5. And finally, Big Bro enjoys spending time with his brother. When we go somewhere, even to a different floor of the house, he'll often insist that the baby comes too. Or he'll rock him in his car seat when he's upset, pat him on the head or stuff a soother in his mouth.

Or, they'll eye each other from across the table, or Big Bro will lie down head-to-head with him on the floor, and they'll just start to giggle as if they're up to something.

Uh oh. Okay, guys, let's not get TOO chummy, now. I can see the scheming begin already.

How did you know your new family addition was officially "In the Club"?